Many people tend to think of things as black and white. Slowing down does not mean stopping. Most of us drive through life too fast and slowing down a little, can help a lot.
This video is part eighteen of twenty-six excerpts from a presentation hosted by SOUL Food Salon in March 2019.
You may check out the full playlist of this video series on The Art and Science on Mind Optimization here. Alternatively, you can also click here to watch the previous video and here for the next one.
As soon as I pitch this theory to my patients and my friends, everybody says, “Oh god, whoa, whoa, whoa. I’m going to become a slug, nothing’s going to happen.” But the reality, I also think, is that most of us in this busy world, especially here locally in Silicon Valley, we’re all driving too fast, to begin with. What I explain to everybody is that if you’re driving 160 miles an hour and you slowed down by 40 miles an hour, you’ll still be going plenty fast. To me, the slowing down principle speaks to the importance, not of saying you need to just stop driving and shut down completely and stop striving for anything, but slow it down a little bit, because sometimes I think we all try too hard.
To illustrate the point further, an ancient Chinese philosopher asks his students, “What in this moment is missing?” Ask yourselves this. You’re sitting here. Hopefully, you’re not in pain, you’re not hot, you’re not cold, you’re not hungry, you’re wearing nice clothes, you’re sitting comfortably. If you really narrowed down our experience into this narrow moment, you begin to realize that in presence there is, actually, no sorrow or grief, or there’s nothing that’s missing at this moment.
Eckhart Tolle wrote a great book, The Power of Now, and in it, he describes that, fundamentally, the source of human unhappiness is time travel. You’re just too busy thinking about what should have happened, what could have been, what you should have said to that friend a year ago. On the other end, you’re going into the future. Mind you, also, this ties back into the Darwinism and the ant and grasshopper. It’s all related, but the reality is that when you’re over-preparing and when you’re overthinking, you’re not here. You are definitely not enjoying your chocolate, and you are definitely not enjoying your kids, and that comes back to those missed moments that to me are so important.