I had an epiphany yesterday: Hurry is why I worry.
I worry that I’m not getting enough done each day, I worry that opportunities are passing me by, and when I try to relax I worry that I’m wasting time. I live my life in a general state of feeling uncomfortably rushed.
Hurry wasn’t always my #1 cause of worry. I used to worry about whether I would accomplish my goals. But now that I know myself well enough, now that I know my passions and I know enough about motivation, it’s no longer a question of whether I will accomplish my goals. It’s only a matter of time.
I worry about how the business is going. Not whether we’ll reach our income goals, because I know we will, but whether we’ll reach them in time. There’s a ticking clock reminding me that if we’re not making enough to pay our bills by the end of 2009, I’ll need to go back to my day job or find another part-time job — to stop working on the business 100%. That ticking clock has been filling me with so much fear that it’s hard for me to concentrate on the positive. I forget how good it feels to help people and improve their lives. I forget how good it feels to receive a comment or an email saying, “Thank you. This post really helped me.”
I was rooted in fear instead of love.
If what it takes is to work part-time at a money-making job and work on the business the meantime, that’s what I’ll do. If what it takes is to work full-time at a money-making job and eke out little slices of time on evenings and weekends to work on the business, that’s what I’ll do. If what it takes is to cut our budget to make ends meet, that’s what we’ll do. When success is inevitable, your only remaining enemy is time.
The mantra I used to repeat to myself was:
I would rather fail happily than succeed and be miserable.
This reminded me to enjoy the journey, that life is like music. Life isn’t about the destination. I’m living this life because I want to do what I love, and being stressed out all the time is most definitely not what I love. But now that I’m in a mindset where it’s no longer about success vs. failure but instead about the time frame of success, here’s my new mantra to repeat to myself whenever the hurry-demons nip at my heels:
I would rather succeed after a happy decade than succeed after a miserable year.
If we wanted to work ourselves to the bone to solve our financial problems once and for all, we would have implemented the Four Hour Work Week strategy instead of making a career out of doing what we love. But we’re not doing that, because that’s not our primary goal.
Haste makes paste.
And by paste, I mean gallons of the icky, sticky kind of paste that gets under your fingernails, bogs you down, and sticks to the soles of your shoes like chewing gum.
This applies to everyday things as well as big life choices.
Slow down when you drive. It’ll only cost you a couple of minutes and will make the quality of your drive (and your life!) better.
Slow down when spending time with friends or loved ones. Spend some time connecting and just being rather than filling every minute with an activity.
Slow down your daily schedule. Pad it so you never need to hurry.
Slow down while working. Don’t let those deadlines get to you. Slowing down will help you do a better job as well as helping you enjoy yourself more.
Slow down while waiting in line.
Slow down when you make love.
Slow down when you walk. Look around you and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells.
Imagine a day like this. Imagine a day similar to a normal day in your life, but slower. You still do all the things you’d normally do, but you don’t hurry. You go about your day at a relaxed pace, smiling and savoring every minute of it. You’re not rushing to get to the end of the day or the week (what, so you can hurry again tomorrow or next week?), you’re enjoying the journey.
If that feels good to you, make it happen. Slow down. If you’re afraid that things will slip and bad things will come to pass if you stop hurrying, try one of my mantras on for size if either one feels true for you. “I would rather fail happily than succeed and be miserable.” “I would rather succeed after a happy decade than succeed after a miserable year.”
No hurry, no worry!
For me, I let go of my hurry (and my worry) by going with the flow of the universe instead of fighting against it. I don’t mean “going with the flow” as in “don’t rock the boat” or “sit on your ass,” I mean being aligned with my purpose and following my calling. When I’m aligned with the universe, things will happen when they need to happen. I’ll do my best to swim along with the flow, but I won’t fight against it. I think this is similar to what others call “Letting go and letting God.”
You’ll probably read another blog post after you read this one. Try reading it slowly. Read it word for word, calmly, savoring and enjoying each word, even if you don’t agree with it. Try it and see if it puts you in a more relaxed mindset. See if it helps you slow down.
I hope you have a lovely, joyous, slow day.