Is living faster the only way?

If you measure your life by the number of items checked off your to-do list, this is for you. Do you wake up ready to do what it takes to cross off as much as you can before bedtime? Before the end of the year? Before age 30 or 40 or 50 (it changes with each birthday)? And all the way to the end of… What exactly? What really needs to be done? Is this what life is about?

Living faster is universally seen as normal. You get school done so you can get a real job. You get married and have all your kids close together so you’re out of the diaper phase, then school years. You rush through each workday so you can rush through dinner then rush driving your kids to hockey or soccer or swimming lessons. You keep going faster, hoping that one day in the distant future, you will be done. But done with what?

It’s the norm, but it’s not normal. There is another way to live, and it starts with realizing this: first, there is no end line; second, going faster means missing all the good parts right now. You’re not missing out on opportunities. You are missing out on real life: on what you have, right now.

Stop. Take a deep breath. Assess. Be aware. Going faster means you never get to enjoy what is, the moments that make up your life right here and now. Which is what our obsession with mindfulness is all about: we need to stop and breathe; to take a minute to assess; to make better and conscious decisions about what truly matters.

Enjoy your life as it is now. For now, take a minute to focus on what you want to enjoy in your life right now. Will it be your baby learning to walk? Your new job? Your new home? Sunshine as you drive to work? Instead of rushing through traffic or lunch, slow down and enjoy. This is your life. And speed doesn’t determine quality of life.


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