KNOW WHEN TO SLOW DOWN…


April 26, 2010. It’s Monday! I woke up at 5AM only to sleep again. I thought I was too early for my 7:58 train. Actually, I got used to taking the 8:38 and 8:58 trip so I was not worried at all except that if I don’t make the trip at 7:58, I will surely miss the 8:24 shuttle to the office and pay for a cab instead. Taxi is expensive here! I pay P800 for a 5 minute ride!  Life is timed here and time is gold indeed!

I woke up again 30 minutes before 7:58 and I thought I would not make it because I spend quite a long time usually at the shower. I try to sweat myself inside the bathroom with the hot steam from the shower to mimic a sauna. I also had to spend 10-15 minutes fixing my curly hair. Tsk. So I sat and took my favorite snickers bar, a glass of milk for my cereals plus 4 sliced bread and marmalade.

Not wanting to rush, I decided to wait for 8:38 or 8:58 instead! I tuned in at CNN to check for the latest news then moved to Discovery Channel for American Chopper! While doing so, I had to check for emails and updates at my Facebook! Thus, time flew too fast and unnoticed that before I even knew it, it was already 8:00! Well, I thought I’ll catch 8:58 instead because 8:38 is too soon!

Not wanting to miss the next train, I rushed to do all my morning rituals, prepared my clothes and took a shower. By 8:38, I was ready to leave for the 8:58 trip. Unfortunately, the show was too good to miss! Besides, it was raining hard that I told myself to just wait for 9:38 trip instead! What a lame excuse! I realized that having to rush is useless since I have no deliverables and no reason at all to run.

Thus, I sat on my bed and enjoyed the out-takes of American Chopper until it was 15 minutes before 9:38! I had to walk for 10 minutes so I decided to move! It was raining and I arrived 5 minutes before the train. I was able to finish the show had a relaxing walk down the train station less the pressure. With this, I boarded the train with a smile! Besides, delivery merits more than attendance in my job!

Normally, this should not be practiced as I would always go for punctuality. I am just lucky that I have no urgent deliverables yet and that I have a result-oriented job that is not too much focused on attendance. Nonetheless, I would still say that TIME IS GOLD! Anyway, this simple day-to-day clumsiness and blunder has a lesson to share – to take life in an adaptive approach.

Things do happen! No matter how hard you try to perfect things, there will always be a glitch. I do not say that preparation is useless but it is a fact that we can only plan but we can never dictate reality. It’s unpredictable! Remember the story of Stripes and Yellow? If not, then google and read HOPE FOR THE FLOWERS by Trina Paulus. There you will realize why we need to take it slow!

In my own personal point of view, we need to learn to take things as they come. We need to be adaptive instead of being by-the-book. If you cannot climb the ladder of success today, do it tomorrow! Do not push yourself too much. It won’t help. When you feel that running after something that you know you can’t catch is futile, slow down and take a break.

Slowing down does not mean you are quitting! You just need a break! You need to breathe! We all need to slow down to recover and revitalize. We need to recharge! We need to pause so we can review all the learning and patch the plan as needed. What’s the use of rushing when the train that has already left? Why not  just sit back and wait for the next one while enjoying a bar of Snickers and a bottle of soda?

Take it from me!