Exactly a hundred years ago, Albert Einstein revolutionized the way scientists think about space and time, revealing that they are more flexible than we think. So if time is flexible, can we slow things down? How can we create more time and spaciousness for ourselves, when our crazy busy way of life mitigates against this?
Instead of the 150 mph rush, which in the end leaves us exhausted and unfulfilled, why not make a conscious decision to just SLOW down? The stress, swirl and strife that hurt performance and fuel conflict in the workplace could be tempered by a simple shift in pace. Paradoxically, going SLOW can actually make you more productive and creative, and able to achieve more with less struggle.
You may not be at a stage of life where you can fully embrace a more deliberate, intentional way of being, but even small daily doses of going SLOW will have positive effects. If you haven’t guessed by now, SLOW is also an acronym for a cluster of mindset shifts, outlined below.
Going SLOW means:
- Stop and savor something for a few minutes each day. Tune into your senses. Notice your body. And appreciate a tiny vacation – or microbursts of mindfulness – in the middle of your day. The big challenge is that you have to ditch the mindset of urgency and speed.
- Let things flow; let things go. Some things – as well as skills, beliefs, ideas – are held onto for just too long and need to be cleared out. And others benefit from being allowed to evolve organically, or to collide with serendipity. Over-thinking can be counter-productive. The big challenge is that you have to ditch the mindset of control.
- Open your eyes, mind & heart. As we gain experience, we also get more fixed and closed in our thinking. We believe we know, so why be open to learning? We have formed our opinions, so aren’t curious about others’. We have developed a thick protective carapace, so won’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable, but opening up to the new brings freshness and expansion. The big challenge is that you have to ditch the mindset of exclusion and mistrust.
- Weave your past, present and future into an integrated whole. Take the time to remember who you once were, what you once loved, what your lost talents might be, and bring them to light in the present. This will help you create a richer future, in which you feel alignment and purpose. The big challenge is that you have to ditch the mindset of fear.
If you give yourself the most precious gift of all, permission, to just try going SLOW, you will be pleasantly surprised. Not only will you regain a sense of energy, enthusiasm and ease, but you’ll achieve the sustainable excellence that may be eluding you as you race through your days.
Just give it a try.