Slow Down. You’re Missing Life

We all know being busy isn’t the same as being productive. It’s a lie that’s damaged many great leaders.

There’s another lie many leaders face. It’s the lie that they don’t have enough time to spend with those that matter the most.

That’s a lie from the pit of hell, if you ask me.

We need to be willing to slow down. We’re missing life when we’re going here, there, and everywhere while ignoring the most important parts of life.

Over the past couple of months I’ve realized that my life has been on autopilot going a million miles an hour in directions that I’m not controlling. It’s left me feeling dazed and confused.

Life happened and it’s gotten the best of me.

I lost my dog (and he was a great dog). We had to take my wife to the emergency room. My dad made multiple trips to the ER. And Pam’s mom entered the hospital.

And now I have regrets. Things I can’t revisit and fix.

The busyness of life caught me in a whirlwind. Leaving me with feelings I can’t shake.

I can no longer:

Take a stroll with Zane

Sneak him an extra snack

Run til we can run no more, and have to walk back to the house

Pet his belly

Or any other activity I enjoyed with him

I feel I didn’t do these things with him enough. It hurts knowing I won’t be able to anymore either.

However, it’s a great reminder that there are things in my life that are still here. And I need to be present for. I can’t let the busyness overtake the time I have with those I love and care for.

I can still:

Hold my wife close

Whisper to her and tell her how much I love her

Go out for a night on the town

Visit my mom and dad

Invite family and friends over for a cookout or bonfire

Walk with our other dog Leviticus

Let Leviticus lick our plates clean

Spend a Sunday at Pam’s parents house

These activities may seem calm and mundane. But I’m telling you, they’re your lifeblood.

The simple activities we do. The actions we take with the ones we love. Those are the important moments in life.

Busyness has a way of sneaking into our lives and sucking away the things that make our lives worth living.

Please, slow down today. Smell the roses. Stroll through the woods. Enjoy some time with your family and friends.

Things can wait at the office or business. Don’t neglect those that matter the most.

Question: What have you missed because you’ve been too busy to slow down? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Love your dog’s name. Leviticus! I let my then-three-year-old son name the Jack Russell we had. By himself, he came up with Marvin.

    I caught myself doing this not long ago. My son and I were fishing at a nearby pond. Cast. Reel. Cast. Reel. We’d never catch a fish if he didn’t leave it in the water! I was focused on the results of our trip: catching a fish. But my son…he was just loving it, seeing how far he could cast and how fast he could reel it in. After I realized which perspective was more important, it turned out to be a great trip.

    • Justin, Leviticus wasn’t named by me. All my wife’s doing. I still feel silly calling Leviticus out the back door.

      It’s amazing how easy it is to overlook the true meaning in life. Sometimes it’s just spending the time with someone and enjoying their company. I’m glad you realized it before your trip with your son was over.

  • Dang, Joe, sorry to hear about these hard times. I’d hate to lose my dog, Shep. Sorry about… Leviticus or Zane? I tend to catch myself regularly in regard to being too busy. I intentionally slow down and cut back whenever I see things getting too out of control in any one direction.

    • Dan, thanks. It’s been 3 months now and while the pain of losing Zane is getting better, it’s still pretty painful. Leviticus is our other dog who’s healthy and vibrant still.

      It’s great you’re able to catch yourself when you see things getting too busy and out of control. What safeguards do you have in place that helps you recognize you’re getting too busy?

      • When I start getting frustrated or short with my daughter or when I start gaining too much weight. I know I’m out of balance.

        • Those are great indicators Dan. It’s too bad we’ve got to wait until they’re triggered before we do something, huh?

  • This week has been a whirlwind of activities for our family, and I know I’ve missed real connection opportunities because we’ve been too busy.

    • That’s a bummer Jon. The good news is, as long as we’re here there’s always time to connect and be present.

  • I miss taking day trips to the North Georgia Mountains with the family. Seems like it keeps getting farther and farther down the the “To do List” I know somethings really are not that important, I just need to say no more often so I can be free for what is really important.

    • Jon, sounds like something needs to move up on the “To Do List” and pretty quick. Any way possible that you could swing a day trip to the mountains soon?

    • I miss living near there – beautiful part of the country! Nature can be a great reminder to slow down….

  • Thank you for this very important reminder. In a fast pass world we need to learn the discipline of slowing down and taking time to do the things that are important to us. Great thoughts!

    • Dan, with everything going so fast, what are some steps you take to slow down?

      • Being intentional about turning off my phone when spending time with my wife and son.

  • rcsinclair952

    great message, Joe.

    • Glad you enjoyed the message Bob. Hope things are going well with you.

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  • Joe, Great Message. This was a great reminder for me. Its so important to take advantage of the little moments in life and not get consumed with whats on the plate.

  • Thanks for the reminder, Joe. It seems it’s easy to think life is complex and impossible. Truth is… some of the most effective and fulfilling times are when I can stop and be present with dear ones. Those moments have enduring value.

    • A lot of it has to do with all of the distractions we’ve got around us, I think. The smart phones, constant access to email, etc. It’s overwhelming. Glad you’ve found value in slowing down.

  • They say that it’s the journey that’s rewarding, not the final outcome. Life is a journey; enjoy it while it lasts! You just never know when your last day will come.

    • I think that fits this post perfectly Lorraine!

  • I know I’ve missed opportunities to be a better husband and father. This is a great reminder to slow down. Life is really just all of those little things strung together – and it’s easy to miss because we are always waiting for the NEXT thing.

    • Tom, we all have. The good news is as long as we’re here, we’ve got the chance to change.

  • Excellent insights. I learned several years ago to slow down and enjoy your family and life. You said it best, “Busyness has a way of sneaking into our lives and sucking away the things that make our lives worth living.” If we don’t watch it we can miss living because we are busy doing things that really don’t matter in the end.

    • Thanks Bernard! How do you realize when you’re getting too busy? And how do you coral that?

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