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Get into your own pace

by Roy Chambers (follow)
life (68)      choice (33)      stress (12)      control (11)      work (11)     
I was going to title this, speed up, because I know quite lot of people who feel they are going through life a little slow. However my metaphor comes from experiences hiking and how different people prefer to hike and different speeds.

from http://pixabay.com/en/users/Elektro-Plan/

If you have ever hiked with a group that is going faster or slower that you would normally hike, you will feel uncomfortable. Going too slow can result in sore legs, just as going too fast can.

This is called Optimal Level Theory. Basically too much or too little something is always a problem and there is an optimal level for everything.

This is true for stress as well. Too stressed you will have health problems and your work and life will suffer. Too little stress, you will have health problems and your work and life will suffer.

What you are looking for is your optimal level, which is harder than it sounds. I know lots of people who are working and feel bored. Then they start studying and the result is become too stressed and find they now have too much in their life. However when they drop one, they go back to feeling bored again.

So how to speed up

The best way to speed up is to add little optional things to your life. Many people do this by exercise. It is something that they can add or remove easily from their schedule without problems.

from http://pixabay.com/en/users/Defence-Imagery/

For further motivation they set up a goal. Maybe they are exercising for a marathon or long hike. Perhaps they have a goal like writing a book or learning a language to travel.

These goals are internal, so they can be adjusted to match their needs to speed up or slow down. Too stressed, skip a day. If you are feeling a little bored then do extra.

How to slow down

Most of the need to slow down comes from external pressures. We talk about stress management because we are usually trying to let go of the pressure from outside.


First all find all the internal sources of stress in your life. Such as the level of debt you take on, personal goals and so on. Adjusting these can reduce your total stress. Don't abandon them as you will often end losing the ability to control your pace of life.

How to keep at optimal level

So we have two sources of stress, internal and external. We can manage the external stress but can control the internal stress.

Remember our goal is to achieve an optimal level of stress, pace and activity in our life. The person throwing tantrums at work is simply trying to control their level of stress. We have to accept what we can't control and identify what we can.

Find your own pace

I am person who tends to be a slow starter, moves fast in the middle and gets distracted at the end. This is true of both work and in my personal metaphor, hiking.

Sometimes I just have to go at my own pace, no matter how important it is to fit into the team. In hiking I have injured myself trying to match other people's pace and had problems working where my pace is too fast or slow for the organisation.

Reaslising that I have the ability to arrive at the destination means I can focus on the finding the best speed to move my feet forward.

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I know exactly what you mean. Finding the right balance is key to getting the most out of life. Wonderful article. Thanks Roy.
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