The Happiness Connection  

Move slowly to go quickly

Do you love going away on a holiday?

Most people look forward to their holidays, even though it often involves a lot of preparation, and catching up after.

I just got back from three weeks away. I did a lot of preparation even though I planned to do some work while I was gone. I can write, do Facebook Lives, and contact people from anywhere in the world as long as I have an internet connection.

For whatever reason, I found it very difficult to get much work done. I managed to most of my live video segments, and wrote a couple of articles, but that was about it.

Instead of working, I spent my time enjoying my holiday experiences, and catching up with family and friends.

I consoled myself with a promise to jump back into work with a frenzied passion the moment I got home.

It sounded like a realistic promise while I was sitting in the Portuguese sun, but throwing myself back into my work hasn’t happened either. It takes every ounce of effort I can muster to complete even the easiest task.

My mind seems muddled and each step I take feels like I am wading through thick mud.

I could blame my predicament on jet lag, but I don’t really suffer to badly from it. I am sleeping well at all the appropriate times.

Does this lethargic situation make me feel happy? No! I am feeling frustrated and dissatisfied.

I have deadlines looming, and I haven’t accomplished a fraction of the work I had hoped to complete before the end of September.

When no magical solution to my problem appeared after I had been back in Kelowna for almost a week, I decided it was time to investigate the situation.

After all, how can a self-professed happy person wallow around in a below par level of well-being without taking action?

This is what I’ve discovered:

  • No one can be constantly moving forward. You need to have moments to pause, take stock, and re-energize yourself. Rather than trying to power through those tough times, slow down and work with your energy rather than against it. Take time to contemplate and be mindful, rather than setting the world on fire – until your energy returns.
  • Going at a slower pace allows you to be more mindful and aware of what is going on around you. This increases your feelings of happiness, and allows you to notice things you might not have thought about or observed, if you were operating at the speed of light. Some of my best ideas have come in stretches of quiet and contemplation.
  • Trust that everything that needs to get done, will. Think about Parkinson’s Law that states "work expands to fill the time available for its completion.’" When energy and a clear mind returns, you will get caught up and on top of your world again.

I love to share the story of two friends who were driving in separate cars to attend the same meeting. Their destination was off the beaten track, and there was one point where the road came to a T-junction without a clear indication of which way to go.

When Amy (not her real name) got to this crossroad, she barely slowed down. She didn’t know which way to go, but for some inexplicable reason, she kept moving even though she wasn’t sure of the direction she should take.

Before long, she found herself on a very steep upward slope, with barely enough room for her car to fit on the track. She had chosen the wrong direction, and had to back down the road and try to get turned around.

When Carol got to the T-junction, she stopped. She looked in both directions and sat for a moment to think about which direction she should turn. She understood the benefit of stopping to ponder her options before making a decision. As a result, she turned in the correct direction.

This is a great analogy for life. Don’t be afraid of slowing down or being still, regardless of whether it is a forced deceleration, or a chosen one.

Rather than trying to power through, take your foot off the accelerator and take advantage of this time to prepare and energize yourself for the next stage of your journey.

I have been working with this advice and have recovered my happy spirit. I am trusting that the renewed energy, and clearer mind that will result from this time of pause will serve and help me move forward through October, with purpose and success. 

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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