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Can Smooth Really Be Faster?

Ah, that great American pastime, being busy.

We love to be busy. We love to talk about how busy we are. We love to compare our activity level to others and wonder why they are not as busy as we are. We love the slight feeling that if we take our foot off the gas, the world will crumble. Ah yes… being busy. We love being busy. If we don’t do “it”, who will?

Let’s look at this ubiquitous mindset of the modern world.

The problem I see with being busy, or defining yourself as a busy person, is that it is inefficient. We lose our economy of movement. We go through life reacting instead of responding. We waste energy and time. Think back to a time when you were learning a new skill, like riding a bike or skiing or playing a musical instrument. The ability to coordinate a smooth movement/pattern is almost nonexistent. We have not built the neuronal scaffolding, the network of connections, to be able to easily and reliably perform a task. This leads to a lot of waste until some level of proficiency is reached. It takes time and practice.

Time and practice. And not just any practice… perfect practice. Meaning, having a clear picture in your mind about what you are trying to achieve. Like getting down a hill on two slick boards or choosing which of the 88 keys on a piano to press. Time and practice. But practice does not make perfect, it makes permanent. Read that again. PRACTICE MAKES PERMANENT, NOT PERFECT. So if we train our nervous systems and brains to do things well, correctly, thoughtfully, we will be a lot less busy but more productive. I think it really begins in our heads. And it is the antithesis of busy. The difference? Being smooth.

Consider this: “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.” This expression, apparently used by the Navy Seals, I think serves our purposes.

Focus on being smooth. Not busy. Smooth. And remember, slow is smooth. Be proud of how smooth you are. Let smoothness infuse your activity. When I have let myself focus on being smooth, when I have lucid moments of smoothness, I am way more productive and a whale of a lot less busy. And no matter how many times I tell my barber to give me a Navy Seal’s haircut, the difference between being smooth and being busy exists between my ears, not all around them.

Take action, focus on being smooth. Stop being so busy.



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