Today, whether we like it or not, we exist in a world in which everything is done at great speed. We are always rushing round, completing one thing after another with very little pause in between because there just isn’t time. The fact that our hectic world is now more interconnected than ever can mean that there never really is a true distinction between work and home, making that little bit of peace all that harder to come by. No wonder many feel overwhelmed and overloaded.
This inbalance between how much work we must get done and the time we have in which to do it can force us to sometimes exist in a state of ‘autopilot’, the simple reason being that we are not able to give everything that passes through our day our full and complete attention. And it would be impossible to expect anyone to do this, all the time, as the most likely result would be mental fatigue and exhaustion.
However, the ‘autopilot’ setting does have its down side; it allows us to act without thinking. For some tasks you could argue, thinking isn’t necessary, they are part of our everyday routine, but the problem this gives rise to is not thinking in other situations. Everybody has said at some stage, ‘sorry, I wasn’t thinking.’ And this lack of thought can take meaning away from the actions that we do make.
Take a moment to think about something you are going to do, or even retrospectively, what you have done and ask yourself: Does giving this action more effort, give it more meaning to you? Does it allow you to better deal with it? Or even, does thinking about it mean that you might have done something differently? When we take the time to go over the conversation or situation, we better understand the consequences to our actions. Perhaps this is because we can analyse all the options before us. Perhaps it is because we can see the perspectives of other people involved.
We shouldn’t think that we must always make snap decisions or respond instantly to that which goes on around us. If the decisions are important, take time over them. If other people are telling you that ‘they can’t wait’, ask yourself instead what is it that they hope to gain from the situation. Why wouldn’t they want you to think it over?
Ultimately, putting thought before action can make us better people, and better for others to be around. It can improve our judgement and go some way to ensuring that we have done our best, or even that we have done what we thought was right. If we haven’t spent the time thinking about it, can we honestly claim that?
Just a few personal thoughts on the subject…