When our boys were very little, they watched endless video tapes on British railways and train watching. They were, in effect, defacto trainspotters. Now, if you have ever watched these type of shows (and no disrespect here), they are like watching paint dry.
Of course, our kids did the same with watching anime for years without subtitles. Mind you, it did inspire all three children to eventually dabble in learning Japanese at school.
Red Cars Do Go Faster (Well, Maybe Not)
Now, the reality is, when I drive, I like to get from point A to point B as quickly as I can. Notice I didn’t say fast – I get in trouble at home if I mention that word. I look at the most direct route, the shortest possible route and if going somewhere, let’s get there first and then take our time coming home, and not the other way round. That gets me in trouble too with the home CEO.
So, in my crazy local government CEO days, I would get up at 4:30 am, hit the road, drive 356 kms to Perth airport, fly out to Canberra, the national capital by 7:00 am (either had to stop in Melbourne or Sydney, so a six and half hour flight, have meetings, maybe get four hours sleep, fly back to Perth, jump in the car and drive 356 kms home and be home by 8:00 am the next day, generally rolling through the door as the office opened for business.
Of course, there did come a time when I decided I needed to stop doing that, because who really appreciated such an effort anyway?
Strategy and Action do not have to be a straight line – Enjoy the view!
Some Things to Consider
When it is all said and done, do you know where you are really heading?
The Titanic suffered from what I call straight line thinking: we have to have an output right now, on this day, we must get from A to B as quickly as possible on a particular heading, and nothing can get in the way of that because we have taken into account all possibilities and we know the environment oh so well!
The Laws of Physics (Roughly)
Firstly, it is okay not to get where you are going in a straight line. Does nature observe going from A to B in a straight line, and as quickly as possible? Here are some points to note (the physicists out there please be kind):
- Sound travels in waves;
- Light travels in a straight line, but fills up all the spaces between its point of origin and its eventual destination;
- To travel through time, we have to bend space so that we can travel through A and B at the same time? 🤣
The Importance of the Slow Anything Movement
This is the 2979 kilometre rail journey from Adelaide to Darwin that kicked off Australia’s slow TV craze. The Ghan tells the story of how the development of central Australia can be attributed to local Aboriginal communities as well as early immigrants, including the Afghan cameleers that gives The Ghan its name. We all got excited at the time, because when watching it, we realised that by slowing down, we could actually get some of our life back!
We keep jamming things in to our lives, and that’s not okay. We take our eye off the ball because of it, and then crash – just like what happened in that wonderful picture at the top of this post.
So, meander here and there and enjoy the scenery, stop and smell the roses. Remember the tortoise and the hare? How do we keep forgetting about that?
Appreciate the “Small Things” at Home
When you get home appreciate what you have. As Paul Kelly sings “from little things, big things grow.” Many of us have lost the art of just “being” and enjoying what is happening at home. And have you tried to apply straight line thinking with your household, anyway? Doesn’t work does it? There are strong forces at play regarding what they want to do instead of you having a nice ordered life of going from A to B.
There are some wonderful blogs out there on how to do just kick back and enjoy home life bliss and slowing things down:
Toot Toot – All Aboard!!!
At the end of the day, whether I go from A to B in a straight line, depends on what is happening at the time. Best made plans are just that. But every now and then, the plan works and we arrive on time and on budget. That’s the magic of a plan when it all comes together. In between times, I go here, there and everywhere, but when I do, I learn a whole range of things I didn’t know before (like all of those fabulous blogs out there, including MiddleMe). Do you?
As that advert goes: “Like is pretty straight without twisties.”