How many people have you talked to that say something like, “Wow, everything seems to be speeding up?” Most people experience the pace of change, but few ask the questions “Where is this all taking us? And, how can I cope with this shifting world?”
All we have to do to see the pace of change is look at the last century. My grandmother was 90 when she died and that was in the 1960s before computers, cell phones, fax machines, and before satellites, for the most part. She saw the development of electric lights, telephones, airplanes, cars, television, space travel, nuclear power, to name a few. She would say that the modern world is pure chaos–but, she said, she sure liked what came out of the chaos.
But is this since that things are speeding up really a modern phenomenon? If we look back at past civilizations over thousands of years the pace has continued to accelerate, just as the universe itself is continuing to accelerate. From the time of the early Egyptians to the Renaissance of Copernicus, Galileo, Da Vinchi, et al the pace of change has been quickening.
Ironically we want things to speed up and yet we don’t. A Paradox. We want our computers and phones to be faster. But, we want our lives to slow down. Yet, we pack more into a day because we have saved time by using these devices. Granny used to stand on her tip toes to talk into the old fashion wall phones of the turn of the century. Mother, on the other hand, used to stand at the end of a long spiral cord connected to the “Princes” telephone while she was washing dishes. Now we take our phones with us and talk while we do many other things including driving.
Complexity allows for even more complexity. We now have computers designing airplanes, cars, and even other computers. The industrial revolution allowed us to move into the information age. The level of complexity in our personal lives has expanded. We have TV, Radio, Phones, In-home theaters and computer games just for entertainment. Even our leisure is complex. Our minds are thinking through the night and we wonder why we are not sleeping as well.
What can we do to feel more secure, less rushed.
First, we have to literally take time for ourselves. It will not come by itself. Get up earlier or stay up later if you have to. Instead of going to lunch with friends or co-workers, take the time for yourself.
Second, spend time being mindful. Focus on right now and keep your attention in the right now. When things are speeding up we tend to look at all the possible alternatives and all the things that might happen and we overload ourselves and we lose the current moment to an ever engulfing future.
The voice(s) in your head are the biggest stress you have. Especially the voice of judgment! Let go of this old voice and realize being present to now doesn’t require its input.
Don’t rush your decisions. When we are pressed for time we want to solve problems and make decisions immediately. Take time. Often the decision made instantly creates more problems later. Quick decisions often have unintended consequences.
Take 10 minutes a day to explore your inner world. There is an inner landscape where time is of no consequence. It is a place of rest and reassurance. When we spend more time in this world we realize how the most important things seem to take there place of importance among others. We realize that this inner world is the direction of our future and when the rush of this life ends we will have touched the other and realize true importance.
People that are doing well in this world, where time is speeding up, are the ones who are taking back their power and taking back their time.