Go Fast Slowly in 2016

I have always sensed something exciting about the feeling of opportunity for a fresh start that the New Year brings.

It is a time to take stock on where you are at, appreciate how far you have come, and make plans for creating the next stage of your journey in life.

New clients often tell me how they have big dreams, but feel completely exhausted and have no idea how to reach them.

The first thing I do is help them identify where they have been pressing repeat on old ways of doing things, because often this is what has been holding them back from experiencing different results. As Einstein once said:

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

You may think that you are taking different action, but if the thinking behind your action stays the same, then the results won’t be any different.

The key is to uncover the things you have subconsciously been telling yourself year on year, that have been holding you back from truly following your passions and fulfilling your potential.

The thought patterns that routinely sabotage success for many of my clients tend to revolve around guilt about not doing enough, fear of not giving enough, and a compulsion to go faster, work harder and be better. Do any of these resonate for you?

Below I share a story from the Philippines that I came across during the holidays in a children’s book I was reading to my daughter.

Once upon a time a farmer went to gather melons from his field to take to market. He was excited when he discovered that it had been a good harvest and there were many melons for him to harvest.

It took the farmer a long time to fill his cart and it was nearly midday by the time he had finished. “GoMelonssh!” said the farmer, “I had better hurry or I will miss the market”. He set off with his donkey and decided to find a shortcut to save time. He remembered that is neighbor used a track through the forest to travel to the market, instead of taking the road. “I will try taking the track” thought the farmer to himself, “maybe that will get me there quicker”.

The farmer saw some children picking wild berries near the start of the track. He asked them how long it would take to get to the market if he went that way. “If you go slowly, the journey will take you about ten minutes. But, if you go fast it will take half an hour” replied one of the children.

“How silly!” thought the farmer, “the child must have confused what she meant”. He pulled the reins of the cart and commanded the donkey to go faster. Just as he did so, the front wheel of the cart hit a large stone and several melons fell out onto the ground. The farmer sighed and stopped to pick up the melons. They had rolled in many directions and it took him a long time to find them all.

The children walked past him carrying their baskets of berries. They were going very slowly to make sure that they didn’t drop any. “Oh dear!” the children said to the farmer. “You went so fast that your journey to the market has taken you a whole hour.”

The message of the story is that when we allow ourselves to slow down we can make more progress than by rushing everywhere.

Often the way we do one thing is the way we do everything.

What one thing could you change about your approach this year that would make the biggest difference and help you harness the energy of renewed possibility and potential that 2014 offers?

Make that change today!

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