Why do I rush? Often, it’s because I’m trying to finish up something tedious I’ve been doing (so I can get to do something I actually want to be doing!) I want to get through the boring stuff so I can move on to the good stuff. The problem is, the good stuff never really seems to arrive; when I’m rushing, I always seem to be striving for something better that’s always just over the horizon.
When I’m rushing, my attention is fixated on some point on the future; I’ve usually lost sight of the wonder of the present moment. I’m probably not fully mindful and aware of my present subjective experience. Often, just the simple act of cultivating mindfulness transforms my experience of whatever it is that I’m presently doing, making it much more enjoyable and meaningful.
Reframing What I’m Doing
When I’m rushing, even though I might feel frenetically energized, I’m usually sound asleep (from a spiritual perspective.) The first step in waking up is to simply notice that I’m rushing, and to notice the feelings behind the rushing. After noticing my dissatisfaction and irritation, I ask myself why I’m actually doing what I’m doing. What needs am I trying to meet? Is what I’m doing really important? If not, then why am I doing it?
Most likely, what I’m doing actually is important. It’s often a stepping stone to something bigger or more meaningful that I have in mind for the future. Recognizing this, I can reframe my current (tedious) task; in a sense, I’m already doing the more meaningful task in the future simply by doing what I’m already doing now. (In other words, my current task can be viewed as an important part of a larger, more meaningful project that I’m choosing to invest my energy in.)
Photo Cold rushing water over granite rock (by Roberto Verzo) is used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.