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How Fast Are You Going?

Aug 18, 2007
It is so easy to be caught in the whirlwind of busyness that our lives spiral out of control. The days start to blur together and before you know it days turns into weeks and months turn into years. While you try frantically to get more done, your life is passing you. The demands of modern society means we are constantly driving ourselves that much closer to burn out. And yet how many times do we get a yearning to slow down our lives, to have a respite from the frantic schedules we create for ourselves. In 1985, physician Larry Dossey, in his book Space, Time and Medicine, coined the term "time sickness" to describe the illnesses that nag us because we believe we're in the race of our lives against a ticking clock. We use every product, day planner, appliance, and trick we know to win that race, even as we backfill more and more activities into our already busy schedules. According to philosopher Jacob Needleman, our frenetic pace of life is a "new kind of poverty." And it is killing us.

Amongst the backdrop of fast food, and fast pace there is now a growing movement that embraces the simpler life. The simplicity movement is more than just trying to live a frugal life. It's not just a matter of reducing clutter or saving money ... it's a matter of slowing down to enjoy life more, of savoring life's simple pleasures, of rejecting on some level the materialistic culture we are all caught up in and embracing fellow humans instead. It is about changing our values and priorities.

This no-rush attitude doesn't represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, productivity, perfection, with attention to detail and less stress. It means reestablishing family values, friends, free and leisure time. Taking the "now", present and concrete, versus the "global", undefined and anonymous.

If you feel that the time is right to embrace the simplicity approach to life then here are some simple tips:

1. Fight the technology itch. Technology has enabled many people to be constantly connected in. But there is also a grave downside. There is a growing number of people who are simply unable to unplug at home, with laptops, e-mails or conference calls keeping them working into the wee hours. To fight the technology itch you have to be willing to unplug yourself from work for at least a few hours a day. You have to be willing to believe that the world won't unfold around you if you don't answer that call or reply to that email that very instant. Most times it can wait, so give yourself permission to enjoy your personal time fully.

2. Take time to enjoy your food. One of the greatest pleasures in life is savouring a great meal. With more and more people rushing around during their lunch hour to squeeze in a meal before getting back to their work there is now what has come to be known as The Slow Food movement. It was founded as a resistance movement to fast food. It has since expanded globally to 100 countries and now has 83,000 members. The main objectives of the slow movement is to encourage people to eat healthier food options. So why not make every meal an opportunity to enjoy the conversation if you're dining with others, or peaceful solitude if eating alone.

3. Stop watching the clock. You don't need to schedule every moment of your life. Some things in life just aren't conducive to scheduling. Imagine trying to schedule time for your children when they come to you with problems. Instead of having your clock dictate the rhythms of your life, why not take the weekend as an opportunity to let go and chill. Let yourself be woken by your body's natural rhythm instead of the alarm clock and spend the day without your watch.

4. Take time our and relax. Organise a short day or weekend retreat every few months so that you can just escape your fast paced world. Approach it without a care in the world, leave behind your cell phone and work commitments. Just spend it in nature or a small slow paced town and just enjoy the world go by. You will be surprised as to how much you will feel rejuvenated and more productive when you come back to work.
About the Author
For the young at heart, find inspiring and motivating articles for every aspect of your life. For more information visit: http://www.4evayoung.com
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