It struck me while on my recent cycling trip that there were two distinct and different styles of conquering up to 110kms of track each day. One style was slow and steady. No rushing, no significant breaks, no getting off the saddle just to rest your bum or knees and certainly no breaking any speed barriers. The other approach was sprint and recover. Racing forward no matter the terrain, pushing both body and mind, breaking more than a sweat and then indulging in a much deserved break before the next speedy leg. The latter group tended to ‘finish’ a bit more quickly, but both seemed to have a similar level of joy attached to their experience.
I started to wonder – is this an analogy for how we choose to live? I was certainly a sprint and rest cycler throughout the trip and in reflection, its the same approach I’ve taken to my career. I tend to jump in enthusiastically, racing at top speed, taking on massive scopes of responsibilities and keeping as many balls in the air as possible. And then . . . I frankly need a break. This could be a holiday, a career shift or even a move to a different country. My rest period can be a weekend or several months. And once recovered, I find myself itching to sprint forward towards the next opportunity.
I know many people who take a more slow and steady approach to their life. They tend to have a 5 or 10 year plan (!), they build up enough tenure to be rewarded with long service leave and they probably don’t spontaneously sell their house, move countries or travel overseas at the drop of hat.
I admit that I like the pace that stimulates adrenaline and seek the thrill of ‘new’ but I reckon there are places I could benefit from a more considered and consistent approach. Perhaps a blend of both paces will serve me moving forward.
So, do you know your own pace of JOY? Are you a steady traveller or speed demon? Either way, I’m a firm believer that reflection adds to richness.