“Dad, why are people always rushing?”
This was a question my six-year-old daughter Zara spurted out as we were driving to school last week. On that day, we weren’t rushing to get to school. In fact, we were early. The question came from her constant observation of people in a hurry to get somewhere. The observation came from watching her Mum and Dad always in a rush. That question hit me at the core.
Why are we always in a rush? We toot the horn when the person in the car in front of us is a millisecond late in moving. We curse them if it’s longer than that. We rush from meeting to meeting to meeting without a break or pause. Why are we always running?
What happens when we stop running? When we stop trying to keep up. That fear of missing out, the constant need to keep up with the Jones’s, to keep in the loop. To feel that we have to be running all the time to keep up with everything. What happens? In a word, nothing. That fear of missing out. That fear is false. You aren’t missing out…especially in education. Everything has been around before in some iteration. That meeting. That meeting would go on without you. The thing we need to do more of is stopping. Letting things pass. Once you stop trying to keep up and let things pass, nothing changes. Often we are more relieved than anything else. Instead of focusing only on the destination, we can take stock of the journey.
Stopping and noticing is more important. Appreciating a moment by being present in that moment. Stopping allows us to step away from our the magnifying lens on our life and zoom out. It is in this zooming out that we notice new perspectives. New horizons. New ideas.
Being on a treadmill always going means that we lose sight of the things in our life that are important. What we need to do is to stop more. Choose when you rush. Be deliberate with where your energy goes.