5, Issue 3 – July 2004
Does Faster really make Better?
by Victoria Castle, IWL Coach
Since the words we use can directly influence our experience , I'm for firing a few of them : 'hurry', 'rush', 'scramble', and 'urgent' for a start. Rather than making us more effective, they usually just turn us into manic jugglers . The root word for 'hurry' was originally a term meaning 'to ravage or plunder. ' To 'hurry' someone was to weaken their state and make them easily defeated.
There is no question we are moving at a faster and faster pace that requires a new way of being . The way of being that promotes greater effectiveness and greater fulfillment calls for discernment about how to use our energy and attention in any given moment.
Here are a few symptoms of The Hurried . Note the ones that are familiar:
- only giving partial attention to the person you're talking to
- planning for your next meeting while you're in the current one
- eating your lunch at your desk while doing e-mail or paperwork
- not finishing your exhale before gasping for the next inhale
- feeling like you are always behind and everything is urgent
- gripping the steering wheel so you'll get there faster
- waking up with your head already swarming with your To Do list
- skipping the very practices that support your well-being , like exercise
- forgetting to celebrate victories or completions
- taking yourself too seriously - losing your sense of humor
Here are five elements of discernment to practice:
- Know and respect your capacity . How often do you say "Yes" to something because you think you should or because you don't want to miss out when you are already stretched? To decline is not the act of a wimp! It shows a commitment to the project being successful and you knowing you are not the right person or this is not the right time for you to take it on.
- Know what really matters to you. Given all that is in front of you, where's the highest priority and biggest return for your investment? It's not about symptom relief, rather attending to root cause. What will generate the most essential results and conditions for the future you want ? And who is the right person for the job? Hint, it isn't always you.
- Cultivate alliances and networks so that you have ready access to ideas, different points of view, and thought partners. It may be co-workers, professional organizations, and other members of the IWL community. Don't let the Lone Ranger syndrome keep you isolated. If you don't have a list of at least 5 people you know you can call, start developing it.
- Attend to your energy level and give yourself what you need. When really tired or pressed, talk a few deep breaths and exhale all the way. Talk a walk, even five minutes can make a difference. Drink water. Stretch. Interrupt what you're doing, go look out a window, think of someone you love and then come back to the project. Pretending we don't have needs is too much like the Stepford Wives ideology. You, at the top of your game, are worth five of you when you're dragging.
About the author
- And finally, take pleasure in your day . That doesn't necessarily mean adding different things to it. Engage in what you do differently. Feel the warmth of sunlight coming through the window while you're driving, enjoy the luxury of wearing really comfortable shoes, and savor a rich conversation with a friend. Stop just long enough to get present to your life. You can either look at things, or you can really see them. Seeing them allows you to feel them and have them as part of you. Your days get richer and so do you.
Victoria Castle is a Seattle-based coach, consultant and an IWL coach, who works with executives and business leaders to make their most potent contribution to their organization and to the human community - and to thrive while doing it. No suffering allowed! Her book, 'Embodied Abundance,' will be published later in 2004. Email Victoria.
IWL offers follow-on coaching for IWL alumni. Please contact IWL at 650.556.8800 for information.