So stop defaulting to mindless busyness.
The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.
“Patience is also a form of action.” — Auguste Rodin
I experienced an extraordinarily shitty day of work this Friday.
Seriously, yesterday was a pure embodiment of stress. Competing goals, technical issues, unreasonable client demands, and a stressed-out staff all conspired to make the final workday of the week a formidable challenge.
When I have a day like this, I react like most people — I morph into a rusher. Busy, busy, busy. Hurry, hurry, hurry.
I have run scorching hot like that many times before — it is a common side effect of having a deadline-based, performance-driven career. Past versions of me would have reflexively fed into the toxicity, shoveling more coal into the emotional furnace until I overheated.
Karma was truly showing its ass. But when everything was decaying and my feelings had escalated into a frenzy, I did something counterintuitive.
I hit pause and cooled off for a moment.
No, I didn’t abandon my work tasks, start doomscrolling through social media, or fire up the Nintendo Switch. But I did stop feeding into the rush for an instant.
I breathed mindfully to get my wits about me. I took my foot off the accelerator and stopped reacting to everything in a kneejerk fashion. I pumped the breaks, came to a complete stop at the intersection I was approaching, and then proceeded to make the proper turn needed to get to my destination.
Choosing to decelerate when things are careening of control is the pinnacle of taking action.
Sometimes moving at a rapid pace is the proper choice — not getting bogged down in perfectionism or allowing courage to trickle away by jumping in and chasing your goals makes sense at those times. But often, moving at a rapid pace doesn’t help. You make everything urgent, skip over vital details, and do tasks in an “okay” manner instead…