Bigger.Faster.Quicker.Results- this is the mentality of our society today. We encourage the “hustle”, the “grind” and our pace is no longer one of striding, rather one of striving. The dictionary says that to “strive” means to “struggle or fight vigorously” and to “stride” means “to walk with long, decisive steps in a specified direction”. As each week approaches and comes to an end, I find myself saying to my team members “time flies by so quickly! Where has this week gone to?!” The funny thing about that statement is that time itself has not changed, it is, in fact, our lifestyles and everything encompassing our daily routines which creates that impression. Between technology, our jam-packed schedules and the continuous rat-race we are a part of, it can sometimes feel like being on a treadmill where we are expending a lot of energy and going nowhere. What if there were more happiness, success and peace in adapting a counter cultural mind? What if we begin to stride more and strive less?
Our CEO is an avid runner which means that our team lives our best running lives vicariously through her! Nicole often tells us about the importance of her setting a realistic pace during a race, as opposed to over exerting herself at an unsustainable pace, resulting in the likelihood of her loosing motivation, burning out easily and the possibility of even injuring herself. Perhaps we should be applying the very same mentality to the way in which we approach business, goals, relationships and life in general. I wholeheartedly believe in the notion of being driven to prosper, grow, succeed and achieve, however, I do believe that as we speed through the process, we tend to miss opportunities, people and lessons which could have been visible to us, had we been in an unrushed rhythm.
While both striving, and striding imply moving forward, they both provoke very distinct different feelings and emotions. In my experience, when I am feeling anxious, scattered with tasks on hand, stressed and pressured, I am living in a state of frenetic striving- I am so incredibly focused on what is to come, what I don’t have, the next task instead of the task at hand and I end up feeling exhausted as opposed to feeling fueled. Whilst when I am striding, I am making progress on tasks, concentrating, fired up with creativity juices, organized, inspired, calm, clear in thought and perhaps most importantly, enjoying the present moment.
Since striving is ultimately the act of reaching for something that you don’t currently have, striding is moving forward towards your desired outcome at a more peaceful, balanced, adjusted pleasant pace, recognizing the momentum daily and enjoying the process. I do, however, wonder how fun and enjoyable a race would be for Nicole if she ran at the same pace on the same surfaces the entire time? Similarly, perhaps the key is finding an equilibrium between the two to gain the benefits that stem from both on this journey we call life. The adrenaline and rush that occurs from striving may be a beneficial factor which we possibly may not really want to lose to keep the fire for our future alive!
Ultimately, no matter which rhythm you choose, you will reach the very same goal. Therefore, why not start to strive for simplicity in the stride?
Written by: Christel Weinert (firstname.lastname@example.org)
24th April 2018