Self help: A happy life in the age of urgency


Dave Deruytter’s latest self help article suggests we slow down our speed lives.

Relax… You can only do as much as you can at any given time. Do not worry about things you cannot influence, cope with them and work on those things you can influence. Plus, you need to get away from it all now and then, even away from the digital world that is always awake and changing fast.

The fittest person or organization is not the one who keeps on running fast until he or she hits the wall. The principle of the ‘survival of the fittest’ has been around forever in our world, and, when looking at history, it was clearly not always the fastest that survived. A continuously speedy life can eat your health away.

Waiting for Godot is not the best strategy either. We all know that Godot eventually did not come. Waiting whilst the others advance is falling behind in relative terms.

From the sky your happiness or progress will not fall either. From the sky you merely get rain, snow or hailstones, or occasionally a meteor, or, sadly, an airplane crashing to Earth.

Then what is living a happy life all about? Balance! Yes, but that balance should be checked with the fast-changing times. Given that the current era is one of urgency, or speedy change, so must our balance parameters change at that same speed and in the same manner.

Relax… You are not alone. Everyone on our planet faces the same issues of urgency and change. Contribute to, but also rely on, your networks, your ecosystems.

Networks or ecosystems are magic once they know that you are a contributor to them. You will get back what you put in and more. Particularly the time and effort you put in is key – money alone is not enough, and not the most important input you have to give for you to thrive in your network or ecosystem. Make sure you inspire other people and are passionate about what you do. Others will do that too and they will follow you.

The key to a fulfilling life is also to have an added value, a purpose. That can be anything, but the fact of merely consuming other people’s money does not count as an added value or valid purpose. Do things. Learn from failure. Act when you have 50% of the required information, do not wait for 100%, because by then the market has moved already. You should learn, improve or innovate on the go, on the job.

To be a leader is not a job-title, it is the result of what people do, most often inspiring, bringing passion, bestowing enthusiasm, showing energy and determination.
All of that is of course never always or at the same time present in any single person. That is why success is all about diverse teams with a general common purpose or goal. All the team members know that that purpose or goal can change.