Is this year a bullet train, 3 tips to have a comfortable ride

One of the topics that has always been fascinating for me is our relationship with time. I cannot stop reflecting on perspectives when I hear people saying, “time flew today” or “this has been a long day.” As far as I know the earth keeps having the same speed: 24 hours for a full rotation and 365 days for a full turn around the sun. But still our perceptions about time are different based on our context.

The last couple of months all I get from people is that this year is just flying by. We are super busy, overwhelmed and just living like in fast forward speed. This inspired me to look up “Do you feel the speed in a bullet train?” and I got this answer: the train gradually accelerates, and you just happen to notice everything streaking past, there really isn’t much of a view, but you can just feel how fast it’s going.

I feel for many of us life could play that trick of accelerating in a gradual way and suddenly you just happen to notice your life flying by, with not much of a view, just feeling how fast it is going. I don’t like the idea of going through my life without a view and just feeling the speed, so I thought it would be useful to share with you 3 tips to have a comfortable ride in a bullet train year.

  1. Enjoy and prepare for the day before it takes off. Sometimes when we travel the departure station is the place to get ready, may be getting some snacks, a magazine, or something for the ride. In life, I think our morning rituals serve as our departure station. The same way it isn’t as comfortable to arrive to the station late and run to board the train, it’s not going to make a comfortable day if I don’t do my morning rituals to start my day. For me an important part of beginning my day is meditation. I once heard the saying: “because I have a very busy, hard day I need to meditate double today.” Calming my mind, practicing my role as the observer, and mentally reviewing my priorities (in life, not for the day) is crucial for my comfortable ride.
  2. Stay when you are. To me it doesn’t matter if things are going fast or slow, pressures, problems, joys, or crises. If I stay focused on the present I will avoid resentments, worries, and emotions that make a difficult day. It is about that fraction of time that is real, this very second in front of me, not the one before, not the one after. When I focus on working, solving, or enjoying just what is in front of me I am satisfied at the end of the day regardless of the speed.
  3. Don’t miss the view. The saddest part of going high speed is that we can’t focus on the view. And when it comes to life that means we might be forgetting or missing the important parts of it. Maybe that gradual acceleration created the illusion that we are investing our time to reach the important things “there,” and we are missing the important things that are present “here.” One of the toughest questions that I have found is “if this would be the last day of your life, would you be doing what you are doing?” I cannot always answer yes, but I try to remember this question as often as I can and make sure that the important things “here” are not neglected in the frenzy to get to the important things “there.” In coaching we talk about the journey goal, as the concept that no matter how fast or slow I get to my goals, or it doesn’t matter if I don’t even get there if I am enjoying the journey. Remember that your goals are in the future (an irreal illusion until it becomes the present), but your important things are already here in your present and they are real.

It is my sincerest wish that this helps you get a better ride this year and that you enjoy the view as never before. Guillermo Mendoza (832)334-3583 is a global speaker and Executive Coach, “Accelerating Leadership around the globe, turning managers into leaders.” Guillermo’s authentic style and insight engages audiences to make the changes necessary to create transformations in their organizations and lives. Available for international engagements in: English, Spanish or Portuguese.

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