Slow Down and Enjoy The Ride
Written by: | Monday, May 28th, 2012
My dad (an amazing gardener) once said to me as we were building a walkway from the street to our front door, “No garden path or walkway should ever be a straight line. All paths should zig and zag, meander to the left, then the right.” He explained that the turns force us to slow down to see things – new vantage points – new things to appreciate. A well-planted walkway is an adventure, a show and an event – with something new at every turn. It is not a means to an end, but rather a journey. “Slow down,” he said, “and enjoy the ride.”
Our lives are busy; we pride ourselves on multi-tasking and filling every moment of our time. And though it may get a lot of things done on our checklist of life, we frequently don’t remember any part of what we do, how we spend our time and who we are with.We don’t zig and zag – we bolt for the finish line as if life were some sort of race – something we are supposed to complete efficiently and on-time. But getting it done isn’t its value – the value is in the ride.
As I watch this happening to me and to others I know, I am reminded of George Bernard Shaw’s quote. “ I want to be all used up when I die.” We shouldn’t have any life left in us because we lived with such passion, excitement and energy.When we slowly move through life, enjoying the ride, meeting new people, finding out more about ourselves and treasuring each moment, we can be thrilled by all that life is. Rushing through life just sets us up for regrets.
Consider these 4 ways to slow down and enjoy the ride:
1. Go for a walk. Force yourself to take the long way. Watch for new things – things you never saw before. Stop and appreciate what you see – plants, buildings, stars – whatever. Notice everything. And for this one time, comment on everything. Say it out loud. Don’t worry who may see or hear you. Invite them to join you on your walk. Slow down and be really present.
2. Call a friend or family member without any agenda or timetable. Get reconnected to the person – to who they really are. Don’t hang up or leave until you really know this person. See how much richer your relationship becomes. Slow down and really connect.
3. Start a garden. Build it around your meandering path. Use it to remind yourself that great things take time, and that great things need to be appreciated. And once you build your garden, spend time in it every day, even if it is just to notice what is new since the last time you saw it. Slow down and notice.
4. Play more. Studies show that our greatest learning in life doesn’t happen when we formally learn – it happens instead when we play – when we practice with what we learn. Building in more playtime not only accelerates learning, it makes for a better life.Slow down and play more.
Make time to be part of your amazing life. Only when you make the time you can see how amazing it is. It isn’t perfect, but it is amazing. Slow down and enjoy your ride of life.
Great news should always be shared, and learning how to slow down and enjoy the ride of life is really good news. So please share this with someone who can benefit from it. And contact me to learn about “enjoying the ride” and other Greatness Coaching techniques. Be well, be great.