Would it be better if we just slowed down a bit? Memory & performance are improved when we travel through life at a slower pace

Published by tim-isherwood on

I use a narrow country lane that is near to my home on a daily basis. I use this lane in my car and my dog Sam & I often walk or run on the lane.

There are many other people who use this lane: cyclists, walkers, runners, horse riders and other motorists.

There are people who live alongside this lane and there are those who are passing through but what we all have in common is that we all travel at our own speed.

Walking speed will rarely rise above 4 miles per hour and will generally be half that at 2 miles per hour but the variance is marginal.

Cyclists can travel much faster but would probably have a maximum that is near to 20 miles per hour but they often cycle much slower again the variance in their speed is not great.

Horses and runners on this road probably max out at 8 miles per hour but can be considerably less, especially if you are measuring my speed when running.

The lane is a derestricted zone with regard to speed which means that the maximum speed is that speed allowed by the National Speed limit for that type of road. This means that motorists that travel along this lane can be travelling at anything from 15 miles per hour up to 60 miles per hour (but it is often much more).

To navigate this lane successfully a motorist requires empathy towards other users: taking care behind cyclists and horses, giving walkers & runners plenty of room whilst driving at a safe speed.

Unfortunately this doesn’t happen and I think that this is a good analogy for our lives.

We are all under pressure, often from our own making and we treat others in our lives with little respect and scant empathy. We tear along without a thought for others, a sort of “devil take the hindmost” attitude.

Our working attitudes and our cavalier approach to life together with the demands that society places upon us, mean that we lead a life that is similar to the motorist along the country lane.

Too fast and sometimes out of control. For most days this works, scaring others who come alongside, everything just fine as long as they get to where they want.

This could be just a desire to get home and be with loved ones, late at work so late home, the approach seems to be that if you drive faster  you will be home sooner. It’s like working hard to make sure your family can have that nice home or better holiday.

One day you might not get home, one day your attitude to work could cause a health problem that takes you away from your family.

What use are you to your family, to those you really love, if you are not there?

Slow down, take more time. A slower pace will improve how you view the world, it will improve your decision making, your memory and ultimately your performance. What may surprise you is that the sun will still rise tomorrow, as it did today and the day before.


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