When you live in a busy city, things tend to happen very fast. Whether you cause them to happen, or whether they happen to you, either way, time becomes a precious commodity.
Because there is always so much going on along with the perception that there is less time to do it in, we can often become very reactionary i.e, we we almost lose the ability to think before we act.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Vicktor Frankl
The famous quote above tells that we do have a choice but if we offer ourselves the opportunity and the gift of time to consciously choose then our reactions and habits will take over.
Lets look at this more closely and use an analogy.
You have somewhere you need to go. It’s 30 minutes away and you only have 20 minutes to get there. Already you’ve set yourself up for disaster. It means you’re going to be rushed, you’re going to be driving by the seat of your pants to make it there in time.
That means you’re going to take chances, perhaps jump the odd red light, maybe even cut some over drivers off, not thinking about their journey, just that yours is a priority.
You’ll be taking risks, reacting to everything and to top it off, you’ll arrive at your destination not feeling too good because of the stress of trying to make it there in time.
Lets reverse the situation, you have somewhere to be. It is 20 minutes away and you have allowed yourself 30 minutes to get there. You can cruise on your journey and even enjoy all the sights and sounds.
You don’t have to try and jump any of the lights, you even have the time to let some drivers go ahead of you. If you encounter a bit of traffic you won’t be too concerned. You arrive peacefully and relaxed. You were consciously able to make better decisions, all because the PACE of your journey was totally different.
And that word is the key. PACE. Living in a city is not easy to change the pace of our lives but if we plan better, and allow more time, then we would be able to live more consciously and not just constantly reacting to the events that occur around us.
Furthermore, have you ever noticed the uncanny amount of green lights you get when you have more time? (And vice versa!)
Living in the city, I notice straight away how much more peaceful and relaxed people are who from outside the city. In fact, it’s usually the first thing I notice. They’re even better drivers than city dwellers.
Country people will often even comment on how people who come from the city are barely able to sit still and just kick back.
To stop being the kind of person that lives very reactionary to unfolding events and rather be someone who lives more consciously, you need to take a good look at your pace of life and how you fill your time.
Do you actually schedule in chill time for yourself? Or is your calendar so full that you barely have the time to take a dump?
Give yourself time. Allow yourself to have a window of comfort. Just because you get invited to three different events on the same day, it doesn’t mean that you have spread yourself so thin and get to all of them and hardly enjoy them while you’re there because you’re thinking about the next one you have to get to.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with short-cuts.
To keep from being a person who is always living in reaction to events, give yourself time, when you do that you’ll have more time, your pace will slow and between the stimulus and response you’ll be able to make more wise, and conscious decisions.
“No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.” – Taoist Proverb