Monthly Archives: November 2009

Slow Down

Earlier tonight I decided that I needed to walk over to Staples in Union Square to pick up some items I’ve been meaning to get for the past few weeks.  I do this walk every day on my commute to-and-from work, and it usually takes anywhere from 10-15 minutes depending on my pace.  Since I had nothing planned for the rest of the evening, I found myself walking slower than usual.  As  I walked casually to the store, I observed that I was more aware of my surroundings.  I found several new restaurants and stores that I walk past each day and never noticed; made eye contact with a huge variety of people who I can safely say are from all over the world; came to appreciate some of the pre-war architecture on the buildings; and much more.  Without the thought of getting home or to the office in the back of my mind, I was actually able to enjoy the walk.

What this made me realize is that I spend entirely too much time each day rushing through my commute.  Instead of acknowledging all of the interesting things around me, I walk as quick as possible to get to the office or back to my apartment.  Since my commute is about 40 minutes of walking/subway riding each day, I spend 1 hour and 20 minutes of my day rushing somewhere without thinking.  Multiply that times 5 and again by 50 and you have 333 hours and 20 minutes of time spent each year scrambling to get somewhere (or just under two weeks).

I think it’s time to slow down and enjoy the world around me.

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Criticism

Tomorrow I have my first performance review for my new job, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t stressing about it all week.  My hopes were that I would walk into the review and be told about all the things I’ve been doing right over the past 6 months.  Funny enough, I was reading Robert Greene’s The 50th Law this evening and I came across the quote below:

“Few People have the wisdom to prefer the criticism that would do them good, to the praise that deceives them” – Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Spot on.  A little bit of honest criticism can really help in the long run.  What good would it be if I walked in and got a whole heap of sugar-coated bullshit about how I’m doing such a fantastic job?  In all honesty, it would be unfair.  It’s not easy to find your own faults, and when someone is willing to politely point them out to you in hope of you improving on them, you should jump on the opportunity.  I should look forward to finding out what others perceive my weaknesses to be, since that will be the first step towards me strengthening myself.

With this new perspective in mind, I’m a little more enthusiastic about hearing what my managers have to say tomorrow.

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