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A Sustainable Pace of Life

Aaron McHugh

When I was ten years old my life was simple, unhurried and I lived at a walking pace of 3 MPH. I walked to a friends house. I rode my BMX garage sale bike. I did a few chores. I spent time with the people I loved most. I dressed up in camo fatigues. I practiced lighting bottle rockets and catching fire flies. My life was simple. The only hurry I remember was getting out the door for church on Sundays.

When I grew up, I got in a big hurry. A rush to be responsible, a rush to make enough money, a rush to get married and have kids. My life sped up and became like a bullet train going at 200 MPH. I traded in simplicity for progress and time for money. I adopted the beliefs that more was always better and the early bird gets the worm.

One of my mentors told me, “Walk fast in the office; people won’t stop to bother you if you look like you are in a hurry.” He was right; no one stopped me on my campaign to progress. Hurry became an external projection of an internal drive for more.

Here’s the deal: People like us get rewarded for being more efficient, more committed, more gritty than most. Our culture overvalues hurry and complexity. The bummer is that eventually we all tire of the 200 MPH pace of life, always on, always connected and always responding culture and we start day dreaming of slowing down, enjoying our life and not being so stressed out all the time.

At the beginning of our story, we were beautiful. Our lives were right sized with our soul’s capacity. If you could step through a time portal to visit your ten-year-old self, What did she love? What was most important to her? What made her happy? What did she want to be when she grew up?

I bet she was unhurried, purposeful and lived a sustainable pace of life. Maybe you should ask her?