"Remember, it's not a race." I found myself saying this to my daughter the other day and when I said it I knew I had to share with you a story about how I went from rushing to cruising.
Before I met my wife I was always rushing; rushing to get to the store, rushing to reach my goals, rushing through life hoping to get there faster. While I have learned a lot about life from my wife, the biggest lesson I have learned from her is the practice of cruising.
Like a car in cruise control, my wife goes at her own steady pace. She eats her meals slowly, savoring each bite. She does the dishes on her own time, not my time. She never rushes to get things done but always manages to get everything done -- on her time -- at her pace.
While I used to view her way as slow and unproductive, which you can imagine led to many arguments, I grew to realize that she knew a secret that I didn't. Instead of letting society and other people, including me, rush her, she dictated her own pace. If the kids would oversleep for school, she wouldn't panic and rush them 90 mph to school as I would have. Instead she would simply bring them 30 minutes late and believe it or not, life still went on. The sun still set, the school didn't fall down and the kids still learned their alphabet.
I realized rushing really doesn't get things done quicker. While we may move faster or fidget more, we don't make up that much time to call rushing a productivity tool. In fact, research states that rushing leads to more mistakes and stress, causing us to work more. Rushing is also a main cause of energy drain.
Just as we use more gas when we try to weave in and out of cars to get to our destination faster, we also expend more personal energy when we rush. We spend so much energy rushing around we don't have any left when we get there.
It's like rushing to a vacation and not being able to enjoy it or rushing to receive a promotion and not being able to perform because of burnout. In contrast, when you put your life on cruise control you'll find that you'll have more energy every leg of the trip. You'll have more energy to accomplish your short-term tasks and long-term goals. When you cruise instead of rush you still get things done but without the panic and stress.
Cruising works and rushing doesn't because life really isn't a race. And when you think about it, if life was a race, would you really want to win? Wouldn't that mean you would just go through life faster than everyone else, enjoying less, seeing less and doing less? Like rushing through an amusement park, you really wouldn't get to enjoy the full experience. I often tell people at my seminars that if you continue to think life is a race, consider that the stress, frustration and depression associated with rushing just might push you to the finish line faster than all of your family and friends. Would you really want to win this kind of race?
When you find yourself rushing:
1. Say to yourself "Life isn't a race." Take several deep breaths and relax.
2. Pay attention to where you are and what you are doing now rather than thinking about what has to be done and where you have to be.
3. Say to yourself, "I have the time to get everything done that I need to get done. Everything always works out when I don't rush."
Make this a habit. If you practice these techniques often, they will become part of who you are. You will become a cruiser instead of a rusher.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
LongStreet Press, Inc. ©2003.
Energy Addict: 101 Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Ways to Energize Your Life
by Jon Gordon, M.A. (originally published in hardcover as: "Become an Energy Addict")
We are overstressed, overworked and overtired. The days are getting shorter while our to-do lists are getting longer. The pace of life gets faster and the demands increase. We attempt to fight back with caffeinated drinks and candy bars hoping to get it all done before we crash. This is false energy… but Jon Gordon gives us the real thing. Practical, common-sense, sometimes counterintuitive, Jon Gordon shows how we can become addicted to positive energy and habits, making small changes in our lives that will produce big results.
About the Author
JON GORDON is known internationally as The Energy Addict. Jon's seminars, newsletters, articles, radio and television appearances are seen and heard by tens of thousands of people each week. Jon's energy coaching has increased the energy of people from all walks of life. Jon has infused energy into organizations such as The PGA Tour, The Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Life, State Farm Insurance, The United Way, The Children's Home Society, Cingular Wireless and The Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. Visit Jon at his website: www.JonGordon.com
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