Earlier this fall, I had the opportunity to hike up to Rock Isle Lake in Sunshine Meadows in the Canadian Rockies. And as you might expect, the scenery was absolutely spectacular. As I stood at the edge of the lake gazing into the water, I immediately noticed how I could see right to the bottom, almost 20 feet below. My first thought was that this complete clarity must be because the water in the Rockies is so clean and pure. But upon further reflection, I realized that it was because the lake was so tranquil and unmoving. The stillness of the water allowed me to see deep into the lake and gain a clarity in vision that I never would have if this were a fast-moving stream.
Since the majestic Rockies often puts one in a contemplative mood, perhaps it wasn’t so surprising that my mind continued on to a related subject. It occurred to me that in the day-to-day demands of leadership, it is often very hard to find time to pause and consider. We get so caught up in the intricacies of one crisis and then another that there is rarely time to think about the bigger picture. In essence, we become fast-moving streams, something that many of us actually wear as a badge of honour. But … what if we were to force ourselves to slow down, to become still, at least mentally, and stop to reflect. Could we (just as I was able to at Rock Isle Lake) gain a deeper vision, and thus greater clarity on the issues and problems we face in our roles as leaders? Should we, in fact, slow down to speed up? I think “yes”. What do you think?
Do you have tips and ideas on how you force yourself to become still? Please share.