Undeniably, there is so much thrill on a train ride at full speed. I want to pounce on an idea, and run along with it so fast to get to my dream destination in the nick of time. We all want to achieve success faster, and we think time is slowing us down. We make decisions fast, we tap into every opportunity our eyes can see and we run along where our guts lead us to. We thought we are destined to win, but actually doomed to fail.
Clarity and Direction
Do you know where this train will possibly take you to? Just what if, it was the wrong path because of your quick decision. The faster this train speeds up, the harder it will be to reset and go back to the starting point to move into another direction. There will be many things you can’t undo now, because the train has took you so far ahead to the wrong place along with all the wrong decisions you made – one after another. You wanted to move forward, but unclear which road is best for you. You plunged into outer space and now you are lost in the infinity. You built a plane and tried to fly, but it sank you quick into a spiral of events that you struggled to get out of even before you could fix yourself.
They say experience makes you wiser, and yes that is true. But real wisdom does not come from experiences alone, but from the deep understanding of how the Universe works as a whole. How everything is connected, and how circumstances come together. From understanding the reason behind someone’s action more than the action itself, makes us more sensible to the people around us. By purposely seeking a different explanation that what our eyes can see is how we know there is so much more than what meets the eye. But understanding, without the need for disclosing, is enough for us to be better in our judgement, decisions and find clarity in our direction. It keeps us on purpose.
Making right decisions can be challenging when your role requires you to make many decisions every day, each of those decisions carries implications that can severely affect a situation. You might want to make fast decisions, but more importantly, make smart ones. Decisions that comes with safety nets, possible outcomes worked out and risk measured.
But you can’t make the best decision if you are always constraint with time, or trapped within the expectations of others. In order to move forward, you need to first take a step back and reanalyse the decisions you made or about to. Reflect on the implications, measure how the circumstances affect the decision – making it bloom or wither. Review the factors that played a significant role on these implications, and if they can be altered, adjusted or improved.
At the same time while you analyse the decisions or the environment around you, look within of the changed person you’ve become from those decisions – failures or winnings. How has a situation feed you strength or upgrade your knowledge? How can you recover from that mistakes or create a habit that protects you from doing the same again? What else can you tweak today or change about yourself for a better result tomorrow?
Look around you to see the attitude or behaviour of people, and how they treat you – consider what their conversation is about and match that up with their actions to work out their character. Know the person they are and if they are worth making a connection with, simply by analysing them.
Thinkers over do-ers.
In 2016, my company went through streamlining. We were not making enough profits. I took the bold approach to cut back the working week to be 4 days (Monday to Thursday) instead of the regular 5 working days. I knew at that time, I needed thinkers more than I need do-ers. I cut back on the employees, to outsource work to be done but kept those I believe are thinkers to save my company.
There are several objectives to why we decide to keep it 4 days working week only.
- I want my team to work on their productivity and be more efficient. Knowing they only have four days, mid week Wednesday is no longer a time to slack off but instead they are reminded that time is running out. They will stay productive through the four days, which is all they have a week, to finish what people usually have to over five full days.
- I wanted my team to be thinkers, the next 3 days from Friday to Sunday will give them an opportunity to analyse the work they did in the past week. They work out how it could be done differently and better, and come back refresh the following week to improve their processes and deliverables. They had a chance to reflect, analyse and review their work weekly during these three days off from doing actual work. This is also the time they are encouraged to invest in networking, connecting or studying to upgrade skills.
- I wanted my team to bond with their family, which is a way of deliberately asking them to pause and appreciate the relationships that made them happy. A job cannot replace a family tie, and no employee works hard for a company. People work hard and beyond, for their family from trying to put food on the table or be a role model to their children. Reminding them how important family is, is how you bring people back refreshed, positive and ambitious on a Monday morning.
I made a lot of mistakes in the past, but because of this act of deliberate pause – I looked at each of them as a privilege for me to have. I own those mistakes, and I shall reap the benefits of learning from those mistakes for my own. I will be better, because I bothered to work out what went wrong to fix it. I stopped, reviewed my mistakes and analyse every way I could – to make things better.
There are many more things I could not achieve today, if I had went ahead to look past my mistakes instead of understanding how they came about in the first place.
So take a break.
Have a rest, disengage, reconnect again – analyse every factor around you because everything is connected. Find those links, so when you adjust one end of the spectrum the other end wins as well.
If you are tired, rest. Don’t stop.
See life from a different perspective.
No everything goes according to your plan. Not every happiness is a result of a stereotype or norm. Just because everyone does it this way does not mean you have to. Just because everyone is happy achieving this, your definition of success can be an entirely different story.
One thing I can promise you – deliberately pausing will change your mind of what true happiness start to mean for you. Stare a little longer at someone laying in a hospital bed, fighting for their life and your health jumps top priority on your leaderboard. Read a love story that moves you tears, and realise how lonely you feel despite having the best career. Cuddle a newborn, and your work won’t matter as much. Look into the hardships of other people, and be motivated to invent things that would solve someone else’ problems.
Happiness is not derived from status, monetary accomplishments, fame or dependable on anyone. It comes from within you, provoked by the simplest things in life.
And if you have yet to understand how minimalism and simplicity contribute to your happiness, slow down – and pluck some flowers on your path. Breathe the fresh air, call a long lost friend, and do something new for the first time.
And when you are happy, trust me, everything else falls into place.