August 03, 2013

Stop and Smell

I took some time off over the last several months from blogging to slow down and get a fresh perspective, again. Yes, it seems like I have to do this often because I am so driven. What can I say? I work a lot and I enjoy it. I barely stop working on vacations. My body may be sitting on a beautiful beach, but my mind will still be racing ahead planning my next work-related move.

Once again I have decided to stop, (or at least slow down), and smell the roses. Before you roll yours eyes let me share this. I read an article a few months ago that had a profound impact on me. This article shared observations of a nurse who had cared for dying patients on their deathbed. She documented their regrets as they reflected upon their lives and their impending demise.

Did these people express their disappointment over not putting in more hours at work? Did they lament over work-related e-mails they wished they had answered or express remorse over business meetings they missed attending?

No. In fact, she found the opposite. The No.2 most common regret expressed to the nurse -- and the number one regret of men under her care -- was: "I wish I hadn't worked so hard." As the nurse noted, "This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship."

The nurse also shared the other common regrets articulated by her patients, such as their disappointment in not pursing their dreams, failing to have the courage to express their true feelings and not allowing themselves to be happy.

Look, I realize that it's probably impossible for many of us to “stop and smell the roses'' but I do believe it is possible to slow down and sniff a rose or two. I have started to carve out moments from my work day to relax, take a walk, mediate, and enjoy my life. I suggest you do the same. Schedule some time on the calender daily to do that or something you love.

There's a 2012 study, which examined the actual benefits of "stopping to smell the roses," it found that people who appreciated the blessings in their lives tended to be happier. Thus, appreciating the "roses" in your life -- be they relationships, family, or even the beauty of nature -- will likely lift your spirits and increase your happiness.

I have made my decision, what is yours?

1 comment:

D.M. SOLIS said...

I heartily endorse your thinking on this, Phil. I told my brother the same story some years ago, when his daughter was nine. She's in her twenties now. He's never regretted slowing down and enjoying her childhood and his younger days with her. Peace and continued good things for you and your family.