Smelling the Roses
Life can frequently feel out of control with a myriad of commitments, deadlines, and things that need to be done immediately. Each of us have a list of things we would like to accomplish that exceeds our available time, effort and energy by a considerable margin. In this situation, it frequently feels like we cannot afford to stop moving, because every minute gone by is one less minute to accomplish our goals and ambitions.
However, while we are going about the work of accomplishing our dreams, it is important to occasionally stop and smell the roses of life. By slowing down from time to time and appreciating the joys of life, it helps to provide focus and clarity around the rest of our activities. The purpose of life is not necessarily to get as much done every day as is humanly possible in pursuit of some mythical future goal. Would it not be more fulfilling to find joy in the regular things that we are doing throughout the pursuit of our goals?
The natural conflict that is created by this mindset is that enjoying the journey of life necessarily means that we leave some things undone. In response to this, I would agree and add that if the things we leave undone are the least important, then it is no great loss. An unfortunate aspect of the human condition is that we frequently prioritize what is urgent and immediate over what is important and enduring. Many people have “projects” around their house that they seek to complete on weekends. However, it may be that a particular weekend is better spent taking your children to the park, or attending a seminar where you can learn how to enhance your business skills and invest more intelligently for the future of your family.
This is not to say that every weekend should be spent at the park, or in a conference center. However, taking some time to smell the roses is an important part of achieving that which we really want. It is most certainly a virtue to be ambitious in the pursuit of our goals, but we should not allow that ambition to blind us to other things that are a highly important part of life.
This principal is especially important in the context of creating new ideas. Most of us think in a linear manner where causes produce effects and achieving goals is about following the steps to success. However, if we are attempting to create something new, it involves a much more complex process. Most people observe that ideas cannot be manufactured in a linear manner. They frequently “pop into your head” while doing something else or thinking about something else. Thus, the act of stopping to smell roses or converse with your best friends can be an extremely important part of facilitating the emergence of new ideas.
In this way, occasionally slowing the pace of life down to a slower rate can be good for both your personal well being, but also your professional achievement. It is well known that the greatest rewards are frequently achieved by people who create new ideas and new ways of doing business. There is a limit to how much can be produced by doing the same things at a faster rate of speed. In this way, it is quite possible that stopping to give the roses a smell can be the break your mind needs for that new idea to “click.”
Ultimately, each of us is responsible for our own life and our own achievements. Nobody can tell you what is or isn’t important. The thing that each of us need to consider is whether what we consider to be the most important in the context of this exact moment is of an equal amount of importance relative to the entire tenure of our life. Each action (or inaction) is a decision that can only be made by you. So go out and make to day the best (and most fulfilling) that it can be.