I'm not sure if it was the financial economy, personal greed, or sheer ignorance, but for my whole life and many decades before, people have been living fast paced and unintentional lifestyles. I too am guilty of losing the purpose and becoming fixed on the finish line. Goals and aspirations often transcend the journey, they distract you from enjoying life right now. I write about this because I'm passionate towards making a change and believe many people could do the same thing.
I have been home from Europe for about just two weeks and already the sense of urgency has returned. In any spare moment I had (which were few) I felt this obligation to start something else, text the next person to see, or fill my time with any sort of productivity. I felt this need to be doing, constantly. For some reason, my return was met with the subconscious avoidance to just be still. Though the concept may seem simple, the majority of people would be extremely uncomfortable just "being." Most don't even know what that really means.
Acknowledgement was started a decade back with yoga and meditation, but even those mechanisms have been quickly morphed into business propositions, money makers, and economic entities. Human needs are constantly marketed, losing their purpose in the making. Authenticity becomes dulled and profits become priority. Money is time and time is the most valuable thing we own.
Vaguely speaking, we are all in a rush. Whether it be to finish school, grow in our career, financially excel, start a family, or have the freedom we deem appropriate, we are all trying to get somewhere. Goals are good, my anxiety has brought me far places, and high expectations are a great way to become motivated, but there is also lack of appreciation in constant motion. This lifestyle puts us in a state of stress. We are not built for this. Our hearts, digestive system, level of fatigue, mental clarity, and overall health suffer when we don't decompress, when we push too hard, when we don't ever stop.
Despite the obvious physical concerns, hindsight tends to agree. Look back. Think about how many moments passes before they even sunk in. Think about how much has gone unnoticed, how little thanks you gave, how quick it all seems to be passing by. Fast paced living ignores the little things. We become fixated on tangible things and markable success. Our values, superficial, basing worth on performance alone.
Whoever said faster was better could have a lot of great arguments. It is necessary to participate when you want something bad, when you aspire to meet a self imposed standard. But, what I'm suggesting is to meet that choice with an equal goal of peace, presence, and contentedness. Just as I want for myself, I want others to feel their life as it happens. I think acknowledgement and understanding of situations can do great good for evaluating the good and bad, for cleaning out the gutters of your life, and for making a plan going forward. Being mindful of your own actions is crucial to being fulfilled.
So, my advice is to slow down. This voice telling you it all has to be done now, isn't real. Like an eating disorder or an inner critique - it's unhelpful noise and you can tell it to go away. You can be the narrator of your own life instead of falling prey to another.
This need to be doing, the exaggerated productivity, it's not sustainable. This is why some of the most well paying, high profile, intense careers end with burnouts. I advocate hard work and dedication, but I advocate for taking a step back too. I advocate for experiencing your life instead of letting it run you by.