Maybe it’s just me but aren’t we conditioned for Fast. Instant. Now.

Microwave generations where waiting isn’t an option. Slow isn’t in our vocabularies.

From friends to careers. Church place to the school house. Organizations and people are all susceptible to this way of living — of thinking.

A mentality of sacrificing it all on the altar of excellence/drive/hustle/dream (insert any buzz word for productivity or grind here — they’ll all work).

It’s a human condition that if not kept in check, evaluated and offered up for critique (from people other than yourself) can literally overtake us. Infect our jobs, lives and organizations all under the veil of something that may sound well intentioned.

A vision so big that it leaves a pile of people in its wake. Innocent of course. No one intentionally chooses ideas over people or careers over relationships? Perfection over grace, drive over empathy?

Or. Do. We?

Have you?

Have I?

Funny how a little slowing down with a healthy dose of reflection can reveal many things about ourselves.

Maybe that’s why we don’t do it.

Or if we do, we relegate it to the start of a new year or some resolution that lasts three weeks then fades into the now and the urgent.

Take a moment today to just stop. Slow your mind (pro tip: it’s not easy, so try and then try again).

Slow your roll (which philosopher said that 🤔).

Take a breathe. Think twice before responding. Don’t hit send on that email, text, facebook comment or for the love of God that tweet (thinking of someone here…)

Stop over editing your life to some picture perfect example of what you think others want to see. Those opinions don’t matter. They don’t care as much as you think they do (ouch, that one even hurt me).

Life is messy. Embrace the dirt, lean into the hurt. Learn from it. Evaluate. Make course corrections.

When you are moving so fast you don’t slow down enough to see where you’ve come from. How do you expect to have any intentionality of where you are going. Sure, stumbling through life is one option. But is it the best one?

Looking back can be dangerous to our health if that is all we do. Ever met that person that can’t stop talking about what it used to be like.

They can’t move on because they haven’t learned from where they’ve been. Stuck would a good verb to insert here.

I prefer to look at it this way:

everything we have been a part of or gone through or experienced plays into who we are today. In a beautiful way — if we can look at it that way.

It’s all about perspective. The past can be that…the past. Something to be ignored, denied or purposely forgotten (pro tip: you can’t forget it).

Or you can look at it, at all those experiences and fun, mistakes or pain — the good, the bad and the ugly as the very things that made you who are today. Without them you couldn’t be the real you.

Broken? Sure. Strong? Hell ya. Fearful? At times.

The wonderful thing about this shift in mindset is you start to apply it to your entire life. You stop striving for perfection and learn to love the process. A process that is unique to you. Does your path like look like the rest? No?FANTASTIC.

Stop seeking approval from those you believe have your best intentions but really don’t.

We humans are very hard on ourselves. And we are quick to believe the person/leader/boss who holds a critical view of us. What do they know about you? Like really know?

You know you. You matter, you have the ability to grow and learn and change and transform. Only you. No one else can do that for you.

The irony of slowing down and evaluating is it will spread to those around us. You will be a better person, dad, mom, employee. As we focus less on those opinions of us and more on the health in us there will be results.

Empathy, love, kindness are all hard traits to exemplify and even harder to live out in daily practice. This is because those who wronged you or hurt you deserve to know right? Feel the pain they have caused right?

I don’t have the answer to that fully. I just know the times in my life as I get stuck on being “right” I also get stuck focusing on all the wrong things that won’t truly better myself in tangible ways.

You know the truth — You know what is needed to grow and progress and get stronger in whatever way you need this day. Stop putting it off or making it bigger than it needs to be. Stop introducing busyness and noise into your life in an effort to combat your mind or thoughts.

Embrace it. Remember it. Change it. And when you forget, slow down a little, even for a few moments to clear your mind.

And if needed remember the wise words of Dr. Seuss:

“The people who matter don’t care and those that care don’t matter”

Think. Invent. Take Risks. Make mistakes. Grow. Create.

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