“Come on, let’s move. I’m in a hurry.”
A lot of us are in a hurry. Sometime it’s in the physical sense, like running from one appointment to the next, or rushing to get home. And sometimes it’s in the larger movements of our lives. We’re in a hurry to get the promotion, to start our own business, to see the kids grow out of diapers.
But why? Why are we in such a hurry? Is it because we think it will help us be more productive? Is it because it’s become a habit and it’s all we know? Is it because we don’t like—or are unable—to wait?
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Being in a hurry may appear to help you get more done—at least in the short-term—and it will certainly make you feel like you’re moving faster. But hurrying will also lead to mistakes. That, and it does nothing to guarantee you’re getting the right things done or you’re heading in the right direction.
The danger of hurrying is not only the errors it may lead to, but also all the things it can cause you to miss. You’re in a hurry to get to your meeting, and you miss the beauty of the countryside en route. You’re rushing to complete your tasks, and ignore those you run into along the way. You focus so much on getting to the corner office, or of finally having an empty nest, that you fail to appreciate where you are today. If anything, being in a hurry leads to more stress, while keeping you from experiencing joy and gratitude in the moment.
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It’s said that legendary coach John Wooden would often tell his players, “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” For the athlete, being quick is advantageous; but being in a hurry can lead to costly errors. Similarly, being proactive and attentive and prompt are good qualities to have. But always being in a hurry is a different matter. Just like hurrying doesn’t help athletes on the court, neither does hurry help you in work and life.
When you find yourself in a hurry, take a second to ask yourself, “Why? What’s the rush?” Because many times there’s no real reason to be in a hurry. And even if there is, remember that choosing to hurry comes at a price—a price that is rarely worth what it costs.