Life is short. We don’t know when it might end. At the same time, we are busier than ever, bombarded by constant stimuli in a culture that encourages more- more productivity, more consumption, more…
What are we racing towards?
Do you want to be racing to life’s end?
I want to be with you in conversation, not thinking about what’s next. I don’t want to have one of the top five regrets of the dying. In fact, I’d rather not have any regrets at all.
Life’s too short to rush.
As a medivac pilot, it’s important to be efficient. I don’t rush. I’m deliberate about my actions and aim for no wasted motion to get us off the ground and headed towards our patient as quickly as possible. Rushing leads to mistakes.
How do we slow down in the hurry-up world that we live in?
How to Stop Rushing and Savor Life
1. Create a structure for mindfulness. For some of us this might look like a formal mediation practice. For others it might be attending a religious service. But mindfulness isn’t just for the cushion, the church pew or for debriefing as a crew. Mindfulness is something to cultivate throughout our day.
Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, shares his findings about creating and breaking habits. If we want to be more mindful (or insert the habit your are trying to instill) we need to identify a cue or trigger for the habit.
For better or worse, my phone is the object that I most interact with during the day. I’m using it as my trigger to be mindful. I consider: What am I doing? Am I checking Facebook or playing Letterpress or scanning the news as a means to connect or as a means to avoid? or numb? Then I breathe, look out the window and take a moment to savor.
What could you use as a trigger to remind yourself to slow down?
2. Schedule “Unscheduled Time.” In our busy go-go-go world we may race from one thing to the next all day long before we flop into bed exhausted. We need unscheduled time to create. In the moment, I often tell myself “I don’t need a break.” This may be true, but by the end of the day I’ve overdone it. Be fierce and schedule time to do nothing and recharge. Go for a walk. Talk with a friend. Whatever rejuvenates you.
What would be possible if we didn’t let ourselves get so drained?
3. Change your language. We know changing our language changes our mindset. Catch yourself saying these phrases:
- If only ____ .
- When ____ happens, then I’ll be happy.
- Someday I’ll _____.
- If I just get this done then ____.
- Once I get this (done, achieved, finished), ____ then I’ll be happy.
Tara Brach offers this question:
What’s between you and true happiness in this moment?
Oftentimes it is nothing other than acknowledging, “I’m happy.” Savor the moment- what ever it brings.
What helps you slow down and savor life? Share in the comments.
Photo credit: nimble photography