Vail Daily column: In a hurry to go nowhere fast
Let me ask you a question: How much faster do you actually arrive at your destination by weaving in and out of traffic on the highway? The answer is that you probably arrive at exactly the same time, perhaps just a few seconds ahead, but no more, than if you hadn’t jockeyed for position and raced your way to wherever it was that you were headed.
More importantly, you would definitely arrive a whole lot less stressed out and anxious. Have you ever been waiting for someone and when they finally arrive and step out of their car they are actually huffing and puffing completely out of breath? You know the person in your life that is like this, right? They are always late and always in a rush but never seem to get anywhere without stress and a hurried approach. Can you imagine driving somewhere, anywhere under such duress that you would actually be out of breath upon getting there? It’s crazy.
I found myself this week being one of those “in such a rush”-type people. And the sad thing was, I really had nowhere to be immediately. And even worse, I wasn’t driving, I was walking. And tragically worse than that, I was walking out of church. I wish I could share that the sermon had me so fired up I couldn’t wait to go out into the world and evangelize the message, but that was not the case. Indeed it was a fantastic sermon – however, I was just in a mindless rush.
As I left the building and made it to the sidewalk, I found myself behind an elderly couple, my immediate knee-jerk reaction was to pick up my pace, take longer faster strides and pass them on the lawn. And then, for whatever reason, I heard the words “what’s the rush?” I slowed down, stayed behind the couple and took a breath. The morning was brilliant, the sky was cloudless and blue, and there were tulips coming up between the sidewalk and the grass that I was so ready to step on only seconds before.
The sky, the flowers, and the crisp Colorado morning air were benefit enough – you know, the kind of “stop and smell the roses” kind of benefit. But the real upside to my slowing down was quickly revealed as I looked ahead of me and saw this couple holding hands. Holding hands walking out of church, and walking ever so closely. The gentleman even reached over and kissed his bride on the cheek as they walked. I walked the 100 yards or so to the parking lot and there I witnessed as he opened the door and helped her into their car, stealing another quick kiss before he closed the door.
I have to tell you that I live for these moments and was so very embarrassed that I almost denied myself the pleasure and opportunity because of a self-imposed rush to go nowhere, fast.
Whether we are walking or driving, please consider this a simple reminder that maybe the best and most beautiful things in our lives are still ahead of us. And the more we rush to get in front of them, the more likely it will be that we will indeed miss the most wonderful and spectacular sites, sounds, and events that await us.
Thanks for all the emails – they are awesome, really. Let me know how you just might stop long enough to see and smell the roses waiting for you in your life at firstname.lastname@example.org, and together let’s make it a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of http://www.candogo.com. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.