A Brave New Slow World?

Towards the end of the week we look forward to a couple of days when we slow down. It’s a nice thought until the weekend schedule kicks in. It might be that visit to the in-laws or providing the kids’ taxi service between activities. Maybe that special event that seemed weeks away only yesterday is now, and you still need a present. Whatever it might be Monday arrives and that little bit of time you set aside for yourself is gone, again. None of this has taken into account finishing off last week’s tasks or planning for next week. Where did the time go? If time were a currency, which in a sense it is, then we are all time poor. What happened? We accumulate skills, knowledge and wealth to different degrees yet there never seems to be enough time.

Perhaps the problem is that we are human! Nothing is going to change that anytime soon. The relentless thrust of bigger and better and faster is driven by our desire to compete. When it was once about having enough food stored for winter its now about consuming as many experiences as possible. It creates overwhelm for some and stress for most. It actually makes us slow down, we are unable to process all the information into something useful. When we do make a decision we find it is too slow or wrong or both. We have too much information and not enough focus.

Food For Thought

We can learn a lot from the way we approach our food. Today we can eat strawberries in mid-winter, spring lamb seems to be available year round. The Slow food movement that started in Piemonte delivers valuable lessons if we take the time to learn them. Basically, local ingredients are harvested as the season dictates creating wonderful dishes. It’s not about stewing that casserole into oblivion over a low heat! The key seems to be at one with natural time.

As coaches we learn to create space and time for our clients and we work hard to hold that space. That permission to think opens up what might be possible instead of worrying about the impossible. To look at situations differently or look at different situations creates a different mindset. Sometimes we should try really hard to create that space for ourselves. If not, how do we move forward? We all need our own space to think, re-energise and relax. Lilly Tomlin captures the mood, “for fast acting relief from stress, try slowing down”.