If you’re serious about creating what you want in your life + work, there’s one thing that’s clear. You’ve got to be willing to own your own path, to embrace your own experience.
That’s a simple thing, but it’s not always easy to practice.
It’s often simpler to be swayed by others, by what’s easier, by what’s popular, what’s familiar, what we think “works”. By the rules we’ve learned. By so many other things.
I believe this has a lot to do with rushing through our experiences.
One of the tenets that I coach around (and that has changed my own life quite significantly) is my philosophy of “dream it, design it, live it.” It starts with knowing yourself, what matters to you, and what your real goals are. And my experience is that all of that is near impossible when you’re rushing through your experience of life.
It’s hard to know what you want out of the journey when you’re only focused on the destination.
For example, I love to get out into nature and hike. I enjoy the physical exercise of hiking, but it’s not really about that to me. I hike at a reasonably active pace, but I am not fast. I don’t care to be. The workout is not my goal. It’s not important to me to “make good time,” to compete, or rush to the end of the trail. I’m not bothered by keeping up with someone else or pushing myself too far just so that I can say I did that.
For me, hiking is all about the multi sensory mind-body experience of being active, enjoying the beauty of nature, listening to the birds, spending quality time with others, having a healthy lunch in a beautiful place. I have great creative brainstorms and interesting conversations when I’m out on a trail. I like feeling pleasantly tired at the end of a long day.
I own this experience on the trail, going at my pace, taking photographs and stopping to enjoy the view. And a result, hiking is an activity that I find deeply nourishing on all levels.
When we rush through life, we miss so much.
It’s hard to own your experience when you’re not even experiencing it in the first place. Here are some of the most common places where a little less rushing and a little more experiencing can move us closer to creating what we really want:
- Taking time to experience life’s small moments, instead of rushing past them in service of doing, doing, doing.
- Noticing– and appreciating– the journey instead of focusing only on the destination.
- Listening, really listening, rather than simply waiting to speak.
- Acknowledging where you are and where you want to go, instead of pretending there’s no gap (when there is) or that you can’t get there (when you haven’t tried).
- Stopping to celebrate an accomplishment instead of blowing past it on the road to the next challenge.
- Sitting with discomfort, uncertainty and uncomfortable emotions long enough to identify what you’re really feeling, instead of ignoring or stuffing them down.
- Appreciating what’s working and experiencing gratitude instead of focusing on what is going wrong.
- Setting boundaries around the experiences you wish to have, rather than always going along to get along.
- Keeping yourself “too busy” to define for yourself what it is you really want
Are you rushing your experience of life? Are you owning the experience you wish to have? What adjustments would you choose to make?