Stop and smell the roses…

Busy has become a buzzword. Ask anyone how they are and it is likely they will reply, “oh, you know, pretty busy, you?”, and you invariably reply “yeah, me too.”

Therein lies the problem. We are all so busy we often forget to stop and smell the roses.

There are multiple things that this ‘busy’ issue brings to mind for me, but one of them that is particularly prominent is the fact that because we are all so bloomin’ busy we often don’t take the time to ingest the lessons learnt from any lessons that were on offer, if only we took that time.

What do I mean? I mean that sometimes it really helps to look at something that happened, whether it was a meeting with someone or an incident that happened or the way someone reacts towards you (or you them), and note down what that taught you. You may realise that you respond similarly in certain situations out of habit rather than logically.

I mean, it has to be good to physically ask yourself: “What did I learn from that?”, no?

It need not be earth shattering or ‘mind blowing’ (as you often see mentioned in Social Media these days.) But there is very nearly always a learning of some sorts that can be had.

But even if we are open to taking on board those lessons learnt, there is yet another barrier that slows us down.

This barrier is the fact that we are on auto-pilot most of the time. We react according to how we have learned to react over the years, there are triggers that make us respond in the same way again and again.

Of course there is also an advantage to being on autopilot sometimes, it enables us to get on with complex tasks and get through life quickly and efficiently, but there is a cost, we miss out on so much that could enrich us

Also, we often have this internal dialogue of self-limiting beliefs and a strong fear of failure and a need to stay in our own comfort zone that stops us from taking a risk or trying something new, or stopping to smell those roses and notice everything around us, but also, what it is that makes us who we are.

if we could only take the time to reflect on why we did a particular something, or reacted a certain way or always do or say a certain something.

What is it behind all that that makes us who we are?  Our habits, our ways, our being.

This autopilot effect blocks us from being more of who we are really. You can’t change a habit you don’t notice and can’t learn from anything unless you take a look at what the lesson may be and realise that there may even be a lesson to be learned.

For example, If you are in the habit of saying ‘No’ to your children when they want to ask you something, because you know it is invariably something that you don’t want them to do, then this is autopilot in action.

When you always take a certain route to work, because you like it but it invariably makes you late, or if you always take the same sandwich at lunchtime or save a document in the same place or never go to a certain restaurant because you heard 24 years ago that the food is not good (I’m pretty certain the chef is not the same one, maybe even the owner has changed after so long).

We write these paths down in our brains and just accept them.

But what if we got in the habit of noting down our learnings?

What if we were in the habit of noticing when we react a certain way again and again?

All it takes is to get into the habit of taking the time to look at our reactions and events that have happened and note down what were the lessons learnt.

Being truer to ourselves can have an exponential effect on others around us. We can inspire others, we can engage in our lives fully, we can learn to take responsibility, become more analytical, realise we can be flawed and be loved at the same time and finally we can learn what makes us tick and what we want from life.

Buy a little diary or notebook and from time to time during the day jot down any learnings about yourself, however small.  When you read over them later they may show you a lot about yourself, the way you react, the real reason behind the way you are and if some things should be or could be changed.

Easier said than done, but well worth the effort.

My challenge to you it to write down what you learned about yourself today. Take any event, however slight, and think about what that says about you or the other person or the lessons you can take away from whatever it was. There is always something to learn. Dig deep.

And, based on this new understanding,  what will you do differently in the future?

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