‘Nature never hurries yet everything is accomplished’- Lao Tzu
But we humans are always in a hurry. We always want things to happen fast, don’t we? Especially when it comes to reaching our goals, our dreams, what we want to have and who we want to be.
You join a yoga class and you see no one else but your yoga instructor doing all the poses that you want to do someday and you too want to reach that stage fast, be able to do all those poses fast.
You finally decide to give your health a priority and start exercising and then you want to attain that perfect body fast.
Whatever our goals may be, we focus too much on the destination and get too eager for perfection. So when we realise that it is going to take a long time, it overwhelms us and makes us want to give up altogether.
But if you really want to be better, the greatest thing you can do for your growth is to simply allow yourself to go slow.
For this reason, here are some essential reminders that will enable you go slow:
1. Forget the end result
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As I already said, everytime we decide to start something new, we give too much focus on the end result.
This focus and glorification on the end result perhaps has grown ever stronger since the advance of social media where everyone seems to glorify what they have and what they do with little mention about how they have been able to get there. (With exceptions of only a few who really share their entire journey)
Our brains are always focusing on the end result and instead of inspiring us it begins to overwhelm us. “When will I reach that stage?”, “When will I have that?”, “it’s going to take a long time!”, “when will I be that perfect?”
But just give it a moment.
What if you didn’t focus on the end result at all? What if you didn’t focus on your actual goal at all?
You would then just allow yourself to learn, to experiment and to see how long it will take for you to reach where you want to reach without overwhelming yourself.
There would be no need to rush. You would then only simply enjoy the process and notice the little changes that take place slowly.
Maybe you will see no changes at all for a long time even, but because you are not focused on the end result, that won’t stop you from going on. You know that as long as you don’t stop, the end result will take care of its own.
Forgetting about the end result can be freeing. It is what will help you to really enjoy the journey and embrace growth by allowing yourself to go slow.
2. Don’t try to skip the journey, you can’t!
We look at those who have already attained the stage we want to be in- those who can already do all the yoga poses perfectly, those who already have the perfect body, those who are already successful in their business, those who are already great writers, singers, bodybuilders and everything.
But what we fail to reflect upon is how long it took them to reach there too. Here it is worthwhile to remind yourself that:
“Your favorite athlete’s first workout was just as bad as yours.
Your favorite chef’s first meal was just as bad as yours.
Your favorite artist’s first work was just as bad as yours. Keep going.”
They kept going. They didn’t skip the journey. And no matter what you do, you cannot skip the journey. Nobody can (unless you win a lottery)
And now, how do you embrace the journey?
You embrace it by allowing yourself to go slow, by allowing yourself to make mistakes and by documenting your learnings as you embark on your journey.
Journaling can be really helpful and beneficial in this.
And when you really embrace the journey, you wouldn’t mind how long it will take for you to reach your destination. You simply savour the learnings and your experiences and that’s how you grow. You grow when you decide to go slow.
3. Time will pass anyway
Another reason that stops us from growing is the fear that it is going to take a long time to reach the stage where we want to be in. So we give up midway. Many times we want to start something or learn something new, maybe join a new course but then start thinking that by the time we finish it or learn it, we will already be this much old.
And then we don’t do it. We go by society’s standards of what is considered the ‘appropriate age’ to do something or start something.
As for me, I had dropped out of college in my second year while I was studying economics honors. But then I decided to join college again taking a different subject (sociology, the subject which I now teach in college). Many who dropout don’t think of joining again because they think it’s already too late. They don’t want to study with juniors.
When I was in my second year of college the second time, my friends had already finished their masters degree. When I joined masters degree some of my friends had already started working.
My grandmother at home constantly used to give me pressure but I didn’t let it deter me. I was going slow but I somehow had faith in myself.
Well, what I want to say here is that had I not rejoined college again thinking it was already too late, thinking all my friends have already left me, time would have passed anyway.
Whatever you have started or wish to start, don’t let the length of time keep you from going on. Time will pass anyway. You will get old anyway.
I am so glad that I decided to re-join college again. I had learned from my mistakes from the 1st time and had promised my mother that I would give my best the second time. And that I did.
I just realised that this was one aspect of my life where I had embraced slow growth. I didn’t rush. I had faith in myself and I knew I would get there slowly. Now I am trying to apply this philosophy to other aspects of my life too and I wish for you to do the same too.
Let us go slow but keep on going.
Adopting the pace of nature,
let it open us and broaden our horizons.
Forward is forward.
Cheers! Thank you for reading!
Here is another article you might love so as to practice slow living
I Wish you a wonderful week ahead.