The art of being still, especially when you're forced to.
I always hated traffic until I realised I was part of it.
They often say that the best things in life are free, but to find them, sometimes you’ll need to look behind the metaphors. To be clear, I’ve always hated traffic. I know everyone does, but it always hits differently for me. I don’t know; I guess I take it personally.
I often joke that traffic, or the avoidance of it, would always play a leading role in the stages of my career. So here I am, writing at 2 am, grateful that I won’t be unveiling my repertoire of foul language during the early morning rush hour. I will, however, be at home with my increasingly creative and equally bold two-year-old, which is an undefinable challenge & blessing in itself. I digress.
I wrote this short piece hoping that someone would find it as helpful to them as it is to me.
Three simple but effective mindsets to embrace whenever you feel helplessly stuck, stagnant or stationary:
1. Be Still
While using traffic as a metaphor for various deadlocks in life, it’s essential to consider the relationship between alignment & hustle and direction over speed. It’s inescapable that at some point along your path, you will be caught up in traffic or, in other words, some form of stagnation that frustrates you, be it in your career, relationships, faith, home planning etc.
So what do you do if asking, “are we there yet?” doesn’t get you there any faster, and you’ve already come way too far only to have come this far?
The answer? Well, sometimes you have to be still to become unstuck. You can list many reasons why you are where you are though they will only help you the next time. So, for now, shift your focus to being still and forgiving of yourself. Take it all in as you move at the pace that your current situation allows. Grace is a beautiful gift.
2. Be Considerate/stay in your lane.
The thing about traffic is that once you find yourself in it, there’s not much you can do immediately; there’s always the urge to be frantic, but sometimes, switching lanes slows everyone down. So why switch over if you’ll only switch back?
Even the most self-centred amongst us are aware that everyone we see has a journey & a destination of their own, but you may fail to realise that we are all a part of each other’s journey either in some small element or whole.
You can save yourself a lot of wasted energy by sticking to your lane, so before making that next move consider who it helps or hinders. After all, is it worth it if it makes someone else worse off — you decide?
3. Be On-time
Last on the list for a reason, because we already know this once again, but it always seems like, by the time we do remember, we’re already stuck.
There will never be enough time in a day to do all the things you want to do if you want them all done in a day. We’re human, frantic by nature, chasing time and creatively tagging it as productivity, though burnout is a b****, and an over-stacked to-do list only creates more to do. Slow down.
Hustling is just moving in high-speed traffic (oxymoron, sue me); however, when we’re progressing with purpose and at the speed of alignment, even red lights mean we go. In other words, take time, fine-tune your plan and simplify your process. Then, arrive with peace of mind.