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Stop The Hurry

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”

– Saint Francis de Sales

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Why Hurry Feeds The Beast Of Stress And Worry

  • How can any one do anything well while in a constant state of rush?
  • How can any one see anything clearly while in a constant state of rush?
  • How can any one expect to keep healthy and strong while in a constant state of rush?

But most of my readers may say, “I am not in a constant state of rush—I only hurry now and then when I need to hurry.”

The answer to that is “Prove it, prove it.” Study yourself a little, and see whether you find yourself chronically in a hurry or not.

If you will observe yourself carefully with a desire to find the hurry tendency, and to find it thoroughly, in order to eliminate it, you will be surprised to see how much of it there is in you.

The trouble is that all our standards are low, and to raise our standards we must drop that which interferes with the most wholesome way of living.

As we get rid of all the grosser forms of hurry we find in ourselves other hurry habits that are finer and more subtle, and gradually our standards of quiet, deliberate ways get higher; we become more sensitive to hurry, and a hurried way of doing things grows more and more disagreeable to us.

Watch the workers coming out of a factory at the end of the day. They are almost tumbling over each other in their hurry to get away. They are dropping their tools, putting on their jackets and running along as if their dinner were running away from them.

Similar to the same attitude of rush we can see in any large city when the employeees come out of the shops, for their luncheon hour, or when the work of the day is over.

If we were to calculate in round numbers the amount of time saved by this rush to get away from the shop, we should find three minutes, probably the maximum—and if we balance that against the loss to body and mind which is incurred, we should find the three minutes’ gain quite overweighted by the loss of many hours, perhaps days, because of the illness which must be the result of such habitual contraction.

It is safe to predict when we see a worker rushing away from factory or shop that he is not going to “let up” on that rate of speed until he is back again at work.

Indeed, having once started brain and body with such an exaggerated impetus, it is not possible to quiet down without a direct and decided use of the will, and how is that decided action to be taken if the brain is so befogged with the habit of hurry that it knows no better standard?

The High Cost Of The Hustle

One can deposit a fearful amount of strain in the brain with only a few moments’ impatience.

I use the word “fearful” advisedly, for when the strain is once deposited it is not easily removed, especially when every day and every moment of every day is adding to the strain.

The strain of hurry makes contractions in brain and body with which it is impossible to work freely and easily or to accomplish as much as might be done without such contractions.

The strain of hurry befogs the brain so that it is impossible for it to expand to an unprejudiced point of view.

The strain of hurry so contracts the whole nervous and muscular systems that the body can take neither the nourishment of food nor of fresh air as it should.

There are many women who work for a living, and women who do not work for a living, who feel hurried from morning until they go to bed at night, and they must, perforce, hurry to sleep and hurry awake.

Often the day seems so full, and one is so pressed for time that it is impossible to get in all there is to do, and yet a little quiet thinking will show that the important things can be easily put into two thirds of the day, and the remaining third is free for rest, or play, or both.

Then again, there is real delight in quietly fitting one thing in after another when the day must be full, and the result at the end of the day is only healthy fatigue from which a good night’s rest will refresh us entirely.

There is one thing that is very evident—a feeling of hurry retards our work, it does not hasten it, and the more quietly we can do what is before us, the more quickly and vigorously we do it.

The first necessity is to find ourselves out—to find out for a fact when we do hurry, and how we hurry, and how we have the sense of hurry with us all the time. Having willingly, and gladly, found ourselves out, the remedy is straight before us.

Nature is on the side of leisure and will come to our aid with higher standards of quiet, the possibilities of which are always in every one’s brain, if we only look to find them.

To sit five minutes quietly taking long breaths to get a sense of leisure every day will be of very great help—and then when we find ourselves hurrying, let us stop and recall the best quiet we know—that need only take a few seconds, and the gain is sure to follow.

The words hasten slowly should be in the back of our brains all day and every day.

Stop The Hurry Summary

Most of us who work feel the need to hustle.

The pace of life often makes even the non-worker feel the need to hurry through everyday tasks.

This creates a tremendous load on our nervous system that usually goes unnoticed.


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