Have you ever gone fishing? With a real fisherman? They are a special breed, a lost breed. The one thing I know about fishing and fisherman is they’re never in a hurry. I suppose it is because you simply cannot fish in a hurry. There is a lot of sitting around, gazing, waiting, and (of course) plenty of fish stories from years past.
Last summer, I went fishing with my son. The whole process was excruciating. Well, everything except being with him, that is always a treat. But the fishing thing was so slow! There were no texts, Tweets, or emails out there. No incoming calls to break the silence. My phone sat alone in my Ford Expedition. Kyle and I talked every twenty minutes or so, we caught a few bass, but mostly we sat out on that lazy lake alone in our thoughts. About half way through our day I could feel myself relax. I was moving from my machine-gun pace to a more human, soul-designed pace – one that moved slowly with the soft breeze.
What Fishing with Kyle Taught Me and 5 Important Reasons Leaders Should Slow Down
- Slowing down connects you to a soul-based pace that sustains a leader’s life. I have witnessed in my own life and scores of leaders I have worked with, a pace that teeters on unsustainable. As a result of this desperate speed, you can lose soulful reflections and the inner course adjustments that sustain your life and work.
- Slowing down connects you to inner peace. I recently spoke with a spectacular leader who is facing significant challenges in his health and in his company. All the while we spoke he had a soft smile and a gracious tone. I had to pause and ask him, “How are you handling all this?” His response was simple and profound, “Steve, I used to start my days fast, now I start slow to recalibrate my heart and spirit.
- Slowing down connects you to your best thoughts. I always tell my coaching clients to block out an hour a week for thinking time. Next to a leader’s energy, great thoughts are their greatest asset. Those thoughts must be captured, seized and implemented. Slowing down allows you to think your best thoughts and claim them.
- Slowing down connects you to your heart.Both your physical and spiritual hearts need some slowness. My family and I have a little beach cabin on the Oregon Coast. There is no flat-screen TV or loud sound system. The place is a simple, small cabin with lots of good books. There have been many summers where I arrive at that cabin in need of heart repair. It is there that I find a soft voice, “Steve, slow down, listen, and readjust.”
- Slowing down connects you to those you love.Who is important enough to you that you will slow down and connect with them? When I was a kid, my parents would take Sunday afternoon drives. It might seem odd, to just get in the car and drive. But now when I think about that, I think about a couple in love. The drive was about putting aside time to be together – to talk and dream of days past and days to come. Simple time to connect in love.
Can you apply these today?
How will you grant yourself permission to slow down?
As always, appreciatively,
Time for me to go slow down.
photo credit: Homeoftraditions.com