From the protegee herself.
I have been going to fast. Knowing that I am young so that love doesn’t matter. but not understanding what that means. Taking it slow is taking a breath, writing slowly, taking the same amount of time to do the same things but better, more relaxed. It is about thinking and wanting, trying to understand, not feeling like you need to. I have just learnt this.
Drive a fast car but take in the scenery.
It makes me stressed, makes my heart palpitate, makes me feel like i have way less time than I actually do, makes me feel like I’m inadequate because I can’t figure things out, and makes it harder to figure things out because of the knot in my stomach when it hits me when I tell myself there isn’t much time. There is enough time.
So, how does one ‘go slowly’? Maybe it is not about doing less things, taking it piece by piece, but is instead about relishing the times when you break, or truly connecting to the things that you are doing; maybe it is not so much about the time that you do it in, but how you do it, and your frame of mind. Yes, that’s exactly it.
1) You have more time than you think you do. Your life is not a to do list, you do not have to rush everything, just trust that you will get it done, as long as you are doing it. Write slowly, this helps me get into the right frame of mind. Realise that your life is not a ticking time bomb and not everything has to be done in T-4 seconds. You don’t have to know, you have to understand, and as long as you;re trying, you can breathe and take it slowly… more on that next.
2) Breathe. This is a no brainer- or is it? So many people live by this, and forget to actually do it; the amount of times that I’ve heard my mum breathe in and forget to breathe out is unreal. If you find yourself writing to quickly, or thinking about the other things you have to do whilst thinking about that one other thing that you have to do and figuring out which time slot to put it in and how you will go about it is exhausting. That sentence was exhausting to read for a reason. Breathe, focus, recenter. There is no point doing something if you are not going to do it properly. Your life is not a to do list.
3) Break up with expectation. Don’t expect yourself to be perfect, and don’t ever do anything because that’s what you desire. If you find yourself doing this, as yourself if it’s what you actually like to do- pull out the bits you love of the thing that you’re doing, enjoy it. You don’t need to know everything, you can only ever try to understand, and that;’s exactly what you’re doing, right? You’re doing it well, don’t worry. The most important thing? Be honest with yourself, if you try and kid yourself, it won’t work. If you don’t know, admit it. Stop, breathe, try to figure it out. Don’t do it alone.
4) Allow yourself to stop. All too often do I find myself saying- no, not until you’ve done this or no! the successful people don’t do that. Never do that. All it does is stress me out and create the illusion of having more things to do. You’re doing enough, allow yourself the break- look ahead in the book if it makes you less stressed. Take a break from reading the article if it’s taking too long. Absolutely no one is going to judge you. I promise that you’ll feel more in control and that looking ahead or taking a break won’t make any difference. You don’t always have to power through, you don’t always have to be the perfect person, it’s tiring mentally and it creates more stress than it’s worth. YOU have enough on your plate. Here’s how to decide if you should allow yourself to do it: is it a life or death situation? Will it make you happy? You know what the answers to those questions should be, don’t you? Just, do me a favour and don’t read the last page of any book… please?
5) Remember what you love, and do that first and foremost. This keeps you happy, and it keeps you motivated. And when I say ‘love’, I don’t mean ‘make time for Instagram’, I mean capture the thing you find creatively or intellectually fulfilling, and do that first. NO, seriously, nothing else matters if you’re not happy, and you do everything better when you are. Think about it- a love for life, because you’re finding things you love about life and capturing them, remembering them everyday, reminds you of why you’re here. This has helped me the most. IT shouldn’t be forced, because if it is, it’s not love. You don’t even have to know right away- research, attempt calligraphy, or drawing an eye- read the news, write a haiku. Try everything once. The key is, if you want to do it again, or want to know more, you need to do exactly that. Now do that first, and then do what you need to do. Seriously, you have time, it’s life. Your life is not a to do list, it is a life. A life worth living.
It’s just life, and you have a lot of it. Plenty of time. I don’t know how old you are, but I know that you have time. Your life is creativity and passion, not a workload and that constant knot in your stomach. It is as simple as a pen in your hand and a steaming coffee to your left, and a steady focus whilst you are eager to understand. It is a love for everything that you do, from the heart, and that love can be lost, but it can be recaptured. It can always be recaptured and harnessed. When you have that love, and that passion within you, you can use it for everything, It will be the fuel for your fire. Take a fast car and train it. Your life is a life. Use it.