Picture this – You wake up late. Today is the day. You have a meeting that could drastically impact the rest of your career, nay, the rest of your life… and you wake up late!?
You rush to get ready, fumbling around with shirt buttons and shoelaces. Unable to enjoy your typical breakfast routine, (even though it is just a granola bar and a tin of cold coffee from the fridge), you grab your keys, wallet and phone and run out the door. Despite waking up late, you calculate that you can still make it to work and avoid any repercussions if you speed walk quicker than usual, likely having to push more people out of the way than the average day. How could you let this happen? Today was YOUR DAY.
Life can often feel like we’re in this constant grapple with time; battling not to give too much of it away and struggling to find even moments for ourselves. Not enough time to spend with our families, to travel, to enjoy our hobbies… the things that make us truly happy. Maybe your struggle isn’t with time management. Maybe it’s the people in our lives that stress us out or our possible shortcomings. But one question remains… Why do we stress out over the things we can’t control?
Let’s change gears for a moment – You’re a gazelle. You wake up every morning with the goal of outrunning any lion that messes with you because you are quite literally fighting to save your life! One particular day, you wake up and eat your grass as you normally would. In a blink of an eye, you find yourself sprinting as fast as you can, purely based off of instinct. You’re being chased by a fierce lion.
Shortly after you take shelter behind some shrubs and are convinced you are safe, you’re back to eating grass – business as usual. The gazelle does not lament over the stress it experienced – which was quite literally, a battle of life and death.
This analogy has been used for years as a source of motivation for working individuals. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a lion or gazelle. When the sun comes up, you’d better be running”(Christopher McDougall).
According to the Mental Health Foundation, more than 70% of the UK has reported feeling stressed over the past few years. That’s a lot! Sometimes, you can’t control if you’re late. Sometimes, a gazelle can’t stop a lion from chasing it down. That’s okay! But in both cases, be ready to run.