Anyone can get on a motorcycle and ride fast in a straight line. The stop may get them, but as long as they’re moving, the momentum will keep them up. It takes nerve but not skill.
Life’s like that too. We get caught up in so many commitments and details, that we rush through life, barely stopping long enough to catch our breath. It’s easier to do that, then to spend time in stillness, listening to our own spirit, just being.
5 Slow Speed Life Skills
- Trust. Slow skill maneuvers on a motorcycle require trust in the capability of your motorcycle but more importantly, confidence in your own skills. You’ve got to trust the process. Just like in your work life. Intentionally slowing down can defer results in the short term but create more sustainable long-term strength. In the mean time, it may feel like you’re under greater scrutiny, especially if someone is waiting for your input. But confidence in your skills and understanding how they fit in the big picture ultimately add the most value.
- Patience. Guilty as charged! It can be frustrating to slow down to a seemingly ridiculous posted speed, just as it’s frustrating to slow down in a world where everything seems to be speeding around you. My natural tendency is to think about an idea, analyze, decide and then act. I’m not usually impulsive, but I can overlook details that might alter my decision. Making this a habit can come back to haunt you and in the end, delay arrival at your destination.
- Focus. Because you’re more manually managing the motorcycle, your effort is magnified, as are any mistakes. It’s easy to lose your balance. Even at slow speeds, with all the distractions and pressure to speed up, it’s essential to keep your eye on your goal.
- Perspective. You miss so much when you ride fast. Of course sometimes it’s the only way to get to your destination in a reasonable amount of time. And you do need to stay with traffic. And it can be fun. But you miss a lot of the scenery you’re passing. Slowing down gives you an opportunity to appreciate your surroundings and creates moments of beauty you’d otherwise not see.
- Stamina. It’s way harder physically to manage your motorcycle when you’re going slow than when you’re racing. Think about inching along in a traffic jam, especially if it’s really hot out. There’s a lot of clutch control, balancing your motorcycle and putting your foot down at stops. You’ve got to constantly be watching other impatient, often distracted drivers. You get hot and sweaty under your gear. It takes a lot of energy to slow down in life too. You’re using “muscles” you may not have used in a while and they may be rusty. Keep at it – they get stronger with practice.
It’s hard to get off the treadmill and slow down, but sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed. Better to do it voluntarily than to have life events beyond your control often force you to do it.
In any case, there’s no point in giving energy to worry or frustration. Use these slow speed life skills to step back, re-establish perspective and life priorities. You’ll be amazed at the gifts that await.