“We jumped into the taxi and requested for the driver to take us from the airport to our hotel. The driver agreed and we set off on our way. It was what some might call, the taxi ride from hell. For some unknown reason the taxi driver on this particular day seemed to be in an unusual rush. As we sat in the express lane for most of the ride, I noticed the driver was well over the speed limit clocking speeds of up to 140kmph…not to mention tailgating other cars and weaving in and out of traffic. We were going so fast that I was completely stressed out and scared for my life. The scenery was a blur and there was no way I could possibly enjoy the journey.”
Do you ever feel like sometimes you’re riding in the express lane…the express lane of life? Going so fast that everything feels like a blur? I can honestly say that many periods in my life have felt like this. Retrospect is a great rear view mirror! Looking back I can see why I was feeling that way. Here are some of my lessons, you may be able to relate:
Busy, Busy, Busy
Working long hours made it seem like there was no downtime, early mornings, work all day, home late, restless sleep then the same thing all over again the next day. Work was so busy that I’d eat at my desk. Weekends I over committed – working on side projects, domestic chores, going here then there. To add to it there were family dilemmas that needed sorting out…it was exhausting! My tyres started to burnout and I realised that life as I knew it was not sustainable.
Living for tomorrow
I’d always been very goal oriented, and though having goals can be a positive thing, for me it meant I was always thinking and planning ahead. I wasn’t content with what I had because I always thought I’d be happy when I reached my goal. And so I put pressure on myself to try to reach my goals quickly. This didn’t help as it got to a point where I started feeling like I was always living for the future and wasn’t taking the time to enjoy the present…I wasn’t enjoying the journey.
Needing to be in control
Everything always had to be part of a plan, it couldn’t just be. If something was out of my control it stressed me out. I couldn’t just live one day at a time, everyday I had to be in control, doing something that was working towards a longer term plan…until one day I realised that things weren’t always going to go to plan.
My priorities were fairly material and so I was always striving for something. Family was important but there were competing priorities. It wasn’t long before life happened and I found myself quickly re-jigging my priorities.
It took a few “moments of truth” in my life to realise that I wanted to get out of the express lane. I know now that I don’t want to rush through life anymore. I want to take my time and enjoy the journey with the people that matter to me most.
You and I are not immortal! If you only get once chance to live, make it count – just as important, make sure you enjoy the journey. Your goals may not need to change, but slowing things down a little and taking life one day at a time will make you less likely to burnout and more likely to happily reach your destination.