Just How Fast Was It?

[Published on Huffington Post]When did it become that faster was equated with being better? Not only do we expect that we have to perform faster but we also know that it is going to cost us more and we are okay with that.

We talk about the speed of cars in terms of how fast they can get from zero to sixty and that is measured in seconds. After all, it is so really very important that our car will spring us into action at a stop light so we can be first at the next one. Is this a status symbol? For some it is.

Is the crux of the problem with road rage why people are demanding to get to where they are going faster?

What else has to go faster? Download speeds, when we want the next hit song or movie, become part of the negotiations in purchasing new computers. It used to be that we had fast food but with the increase in choices now the delivery has not sped up but rather slowed down so that it is no longer fast but merely FUN or convenient. And of course all of our communications have become faster as we no longer need to wait to connect with someone as they are simply a text away.

One of the aspects of our lives that has sped up and it is not a good thing is how we have a tendency to lose our cool. Rather than try to remain calm and ask for clarification, emotions get riled and we spring to our defenses. Often this done without taking that pause to see just how a statement might have been meant. Thinking the worst right away and reacting badly has caused many broken relationships.

For one of my seminars, I illustrated an experiment. I took a pot and put a couple of cups of cold water in it and put it on the highest setting on my stove. Then I timed how long it would take for the water to boil. The result was 8 minutes. Twenty minutes later I took the same pot with the same water which was not merely hot not boiling and put it on the same stove at the same setting. How long do you think it took to boil? You know this, don’t you.

24744262 cropped image of a cooking pan

The result was 2 minutes.

It is clearly evident by this that if we are going around all the time being a little “hot under the collar” it will be much easier and will be considerably faster to boil over and really lose our cool. Hence the tired old phrases about staying cool, keep your cool and cool off are so important. We need to cool down before we boil over. And speed is of the essence.

Have you ever said things you didn’t mean but said in haste when angry?  I think we all have done so at one time or another.  We were too anxious, angry, agitated – hot under the collar – to think carefully and slowly.  We spoke too fast and blurted out things that ought not to have been said.

The sad part about these hastily spoken words is that you can’t undo what damage they might have caused. No one can unring the bell; repair what has been broken; or forget we ever saw the dimming of the light in someone’s eyes.  Fast doesn’t count here.

For the sake of the people in our lives, we must tend to the fires that keep burning and keep us just on the edge of boiling over.  The trick here is not let ourselves get so hot in the first place.  Wouldn’t it be safer for all  if we would monitor our core temperatures?  When we find our temperatures rising how can we best turn down the thermostat?  That will be different for each of us.

10 Tips to Lower Our Temperature:

  • a cold shower is always a good choice
  • read something meditative/inspirational/comedic/etc
  • setting regular routines to acquire sufficient sleep
  • take up drinking – water that is to stave off dehydration which can seriously affect moods
  • find time to play again
  • hang out with friends and don’t talk shop
  • get outside for some fresh air and go for a walk
  • eat so blood sugars are stable and there are no crashes
  • sit where the scenery is breathtaking and awe inspiring
  • your favourite pastime hobby

These are just a few that could work for most of us.  Find a couple that you could turn to immediately if you need to. Sometimes we need to drop that temperature in a hurry; other times we’ve got some leeway.  It is important for us to know ourselves and how best to handle our inclinations. Maintaining a lower range of temperature is the healthiest choice for ourselves, our relationships and for our careers.

 


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merri@merrimacartney.com

With more than 25 years of sharing hard learned lessons, both personally and professionally, through speaking, coaching and publishing books, Merri offers a totally unique motivational experience.

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