Slow down

There are plenty of arguments to take it easy, to slow down. I find that, since living here in Botswana, ‘slowingdown’ comes naturally and it brings me a lot. If I compare my schedule now with the one of five years ago when I was living in the Netherlands, the difference becomes immediately clear. Back then, almost every moment was filled mostly with work, sports, social events and obligations.

You could argue that it is because of the heat that I slow down or that less is possible here, but that hardly plays a role. After all, there is always work to do on the farm and we have been and still are busy building up our businesses. And yet it is much quieter, less hectic. Time to live instead of being lived.

It is that I, we, do what we love doing rather than wanting or having to conform to what others expect or want from us. We choose our own pace, which is much more relaxed than in the Netherlands and we still do much more and get more things done.

There is a number of aspects that underlie this, which also became clear to me before I settled here. One of the things was that I grew up with the concept of working, especially of working hard and making money. We live in a system where we need money and there is nothing wrong with making money. But why should I have to work hard for that and what does that really mean, working hard? Put in a lot of hours? Working physically hard? Not having consideration for others, elbow work?

And then what is that result of work hard? That people give you recognition? That you are praised? That you are successful? If you work to show how good you are, what you are able to or to get compliments, then you can become quite disappointed. And then will there be time for the rest of your life?

My motto: “Stop working hard and start working smart!”

There is more that prevents you from slowing down…

If you just keep yourself busy then you don’t have to worry about your feelings, and to check in with yourselfand ask how you are really doing. For this reason, more and more people are getting sick. Both physically and mentally. There comes a point when your body tells you that you may need to use your brakes. If you don’t listen to your body’s message, it might have some unpleasant surprises for you.

Another phenomenon that I have experienced and that I myself have gone on too long with, are statements like:”Never give up!” By now I do know that this is a dangerous quote and that winners and successful people know exactly when to give up.

What especially is wrong with this quote is that people cross limits both physically and mentally with all the consequences. What I find even more worse is the reaction of the environment when people who give up orstop something, are put down as losers.

These arguments just keep you going and by not slowing down you will actually miss life.

But why slow down? A few arguments:

– To process and implement information. There is an overkill of information. But there is no use for that information if you don’t do anything with it. You probably know people who go from training to training, following again another workshop, going to another motivational speaker, etc. I was one of those. I found out that all that information is interesting but putting it into practice? No. Now I know better. Find good applicable information and put that into practice. Take your time, because you need it.

– Experience life, really experience it. Stop rushing through it and checking off a to do list, because you feel you have so much to do, can’t miss anything and want to fulfill what others expect of you. Take your time to enjoy, to look, to feel…to do nothing.

– Give your body rest, work on your body, listen to your body. You only have one.

– Becoming aware. When you slow down you become more aware of yourself. How you react to something, what you say, how you say it. You will become aware of how others perceive you and react to you. You become aware of your subconscious, that inner voice that actually determines what you do. What does that voice say to you and is it correct? But also what choices you make and how do you make them?

During the Leadership Quest, our program for individual participants in Botswana, the first thing we do is SLOW DOWN. We call that the JOURNEY IN. Literally and figuratively landing, getting used to the stillness after the heck of travel but especially of daily life. From ‘SLOW’ the focus to yourself goes much easier.

SLOW DOWN, it’s a choice.

Do you want to know more about the Leadership Quest, then check this link  or sent us an email to