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  • Writer's pictureShir Warr

Most Misery is Caused by Rushing

I started my day today by reading the New York Times morning newsletter, the same exact way I start all my days.


My personal opinions mostly align with their views, though I sometimes disagree with their biased writing tone—but this is the reality of journalism, and how news media twists reality is outside of my control.


I’m saying all of this to highlight a sentence I read this morning that really resonated with me: “Most misery is caused by rushing.”


This rings true in so many aspects of life; remembering my last trip overseas, and how I felt standing outside in the cold waiting for the taxi to pick me up… I was outside 15 minutes early, feeling anxious to no end. Worrying about all the things: will my driver show up on time? Will I be able to get through TSA peacefully? Will my flight be delayed, causing me to miss my connecting flight? Will I be able to sleep on the long flight overseas? What will the food be like? Will my stomach be upset, will I be able to fill my water bottle, will I be stuck next to unpleasant passengers or crying babies, and so on… The anxiety was never ending, and even though I was technically still at home, I was driving myself crazy, wanting it all to be over already, rushing before the first leg of the trip even started.


Things could have felt so different if I only relaxed into each action, enjoying my surroundings, feeling my own body’s cues in those moments, and just flowing with things that are mostly out of my control.


Being fully present.


I see this woman at the gym every morning during the week. She goes through the motions while on the phone, never paying attention to her form, the weight she is moving, the direction her body needs to move in in order to complete each exercise correctly and impactfully… I even went as far as coming up with a name for her in my mind: “Ms. Half-Ass” (I know, language…). She seems uninterested in the workout, uninterested in being at the gym altogether. Rushing through each movement without completing the full range of motion, so she can get to the next exercise and out of the gym.


Then, I noticed she’s been missing for a while, and thought perhaps she lost interest and decided to quit… but a few weeks later, she’s back, and her arm is in a sling. She was injured due to being distracted and dismissing the importance of form and mind-muscle connection—in other words, she got injured because she wasn’t present during her workouts. There it is again: misery due to rushing.


When we rush, life passes up by.


When we rush, we don’t take the time to find joy in the small details.


When we rush, we become unhappy.


When we're able to slow down, we become more present, and thus, happier.

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