Counter intuitive Truth:  Slow Down to be Faster

Uncategorized Mar 02, 2022

Our culture puts a prize on speed and quickness.

In order to get more done, we are told: GO FASTER.

Work harder.

Do More.

You’ve all been there.

Who hasn’t believed in the giant myth that to get more done you simply must put in more hours?

Usually that means less sleep.

Less working out and eating crappy.

Less fun.  Less Play. Less Connection.

It never works.

Or rather, it never works for us. 

It’s obviously not sustainable but you are too busy to notice, right?

It is a recipe for burn out.

You might have been there too.

You might be headed there now.

The first time I was told to slow down to speed up, I was a 38 year old female competing with a bunch of 22-25 year old guys who were faster, taller, bigger, stronger and much younger.

My Lieutenant called me over during my firefighter training and told me that if I wanted to go faster, I would need to be smoother.  To be smoother I needed to slow down.

SLOW DOWN?!!!

Did I hear that right?

Speed is everything as a firefighter.

If I performed a task too slow, someone could die.

Literally.

I was at the firefighter training academy. It was cold and raining sideways.

Seattle has a special rain mechanism that somehow defies gravity. 😊

We were all tired, wet and miserable.

Our task consisted of pulling a 75lb load of hose above our heads on the top bed the fire engine, running with it across one shoulder while laying it out to a fire hydrant 100’ away, making connections at both the hydrant and the fire engine.

Running in knee high rubber boots feels like running with flip flops sized for your big brother.

Quickly manipulating the covers on the fire hydrant and making connections with hands encased in firefighting gloves felt like Edward Scissor hands trying to button his jacket. The ends of your fingers are an inch or more away from the tip of the glove making fine motor skills a joke.

Wearing firefighter gear (bunkers) feels like wearing a big oven mitt made for bigger guys with the crotch of your pants closer to your knees than your crotch.

Nothing about this equated speed.

Nothing.

Slow down to be smoother.  Smoother makes you faster.

Make every action intentional and focused.

Slowing down made ZERO sense.

ZERO!

Each exercise as a firefighter is timed.  If you don’t make the time, you fail.  Failure means you are out.  Fired.  Done.

I tried it.  I did something different.  I changed my perspective.

I slowed down.

Eventually I became smoother and faster.  😊

It sounds counter intuitive to slow down to speed up.

It sounds counter intuitive that to find more time to do what’s important to you, you’ll need to slow down.

It sounds counter intuitive to take a day “off” to create more time in your life.

I don't fight fires anymore.

Slowing down to speed up hard.  And it is even more important now.

EVERY TIME I host a weekend workshop, my clients tell me they don’t have time to attend.  They are too busy.  Those same very busy clients that attend anyway, ALWAYS ask me to do more retreats saying that slowing down is exactly what they need!

I am hosting a single day workshop in Seattle, March 25 for a small group of ambitious and successful leaders and entrepreneurs who want more time to do what is important in their life. Would you like to join us? Let me know ([email protected]) and I will send you the details.

 

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