The more we get, the more we want. The pursuit of growth is deeply ingrained in our human DNA.
That's why we achieved so many mind blowing things in the short time of our existence. The constant pursuit of more pushes us to do and achieve more. It's a never ending race.
The pursuit of more pushed us to discover all sorts of cool things. It pushed us to discover fire. It pushed us to discover new countries. Even new continents. It pushed us to discover electricity. The car. The TV. The computer. And finally the Internet. Mobile dating..
It seems to never stop. It only tends to go faster and faster. Growth itself is a good thing. Being able to do more in less time is always good. Innovation is good. Efficiency is good. But what this endless pursuit of growth leaves out is a very important part of the equation.
It leaves out the human part. It leaves us out. It leaves out the fact that the way our brains are wired didn't change that much over the past fifty years or so. Whereas our environment changed dramatically.
Our brains are still used to the slow paced life from back in the days. No multitasking. No unlimited browsing or scrolling. A less complex world with less complex and less difficult relationships. Doing one thing at a time. And not a thousand. That's the way our brains are still wired. Maybe our brains did adapt. I don't know. Maybe evolution works that fast.
But when we look at all the people that can't take it any longer, that burn out, that want to quit or pull the trigger, it seems that our brains didn't adapt. Maybe they did. But our world is changing so fast that evolution just can't keep pace.
Even though everybody is talking about acceleration, about doing more things faster, about reaching new heights, I want to talk about something else. I want to talk about something that might help each and every one of us to put us back into the equation.
I want to talk about things that might help us to decelerate our lives. Your life. My life. I'm trying to implement these things in my daily life. Needless to say that I struggle with it every single day. Some of them work. Some of the time. But not all of the time.
But that's ok. It's ok, as long as we do something against it. As long as we're aware of the fact that we need to start decelerating our lives, instead of accelerating them. We need to keep it easy. Before we get too many speeding tickets and end up in prison. The prison where our mind can't take all of this speeding any longer..
# Don't go to meetings
Meetings, especially in a corporate environment, usually suck all energy out of me. Almost every official work meeting I attended, I felt like grabbing a blanket, a pillow and walk to the back of the room, lie down and take a nap. Try to avoid these meetings by all means. Instead, make casual meetings. Walk meetings. Or whatever.
# Don't argue
Never try to argue. The only thing that you might achieve if you win an argument is that the other person will hate you in the end. Talk shit behind your back. Backstab you. Or what not. Too complicated..
# Don't do things you don't like
Whenever you do things you don't like, you will start to hate yourself a bit more. You will hate yourself for not being consistent. For doing things you know that you don't want to be doing. Boom! Another stress layer right there..
# Do less
This is one of the hardest things. Especially for me. I'm doing too many things at the time. In itself, doing many different things to figure out what works and what doesn't isn't that bad. It's actually quite good. But at some point you need to let go of the things that don't work and focus on the things that work. And that's the hardest part. At least for me. I always try to make everything work. And if you always try to make everything work, you'll usually end up with nothing working at all.
# Get rid of complicated things
There are many complicated things in life. Complicated relationships, complicated jobs, complicated whatever. What all of these things do is that they steal our focus. They add an additional stress layer to our lives and take over some of our brain's bandwidth. Bandwidth we desperately need to navigate in this crazy and complex world.
# Surround yourself with old people
Being around old people is awesome. There is probably no better way to decelerate your life. Old people are the incarnation of deceleration. And if you hang out with old people long enough, maybe you'll be able to pick up some of their wisdom.
# Go for walks
Going for a walk, looking around and enjoying nature is the best way to get rid of all the clutter in your brain. I try to go for at least one walk every day for at least twenty minutes. Going for walks will ultimately give your brain space to breathe. Time to recover and time to solve complex problems.
# No TV or newspapers
Every time I turn on the TV or read the newspapers I get scared. The only things you usually see are dead people, people losing their jobs or airplanes crashing. Last time I flew with a plane I was scared to crash. All the media does is that it hijacks your brain and then flies straight it into your personal center of fear, your personal World Trade Center.
# Read books, not blogs
Blogs consist of way too much information for our brains to process. Blogs usually leave out the story our brains need. Our brains need a story to remember things. Don't believe me? Try it. What parts of this blog post do you remember? Probably none. All that blogs do is that they clutter our brains with useless information we forget immediately after we read them. A waste of time..
# Let go
Don't live in the past. Or in the future. We can't change the past anyway. And we can't predict the future. Living in the past or the future will only take away your focus and some of your brain's capacity. Regrets about the past or fear of the future simply add another layer of stress to our lives. Too many layers of stress already..
# No lies. Ever.
Every time you lie you have to remember what the lie was all about. You also have to remember who you told this lie to. I have a friend who constantly lied. He had to remember hundreds of stories. And sometimes he forgot who he told which story to. So he ended up mixing up stories. I don't know if he still does it. I barely see him anymore..
I guess it all boils down to being yourself. No matter what. No masks, no BS stories, no lies. Just the raw and unfiltered you. Then you'll be able to get rid of all the stuff others expect from you.
You'll ultimately be able to do what you love. And that's the only thing that counts. That's the only thing that will decelerate your life.
When you do things you don't like you'll always be in a rush to finish them. Because you don't enjoy doing them. You want to get rid of them. And then you'll rush through life without noticing what's going on around you.
On the other hand, when you do what you love, you will take your time, enjoy the process and celebrate even your smallest achievements.
And that's where you ultimately need and want to be in life. That's how you decelerate your life and stop the endless pursuit of more..
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