There is a way of moving through the world that allows you to take in everything around you (and even have a sense of what’s happening behind you).
There is a certain pace at which you are present enough to notice it all. When you are really in a groove, that’s when you are at your perfect pace. [hint: flow state is easier to find when you are moving at your ideal pace].
The issue is that most of us don’t know what our pace is and even if we do, we only allow ourselves to move at our preferred rhythm even when we are alone or have a day off (when does that happen?!).
When we were little we were told to “hurry up!” or “slow down, wait for us!” because it wasn’t safe to be moving on our own time. This is how most of us begin to lose touch with our natural cadence, very early in life.
To begin finding your pace I recommend trying to move faster and slower, paying attention to what feels most comfortable. This is not the same as what feels most familiar. You may surprise yourself.
Not only does it feel wonderful to move at your pace, but it also unlocks potential.
As adults I often see my clients rushing between back-to-back meetings. One thing I can tell you for sure — the more you are rushing, the less effective you are. I know that may seem drastic, but it’s true. Rushing will take you out of the present and therefore cuts you off from innovation, creativity, and even high-level analytical thinking.
This means the more we rush, the more we are engaging in lower-level skills (and therefore not providing much value). That said, crazy ultra-filled schedules are not going anywhere, at least not overnight (I do think that over time if we want to become more effective leaders we will need to take control of our calendars).
How do you get from point A to B at your preferred pace when you only have 2 minutes (or zero minutes if you are like most of my clients)? Even people who like to move slowly can find an easy stretch to their legs. From afar, this looks like someone moving gracefully (and rather quickly).
Adjusting the pace at which someone moves through the office can actually change everything. A few times in my career after coaching an executive on this topic, I have seen their effectiveness shoot through the roof. Resulting in feedback such as “you seem so on top of everything” and “you always seem to be ahead of schedule, how do you do it?”