Last time we wrote about the importance of setting specific goals, and this month’s blog offers an important caveat.
When I am energised by a goal I am seeking, a project I am passionate about, and I have the bitÂ between my teeth, I have a tendency to want to mow down every inefficient force along the way, forgetting to see the flowers, smell the coffee, and hear the birds.Â Anyone with me?
My sons and I like playing games together.Â On a particularÂ morning, Laurie had chosen ‘Snakes & Ladders’, and we set off with a smile.Â But as the game wore on, and we fell into a rhythmÂ of going up the ladders and down the snakes, I felt increasingly frustrated.Â I mean, on this particular board, there are four snakes on the top row! What are the chances?!Â
Thankfully, something in the back of my mind said “Hey, let’s re-frame.Â Stop trying to win (or end the game so we can play something more satisfying!)Â What if enjoying this time togetherÂ isÂ the goal?”Â I am so glad I listened to that voice.Â If I hadn’t, I would have missed 6 year-old Laurie beat-boxing as he moved his way up the board.Â Then, as he climbed up a ladder, shouting “Man oh man, you’re going down-town!”Â
As Robin Williams says in the film, Good Will Hunting – That’s the Good Stuff.
As I work towards my goals, I must remember not to rush ahead.Â Â As the Salmon Swims upstream, leaping and gliding, the light of the sun reflects off their scales in wondrous patterns and colours.Â It reminds me of the scene in the film,Â Chariots of Fire, where Eric Liddel is explaining to his sister why he runs: “God made me fast.Â And when I run, I feel His pleasure.”Â Â
You may have been made fast, but do you get to enjoy the process, the pleasure?Â Â
I love the painting above: ‘Mary’ by Jenna Burne (www.JennaBurne.com)
It helps me to stop and breathe.Â To go slow and enjoy theÂ moment.Â Â It speaks to my tendency to ignore the beauty of the process, and just… let it be.
I also love that we can’t see whatÂ her hands or feet are doing.Â Â
She could be busy at a computer, thinking about a problem, chopping vegetables for dinner, listening to a podcast, or preparing for a difficult conversation.Â But she does business from a place of serenity.Â It’s the opposite of the swan paddling analogy.Â She may look busy on the surface, but inside she is calm because she is pacing herself. What a girl!
In my planner I have a ‘habit tracker’, and I haveÂ included a number of daily practices designed to help me slow down:
Self-Care; Play the piano; Cuddle the bunnies; Waste half an hour
If you are similarly wired, what could you incorporate into your daily scheduleÂ to help you to slow down and smell the coffee?
If you have enjoyed thinking about this concept, we recommend listening to this talk from the GiANT platformÂ ‘Mindset Lessons from a Vineyard’Â (30 mins), from which I took the title of the Mailing: Enjoy the Process!
Do reach out and let us know what you do to Enjoy the Process… We would love your Words of Wisdom.
Until we speak again… Keep Swimming Upstream!