Ask yourself this: how often do you give yourself a break from all the crazy things in your life? We get so caught up with what's happening around us that we often neglect the need to breathe. We care so much about owning more that we end up beating ourselves thinking about how we are not good enough or how we should have done this and not that. Thing is, because everyone talks about life as chasing deadlines on a fast track, we ignore the importance one thing: slowing down.
I get it. We want a quick fix, we want a quick result because when we see ourselves one step or two steps behind someone else, we tend to feel like losers. We feel like we're not as good as our friends and that maybe we're doing things wrong. I know how you feel and I feel the same way too. I know what it's like to look at other people and wonder about why our situation cannot be as promising as theirs. I know what it's like to have that impatience and the frustrating urge to have more, achieve more.
Maybe it's the fact that we live in an era where everything is digital and instant and quick that we end up ignoring the intangible things we have to keep in mind. I have learned that instead of beating myself up, I'm going to slow down a little and tell you why it's necessary.
Life is not a competition
When you think about it, life isn't necessarily about competing against your friends, colleague or even strangers. Everyone moves on a different level of frequency (heh, that film reference though) and it's completely fine to move slower than the rest of the world. I know it sounds annoying but believe me when I say everyone carries with them a different speed level. You are not your friend or colleague or siblings, you are your own person and you carry your own pace. It's completely alright to move slower as long as you continue to push through because in reality, you actually do carry some progress within you. My best friend once told me that as long as you continue to move forward, it doesn't matter if you read slower, know slower or digest things slower than other people.
You're not a superhero, you're not The Flash or Barry Allen who has the capability to do 18297309 things all at once. Let's get real, you can't possibly memorize a hundred things in a span of one minute so why force yourself to achieve multiple things at the same time? When you force your mind like that, you're giving it less room to breathe. You will either crack under the pressure or you'd get a physical reaction (e.g. dizziness or nausea) and those will take a toll on your health. But, if you slow down, you're telling yourself "okay, I'm going to pause for a while, breathe a little and pick this up again later" and you might just have a clearer mind to complete what you have to do.
Terrible mood swings
This is self explanatory. If you have too many things in your mind, stress will come and invade your peaceful mind. No matter how calm you are, you can still be affected by stress. Trust me, I know. Plus, exhaustion and stress will turn you into a grumpy, gross-breathing ogre. It's not rocket science to understand how stress affects your mood, personality and verbal communication. I know that when let my mind race too much, I'm definitely going to turn into one of those flesh eating zombies.
Take a step back and appreciate
Ever feel like when you try to move fast, do things fast and achieve things fast that you end up ignoring the things you already have? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. The faster our surrounding gets, the bigger our urge to be just as fast and the lesser it is for us to read between the lines. What you and I both need is to take a step back, look at things as a whole instead of zooming in too close. Besides when you appreciate things more, you'd start appreciating your effort, abilities and maybe, treat yourself some ice cream next.
A reminder to yourself
To wrap all the bigger points I have stated above, here are a few things on what you and I should tell ourselves:
- "I can't do everything especially not all at once but I can still accomplish the essentials."
- "I may be slower but I'm not a loser. I don't need to duplicate other people's speed."
- "I live to survive as well as to enjoy love, not to compete."
- "I cannot change certain things but I can change how I perceive and react to them."
- "My loved ones deserve my best, not my leftovers." (source)
I am in no way a master of enjoying life and living in the moment but I'm trying to, especially when it comes to slowing down and appreciating the things I have. If you have more reasons on why you think it is necessary to slow down, feel free to add them in the comment.