Rushed and relaxed are nothing but an attitude.
Ok, I want you to imagine something.
Imagine you’re going for a walk.
(So 2020. In any other year, that’d be a silly thing to say. Now all of my Melbourne readers are like, “Oh yeah, I remember walks.”)
Anyway, this is not about nostalgia. There’s an important life lesson I want to try and get across here.
And it’s about the difference between rush and speed.
But anyway. We’re walking. Walk with me a little bit.
Now, if you’re like me, you’ve got two gears. There’s a kind of hustling, striding, quick walk.
And then there’s a slower, gentler, more fluid kind of walk.
Now the truth is, I actually like walking slowly. I like taking my time. I like feeling like there’s nothing to rush for – there’s no one waiting for me who can’t wait, no schedule or timetable I need to fit into, no agenda I have to be part of.
I love walking like this. Just taking my time. Relaxed and easy.
I love walking like this. But I generally don’t. Generally, I’m in a rush to get somewhere. I’m in a rush to meet my friends at the café, to get a quick bit to eat, to catch the next tram.
Whatever it is, I generally find that I’m rushing.
Now this is the proposition I have for you. Rush is a mindset. Relaxed is a mindset. And both mindsets are compatible with speed.
The mistake we make is thinking that speed has to always be a rush.
It’s not. Because what is a rush? Rush is where you are pushing every step of the process, trying to make it as quick as possible. You’re cutting corners, giving as little time to it as you can.
In a walk, that means not waiting til your feet hit the ground before you transfer your weight. It means not really driving out of the full stretch of your legs, including your buttocks. It means not allowing you’re body to swing and flow, keeping it rigid and linear instead.
But that’s a methodology – an approach to walking. And you could employ that approach in a quick walk, but you could also employ it in a slow walk. You can imagine – walking with a tight-arsed little shuffle, with small steps, not going anywhere fast.
Rush is a philosophy. Speed is a result. And they’re not necessarily connected.
Same story with taking it easy.
What is taking it easy? It’s about enjoying your movement. It’s about making full contact with the ground. It’s about walking with the full stretch of your body. It’s about giving every part of the process the time it needs.
Now, you can imagine that walk covering ground at a slow pace. But can you also imagine the same walk, but covering ground at a rapid pace?
You can. It’s possible.
It requires more energy and more commitment. You have to remain committed to every part of your walk, even as the pace increases. But it’s totally possible. And not only do you look great with your John Travolta slinkiness, it’s better for you body in the long run.
The point is rush is an attitude. So is relaxed. But neither necessarily equals speed.
Speed comes from out commitment to our task, not from our approach to doing our task.
And I reckon, wherever possible, we should be keeping it in taking it easy mode – which is really just another way of saying giving everything the time it needs, without cutting corners.
It’s a bit samurai. It’s a bit zen. It’s about a total commitment to a process.
But I reckon that if you can do this – if you can discipline yourself to hold this attitude – then you can achieve that rare and amazing state – feeling like you’re relaxed and taking it easy…
… while getting a whole lot done.