I learned to rush post my student life. It was as if a race to survive. I could see rewards for being fast. My first competitive exam to qualify for admission into an engineering college taught me the same.
In my first job with a media company, I was asked to finalize a 5-year business model in 12 hours. I was awake the whole night trying to comprehend and meet my target to submit and defend the business model. I was returning from work the following day waiting for the next local train to take me home.
Seated on the bench, I was exhausted from the effort the previous night. I decided to call it ‘quits’ and prefer to further my career in academics where I had already gained some experience post my post graduation.
But this feeling did not last for more than a day. I had convinced myself that I had the intelligence and the only lacking was ‘speed’ factor. If I was fast, I could have finished the business model in 1/4th the time available, taken a full 9-hour sleep, re-evaluate the model prepared the previous night before standing in front of my boss and explaining him every aspect of the model.
This was sometime in 2004. Since then I ‘speed’ exploit me. ‘Speed’ gave me career growth, more money, business and a feeling of a performer. When I finished my part of work at office or home, I kept myself busy with work that was not mine. I was appreciated for being multi-talented. I was multi-tasking and as a result speeding even more.
In a decade or so, I acquired the habit to speak fast. I rushed drafting my emails and fire without proof-checking. The negative impact of ‘speed’ was becoming evident in my physical and mental health. I was usually anxious and breathless after climbing to the first floor to my residence.
My life underwent a transformation post year 2012. I decided to post regularly on my personal blog. I took up writing with a pen with compiling my thoughts for the day in a personal diary. Cycling became a preferred sport to spend time on weekends. Photography helped me to slow down. I spent hours walking and searching for a subject to click on streets.
‘Slowness’ was returning to my life. I, with the improved wisdom of the late thirties, learned to prioritize, focus on impact over action and decide the ‘speed’ for each activity I undertake. I can now choose to be slow or fast – Sometimes fast and sometimes slow.
My wife teases me, “You take much longer to dress-up.”