Yesterday morning, I was feeling a familiar urge. I wanted to begin the process of writing a book proposal and the details for this were a hundred pages ahead in the book I was reading. I thought, “I can just browse ahead and get to that part NOW”.
I was stopped in my tracks. What was the urgency that was pushing me ahead? Why was I not peaceful to let the experience of this conversation with the author unfold rather than push ahead to get a “fix” for my restlessness?
This question put me into a state of reflection. Wherever I look, I find so many who are rushing here and there. They are on the Internet searching everywhere; getting lost from their original destination by the distraction of its endless possibilities. They are rushing to their jobs; alone in cars with their stress levels rising by the moment. They are impatiently rushing past their family upon arrival from work; looking for the TV Guide for tonight’s best reality program.
Walking around, looking ahead, I seem to be missing out on what is right in front of my eyes. Have I always been this way? I’m not completely sure, but I sense the answer is “for a long time.” This restlessness has been the force behind my drive to excel at creating venture after venture. What is the longing?
I pondered some more and heard that old voice again, “If you don’t move fast you are going to lose out.” What will I lose out on, I wondered? “You will lose out on being first, and you know that those who are successful are always first.”
So being first or at last at the front of the pack is pushing me forward. Its engendering the continuous impatience. I am reminded of the tortoise and hare story. I guess I never really believed that.
This impatience has created problems. I will sometimes act without consideration for the consequences. This leads to starting things that I don’t complete because of the impact in terms of money or other resources, such as time. It can also get me off in the weeds, so to speak. I get involved in things that aren’t in my “best interest”.
What can I do? Take a breath when I hear that old voice urging me “to skip to the end of the book.” Implement the 24-hour rule – don’t act on anything important sooner than 24 hours after I think it’s a good idea. Finally, remember that having a few extraordinary experiences is far more valuable that a lot of ordinary ones.