We all know we live today in a very fast paced society. Everywhere we go, everything we do and in every situation we are required to be efficient, specialized, to the point, achieve our goal and move on. No matter if you are driving, buying groceries, or even on vacation, life is passing by and we better catch up to it. Multitasking is law. It is a desired skill that we must learn and develop. The more we split our attention and the more we produce the better. No time to stop, no time to wonder. And I even say, no time to live.
I remember reading an article a couple of years ago, talking about the hectic schedule our children and teenagers have these days. From early in the morning to late at night, they run from one activity to another, having a day that sometimes is busier then most adults would desire - all this in the name of learning and acquiring new skills to have a better “life" in the future.
In this same article the author raised the question about the importance of time to wonder and imagine. He mentioned that innovation only happens when our imagination is triggered and a new way of thinking comes to light. And most of the time, this only happens out of unstructured time and when our minds are free to reach out to something different, something new.
Today we run from one place to another. We continue to pay more attention to the things that are outside of us and continue to believe only they will make us happy. We work very hard but even so, our to do list manages to become longer every day. We drink coffee to wake up and sleeping pills to fall asleep. We poison our bodies in the name of efficiency and wonder why we are sick so often. If a moment of silence comes by, we need to fill it with music, news and any noise coming from our earplugs and our iPods. And we never make time to listen to the most important voice, ourselves.
In an interview, Eckhart Tolle, author of the best-seller The Power of Now, mentioned that when he first began to write his book, it felt not as if he had to write it, but instead as if the book was asking to be written - something that he says, could only have come from a place of silence and a place of peace. He goes on saying that we manage our time pushing, forcing and struggling when instead, life is ready to flow from within us in a natural way and we never stop to pay attention.
Of course, he didn't mean we should just sit down and wait for everything to fall on our laps. When writing his book, he had to go to the computer, be diligent about it, go through revisions, seek a publisher and find his way through. He had to do his part. But, according to him, he did it as the moment presented itself - he did it respecting himself and paying attention to where life was guiding him to. In the process, he trusted nothing else would move him to a better place, nothing else would bring him the fulfillment we all desire.
Today, we run so fast and we work so hard, but at the end of the day we still feel as if we missed the train. We load every second with things to do, but still feel empty. When was the last time you took a nap? When was the last time you stopped to look at the ocean or up to a mountaintop? When was the last time you sat quietly at home with no music, no TV, not even a book to read? When was the last time you paid attention to you and to what your heart wanted to say?
I cannot stress more the importance of working hard, building our lives and fighting for our place in the sun. But we must be careful with not losing ourselves in the midst of this journey. We must be careful with not losing sight of our original intent and always reflect on the means we use to move on. We must be careful with not leaving ourselves behind and later realizing we don't know where we are anymore.
The path to an authentic and fulfilling life can only be trod by listening, respecting and trusting our inner voice. There lies our truth. There we will find peace.
Elias Scultori is a professional life coach. His practice and speaking engagements expand across the country and abroad. His focus is on helping his clients remove barriers, unearth their talents and true desires so they can build a personal and/or professional life journey that is full, rewarding and authentic. Elias was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and presently lives in Princeton, NJ. To find out more go to http://www.lifecoaching-egs.com