slow down and live fully

slow down and live fully

“All things will be clear and distinct to the man who does not hurry; haste is blind and improvident.”

― Livy

Rushing is in vogue right now. If you’re not rushing, if you’re not busy, people don’t take you seriously. People advise you, “If you want to survive in this world, you have to move fast.” Employers tell you, “If you want this job, you have to be good at multitasking.” Delusional time management gurus and coaches instruct you, “If you want to accomplish more and enjoy greater success, you must work tirelessly and get as many things done as possible.”

You look around, and you see people rushing everywhere. You see office workers rushing through their meals. You see cars rushing through traffic. You see parents rushing to finish their kids’ homework and getting them to bed. They’re in constant motion. No time to smile. No time to sit. No time to talk or make calls. No time to reflect on the day. No time to develop themselves. 

There are endless tasks to be done, endless things to be taken care of. There’s always somewhere to go to, and the faster you act, the better. 

But the truth is “rushing” has become nothing short of an epidemic. And it’s not a new occurrence that we humans have suddenly been exposed to. It existed in the ancient world, it exists right now, and there’s a good chance that it’ll continue to exist in the future as well. 

We all have a finite time on this spinning orb. And we must quit running away from this truth. Life is too short to be lived in a fast-forward motion. Slow down, take deep breaths and savor the wonderful moments that you have been given. 

Haste never leads to anything good. In his book The Bhagavad Gita For Daily Living, Eknath Easwaran writes, “Hurry makes for tension, insecurity, inefficiency, and superficial living. To guard against hurrying through the day, start the day early and simplify your life so that you do not try to fill your time with more than you can do… In slowing down we should attend meticulously to details, giving our very best even to the smallest undertaking.”

Replace multitasking with one-pointed attention. When you try to do more than one thing at a time, your attention gets divided, your consciousness gets fragmented, and your joy gets diluted. When you read, just read. When you eat, just eat. When you talk to someone, just talk to them. Whatever you do during the course of your day, little or big, give that thing your complete and focused attention. 

As Easwaran guides, “Everything we do should be worthy of our full attention. When the mind is one-pointed it will be secure, free from tension, and capable of the concentration that is the mark of genius in any field.”


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