Slow down, to go better
Updated: Mar 15
I was inspired to write this article on my morning walk. Noticing my thoughts, I was intent on the end of the walk, a lovely latte in the garden and then my workday. I can be very focused on getting things accomplished, including my walks and yoga. Focus is a good thing, getting things done is, too. I was missing focus in the moment: joy of my surroundings, relishing movement and breathing, and appreciating being kind to my body.
How often do we have a goal and are so very focused on the outcome? What might we miss? Perhaps learnings, wonder, connection, subtle nuances of the process. It is well known clarity of vision and goals is important. A clear end in mind sets us up for success. Our brain even begins to unconsciously process it, promoting our actions.
You’ve likely heard the the quote attributed to Robert Fritz, “It isn’t what the vision is, it’s what the vision does.” Once a goal is set, we cannot directly control outcome. We can only manage how we show up and control or influence the work process towards that outcome. The outcome could become something different, something ultimately better.
This is about more richly benefiting throughout the journey by living out your goal's intention and savouring the process.
What would it be like to be more intentional around savouring the journey? Noticing things along the way, seeing learnings and adjusting, registering and thus integrating benefits, and celebrating small incremental wins (ongoing rewards reinforce!). This fits with my intention: To go slow, to go better. It has been harder than I thought to reprogram myself from a go-go type of person. I'm always a work in progress – this a new habit for me. Or perhaps it's a renewed habit, as I think about how fully present we mostly are as children before society teaches us other ways of being.
This is about more richly benefiting throughout the journey by living out our goal's intention and savouring the process.
I find slowing down easier as a coach – for other people, helping them set the goal and then partnering with them on savouring the journey. I’ll invite them to slow the pace, pause, notice, explore learnings, benefits, design adjustments and actions, and remind them to celebrate. It’s hard to do for oneself – to make that space for conscious intention until it becomes a habit. Fitness coaches and trainers may do a parallel thing, especially noticing and integrating the mind-body awareness and connection. And how much more powerful is that in terms of learning, progress, wellbeing, reinforcement and sustainability than being mainly hell-bent focused on the goal?
My morning ramble has turned into much more than a walk for exercise. I’m now more mindful in the moment, savouring joy and the benefits of effort along the way. I find I make more time for and increasingly look forward to these walks. And it led to this word ramble and sharing my thoughts. I'm learning to apply this in my work and day-to-day execution towards my goals and vision.
Does all this make sense? What do you take from this for yourself? Or for your team?
© "Slow down, to go better" & "Slow down to go better", Toni Crow, 2022.
Author: Toni Crow, CEC PCC PQC, Toni Crow Leadership Coaching