Have you ever met yourself coming back and didn’t realize you had been there yet? Have you ever gone through a time when you felt your life was just out of control? The harder you worked, the less you got done; the more you tried to achieve, the more you found waiting for you around the corner.
Most who are high achievers or who have this strong desire to succeed find their #1 enemy is not time – it is actually pace. Each year, I take on five people and work as their mental coach for a year. One of my greatest challenges is to get them to slow down and move at a pace they can manage.
When I talk to them about slowing down, I always get this funny look that says yea, right. I am going to slow down. I am already so far behind I will never get caught up.
It is a major lesson for them to learn. The faster you move, the less mental clarity you have. The faster you move, the less calmness you bring to anything you touch. The faster you move, the more you open yourself to the negatives that will always be standing there waiting for an opening. The minute that opening is spotted, all the old negative tapes come racing through your emotions toward your mind. When those tapes hit, they will emotionally speed you up. At that moment, you will speed up, and control of what is happening is gone.
Think about this!! How many times has this happened to you? You were doing okay, and then, things just blew apart. It really wasn’t the issue you were handed. That was the event that opened the door to all the old tapes. When you stared at that situation, you gave your emotions permission to take over.
In my working with human behavior, here are the common events that can cause you to lose control and speed up:
• Crisis is handed to you and you accept it
• Order is lost and chaos sets in
• Negative conversation
• The issue comes back after you thought it was finished
• Refusing to adapt to what is now happening
• Others who won’t let go of an issue
• Layers of fears have never been faced.
If I came to your life and compared your life to these, would I find any of these are able to emotionally unravel you? How many of these can emotionally speed you up and take you away from your focus?
To achieve your best in life, how do you learn to design and maintain a manageable pace; one that allows you to respond, not react; one that allows you to manage your life, rather than your life managing you?
What must you do to manage your pace with patience?
Patience is the first key ingredient.
We have all heard that patience is a virtue. For most, it is a constant struggle. Sure – you have it, but it is only consistent when things are going your way. Let things not be moving at the pace you want or expect and watch what happens.
You will race in and take over. So many times, you will try to make things happen. It doesn’t matter whether the timing is right; you want it and you want it now! That means there is no longer order to what is happening; that means the future becomes more important than the present; that means the entire event is now out of sync.
You make the moment more important than the journey. All you see is what is not happening. All you hear is what is not. That will turn you from one who is thinking things through to one who is pushing their agenda, no matter the consequences.
Any journey demands a patient spirit that feeds your calmness and clarity.
Agenda management is the second key ingredient.
The agenda includes a realistic timetable. It includes all people involved sharing the same mission; it includes consistent communication; it includes monitoring the activities that are happening and making sure they are taking you in the correct direction.
The agenda becomes the direction manager. It is what you must focus on to make sure you are not on a detour and heading in the wrong direction.
The agenda also becomes the rallying point. It is that thing that can always take you back to center, calm you down, and refocus you on the clarity necessary to compete the journey.
Clear communication is the next ingredient.
This idea of clear communication and patience begins with you. You have to be sure you know what you are doing, why you are doing it and where you want this journey to take you. If any of the above is not clearly understood, you will be confused, and that confusion will steal your patience.
This clear communication extends to all who are involved in what is happening. Any point of confusion can cause a collision, and that will automatically speed the pace up.
Emotional calmness is the last ingredient.
I know I keep talking about emotions, but your emotions are the key to all that you do. Patience is not mental – your mind is always patient. If it weren’t, it would have transferred out of your head some time ago.
Patience is emotional. It is you controlling your emotions, rather than your emotions controlling you. The more emotional you become, the more dangerous you are to your life. Patience is one of the things that keeps you healthy and centered. Do you have patience?
Remember — any time you feel you need to speed up, it is a sign you need to slow down.