POP- Power of Pause

“We like it, we love it, we want some more of it”
Photo by Knut Troim on Unsplash

For an audio portion of this piece go to: http://grindpodcast.com/2018/12/the-power-of-pause/

An amazing story fell into my lap as a Christmas gift last night! Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman, a MN born man.

I couldn’t sleep last night so I decided to give the book a try. I’m now 50 pages in and I’m extremely intrigued by the wonderful insight given.

The title comes from a revelation he had while waiting for a friend he was meeting for breakfast in Washington DC. His friend was running late because of this and that. The friend ended up being 20 minutes late.

This scenario can go a couple different ways:

1.) Damn you for being late. You just stole 20 minutes of my time and life and now I’ll never get that back.

2.) I’m too busy to wait 20 minutes and I’m going to bail after 10 minutes if someone is ever late on me. That is the Darren Hardy from Success Magazine way.

3.) Number three is the revelation that Thomas Friedman had that day.

The Power of the Pause.

Our world right now is moving exponentially. Technology is blasting past our capabilities to adapt. It’s causing us the ultimate “keeping up with the Jones’s” anxiety times 100!

We need a new phone every 6 months, we need our house to have every new smart device, we absolutely need to have all the juicy new apps to make our life easier, we have those little notification thingys on our phones that are constantly singing a little hymn of seduction enticing us to react to them NOW NOW NOW!

As the author of the book waited for his friend, he recognized that he was doing something while he waited. He was pausing. Pausing to listen to the gossip of the people at the table next to him, pausing to recognize how beautiful of a day it was, and pausing to smile at the passing of the waitress.

As his friend came in frantic of his tardiness, Thomas said a simple, “thank you for being late”.

His friend was confused.

In this world of constant insanity, how often to you just get a moment?

How often do you really get to just sit there, with nothing pulling at you? The pause is exactly what gave the author just enough time to reflect and notice an amazing idea.

How many more ideas, creations, inventions, innovations, or just great adventures could you conjure up with more serendipitous or purposeful moments of pause in your life?

At this moment, I’m not done with the book but what I’ve learned so far is that, living in an exponential world, one that has blasted past our human capability to adapt and understand properly, is one of the major causes of increased social anxiety, loneliness, depression, isolation, and suicide.

This is a problem and the power of the pause is one element of a solution.

What if instead of thinking about your next move or your next time block, you just took moment to recognize if your present moment was something magical?

What if all of your present moments are magical? Maybe that’s not possible? You are bound to run into moments that you are not enjoying like talking to an energy vampire known as the negative Nelly.

How many missed opportunities have you had because you are just too damn “busy” with all kinds of things you think you need to do? You might not ever know the answer to that question.

One thing I have learned in my 38 years on this wonderful planet is that recognizing and being extremely aware of your surroundings can bring amazing opportunities right to your door step.

Fragmented attention, distractions of phones a dinging and bells a ringing, might be the culprit of missing out on what’s right in front of you.

I see it all the time in meetings.

As quoted by Dave Berry, “If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be “meetings.”

I agree and disagree with Dave. Yes, meetings can be a drag but what if they weren’t.

I’ve been on Zoom meetings where there are 30, 40, sometimes 50 or 60 people on there from all over the US. It is WAY easier on a zoom meeting to be super duper distracted.

Number one, you can turn your audio and video off and just passively listen. Number two, you can very easily do something else without anyone noticing.

What has the potential of brining 40+ great minds together to collaborate ends up being 3 or 4 minds collaborating with 36 minds 100% distracted and fragmented in their attention not playing full on!

I’m guilty of it and so are you! Don’t lie!

What would happen if you showed up to every meeting or seminar or class and made a declaration of playing full on! Participating, adding YOUR value proposition to the group! I’m all in, or I’m not in at all! I’m going pause my distractions. I’m going to plug my nose and dive right in.

I would challenge all of us that if we can’t participate at that level than it might be better to not show up at all?

Maybe coming to an event and just getting some residual knowledge that bounces off your ear drums and settles into one your brain synapses to later be discovered in a moment clarity is the answer? Doubtful!

You get in life, what you decide to put in. What you decide to contribute. Where you decide to add value. Where you decide to listen. Where you decide to pause.

What will you decide to play full on in today? Will you decide to be present? Will you be in 5 places all at once today?

Where will you decide to pause?

Stay Frosty and Grind On


If you enjoyed this, you might enjoy my podcast, the Grind! Check it out: http://grindpodcast.com