What did I learn when I slowed down and why is it important?

Hustling is never productive.

This might sound somewhat too categorical for a starting sentence, yet it is what it is. If you hustle too much there is a big chance you won’t get far. Another important facet is that hustling is rarely combinable with enjoying. You simply don’t have time for that. 

Multiple devices, screen overload, WiFi everywhere, multitasking… Goals, plans, challenges, achievements… Performance! Citius altius fortius, for crying out loud! Never ending “citius altius fortius” leading to stress and burnout at best. 

Already for years I have been practicing meditation and self-awareness. Even though I am rather a multitasker, I tried to avoid the unnecessary hustling. However, it is only now, after our third kid was born, that I truly get the value of slowing down… Before that I still failed to avoid unnecessary worries, running in circles and missing out. Yes-yes, my self-awareness helped spotting the problem, but didn’t help curing it.

What I realized was that it’s only when you truly pause and observe that you learn to appreciate. Deeply. Profoundly.

Appreciation in its turn opens up your why, your true purpose. 

Meditation already does wonders: it clears up your thoughts, it allows you to focus, removes anxiety and does many other great things. Still, only true slowing down allows you to fill yourself up with gratitude. When every single minute you are able to answer a question: “What is the most beautiful /amazing / inspiring / important about this particular moment?” — then you learn to truly appreciate life. 

It is then that you learn to walk through your life, spotting its beauty along the way and being grateful, so profoundly grateful, for experiencing every moment. 

Why does it matter in the life geared (or better skewed) so much towards tracked, benchmarked performance?

It doesn’t. For those fixed on mere tracking. However it does for you. That ignites the flame within, gives you an internal source of energy and inspiration and keeps you going where it truly matters to you.

Performance is needed. Achievements are great. Yet it is only appreciation that gives meaning, and it’s only by truly slowing down and observing, that one is able to learn appreciation.

Let me challenge you!

Just for five minutes (come on, you always have five minutes!) sit down, take a piece of paper and a pencil, and write down everything you are grateful for. Don’t overthink. Just write as it comes. Five minutes.

What’s on your list? 

And now — the difficult one:

what would you want to have on your list?… 

Guess what: your answer to the last question is in fact — the list of your most important goals in life.

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