Entrepreneurs and business people work fast and hard. We rarely find time to savor and enjoy victories that happen along the journey. We go so fast we forget to slow down, or even stop, and learn from successes and failures.
Remember the tortoise and the hare story? Sometimes winning the race means being methodical, instead of running around full tilt, distracted, and missing out on the insights of a race ran more meticulously.
There are three reasons slowing down--or even stopping--can help you make better decisions:
1. The principle of bounded rationality
First, multitasking and harried behavior can cause big mistakes--just like the distracted driver speeding along in the fast lane, texting, and thinking about everything but driving. Slowing your decision making process down and making sure you're staying on task makes for better analysis, and decisions.
The Principle of Bounded Rationality states that we only have so much time and energy to make a rational decision.
Now, consider the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. There was pressure on NASA for a successful mission that included teacher Christa McAuliff. The nation and the media were waiting, school children across the US were urged to watch, and it was an upcoming public relations bonanza NASA.
However, many believe the NASA engineers suffered from Go-Fever, even though there was much long-term evidence of problems with the ship's O-rings in colder weather. A real tragedy happened due to a very poor decision to launch. NASA was under scrutiny and time constraints, with multiple factors swirling around them; they were bounded from making a more methodical, rational decision.
We try to make fully-researched and analyzed decisions, but we're busy with work and life. Can we really make an optimal decision without slowing down or stopping, and focusing on the task at hand?
2. The benefits of meditation and rest
Give your brain a break. In turn, stress and anxiety dissolve, and you feel better, focus better, and make better decisions. I've been doing yoga, breathing, and meditation for a while. It helps to wash out the debris from the twisting and turning thoughts trapped inside me.
This past June I had the pleasure of attending Inc.'s Iconic Tour event in Manhattan, and one of the featured speakers was Arianna Huffington. A major theme from Arianna regarding her success was the ability to sleep, rest, and meditate. Oprah Winfrey, who has built a tremendous empire worth billions, also credits mediation and soul-searching to her success.
The clearing of mind might be the best remedy for those of you who have run into the ground from going so fast. Blocking out thoughts will refresh you, readying you for a stronger long-term performance.
3. The benefits of savoring the moment
Do you chug wine? Do you wolf-down a prime rib in mere moments? Of course not. Savoring things is helpful in so many ways.
Savor your professional moments. Revel in the big and little victories--let the remnants of it wash over you.
When you take this time to savor, you discover best practices for future success in that moment. Self help enthusiasts argue that taking the time to stop and take a few moments to enjoy the little things in life, increases happiness and positive thought. I agree.
Additionally, these savor moments should be shared with others, as this brings even more happiness. The savoring also can generate positive speculative thoughts about the future, which certainly fits into your pursuits.
I manage social media accounts for a client of mine. I've posted themes based on music, comedy, animals, and families to capture data.
Military homecoming videos seemed to resonate really well--these posts were liked and shared way more than the other themes. I clearly remember the moment I was studying the Facebook posting analytics to be sure my analysis was correct, and did I ever savor that moment. I was geeked-out, like a teenager at the prom.
I basked in this moment--it felt enormously good. I savored it and it has become a great story and memory for me. I now share this story in the classroom, when I speak with other clients, and I even think about it when I get down. The simple moment of stopping and savoring the success of trying to do business in a smart way has now snowballed into a great anecdote for my consulting business.
Take the time to reflect, same as you do over a glass of wine, a nice dinner, or a movie. Hearty, positive thoughts and ideas, and happiness, can emerge. Over time you will have so many happy recollections, you will develop a database of positive moments in which to draw ideas and inspirations..