Slow Down Challenge – Day 5

Today was my last day of Jeff Goins’ “Slow Down Challenge”. So far, we’ve covered notice, focus, savor, and let go. Today’s challenge is to give thanks.

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Through most of this challenge, I’ve talked about my to-do list and how I have a tendency to let it run my life, how I have a tendency to make life all about getting things done and checking things off the list.

Among the other problems that come with letting my to-do list run my life is I also tend to be ungrateful. I get so focused on accomplishing everything that I forget how good I’ve got it. I get so focused on the next task, the next goal, the next accomplishment, that I forget to stop and be thankful for what I already have and what I have already accomplished.

Taryn and I were talking yesterday about the fact that we tend to make things more important than they are. Thinks like:

1. I tend to make my clients more important than they are. Don’t get me wrong. They’re important, but I don’t always have to drop everything for them. I don’t always have to rearrange my life for them. Might a lose a few because I’m not as responsive as I am? Sure. But in the overall scheme of things does it matter? What’s more important, keeping a client or keeping a relationship with a family member or a friend?

2. I worry about my job / business too much. I worry because I “think” that if the business dies I die. It’s just like concern about your job. We worry we will lose our job because it would be catastrophic. But if we just stop and think for a minute, it’s not catastrophic if we lose our jobs or our business. It’s just a new chapter – a new adventure. Would it be frustrating? Would it be a challenge? Sure it would. But life would go on. Taryn would still love me. My family would still support me. My friends would still be my friends.

Those are just two examples of probably hundreds. But the reason I think they relate to giving thanks is because when we get so focused on things that aren’t truly that important we forget to be thankful for the things that are truly important.

My work is important, but if it didn’t exist I still would. I would still be able to experience the life that God has given me. I would still have Taryn at my side.

I wonder if I would be more thankful if we didn’t have as much as we do. We get focused on where we are and where we want to go. We focus on supporting our lifestyle and the lifestyle we are trying to create. And we forget to be thankful for what we have.

We drive so hard toward our goals and accomplishments we miss a lot of life. When we cram too much into our day, it only takes one little thing to derail our plans. And when the derailment happens we get so frustrated that our mind is on the opposite end of the give thanks spectrum.

When the train stops us, when we didn’t make the light, when there’s a traffic jam, when we get slow service at a restaurant, we don’t give thanks. We get frustrated.

We need to train ourselves to flip that around. One of the things that Jeff said today was,

Be grateful for the moments that slow you down, the ones that cause you to take your time. Use these opportunities to appreciate what you already have and tend to miss.

That’s pretty good advice. Let’s slow down and let’s be thankful when we do slow down.

I hope that you’ve benefited from me sharing my experience with Jeff’s challenge. I know I have. Just forcing myself to stop and think for a few minutes each day has been beneficial. By slowing down for just a few minutes, I’ve made some discoveries about myself that will make me a better person and will help me enjoy life much more.

Question: Did you enjoy following the 5 day Slow Down Challenger? Were you turned off by it? Will you do me a favor? Go to our Contact page and send me a short email letting me know what you thought. It will really help us know what kind of content you like and don’t like.

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