Do you have some place better to be?
Do you have something better to do?
Are you running from task to task and activity to activity so fast that you don’t seem to have time to care about the task or activity at hand?
You know what you have to do, right?
You know you have to slow down.
But why don’t you? This is the question that is oftentimes left unaddressed, but houses the key to authentic self-awareness and change.
We spend our time on what we care about. So, if you continue to choose to race through life when you know that you should really slow down and be present, then you must care more about the race than the moment. If you are fine with this and are perfectly happy with living for the race, then go for it and read no further.
If you are not fine with living for the race and would like to change your behavior and invest more time in being present, then you have to figure out why you choose to race rather than relish. The answer is not the same for everyone so there is no silver bullet or magic elixir that solves the problem. You have to pay attention to what catalyzes the racing behavior.
For me it is the buzz of the city and the constant access to technology.
With four active kids and a business to run, there is an inherent amount of busyness to my life. Some racing is just unavoidable for certain periods of your life. The City (i.e. Houston) has come to represent busyness; hence getting away from the concrete jungle every now and then with the family does my soul good and helps me slow down and reconnect with the family. I stop racing by simply taking a pit stop and getting off the track.
Technology is something you have to manage every day. Technology includes mobile phones and devices, TV, streaming apps, internet browsing, electronic gaming, and much more. For me, technology is an agitator. It agitates my mind and soul. Sometimes it facilitates work and professional endeavors (e.g. email, technical research, and marketing). But sometimes it facilitates nothing more than consumption of time…my most precious asset.
Again, some level of technology is simply unavoidable in today’s world. Nonetheless, all you have to do to minimize the negative impact of technology is to choose not to use it. Put your phone down while at home or on vacation. Don’t worry about constantly interfacing with the world through text messaging and email and other InstaTwitFaceSnapps. Most of those folks driving your Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) are folks who wouldn’t show up to your funeral so “fuggetaboutem!” for the evening and weekend. If you HAVE to stay in touch with someone 24/7/365 for safety or medical reasons, then limit your technology interfaces to those truly important relationships, but otherwise experience the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO). Cut out TV, constantly scrolling on FlipBoard, internet connectivity, and all other technology that agitates the soul into restlessness and racing. Take a technology pit stop.
The City and technology are my catalysts to restless and racing behavior. If you can minimize access to your catalysts to restless and racing behavior, then you have a better chance of caring about the task or activity at hand…and subsequently enjoying moments and making memories with friends and family.
So, stop and identify your catalysts to restless and racing behavior and then commit to reducing your access to these catalysts. Set a goal and track against the goal. This is a perfect time to start.
As you enter and engage the Christmas season, slow down and invest your time in what you truly care about. For me, that is faith, family, and friends. Cheers, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!