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April 17th, 2009

Does Slow Mean Lazy?

I received a lot of feedback from yesterday’s “Too Much to Do – Too Much Time.”

Thanks so much for your replies. I’m thrilled to know so many people found the advice helpful.

If you missed the email, you can catch up by here, where all emails are posted on the blog.

Now, I’d like to comment on one reply I received. This one coming from Steve, who wrote:

“Good thought to alleviate stress/pressure/anxiety -  but I think the other side of the coin (yang!) is also true; it could lead to  procrastination, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ – i.e. self-justification for laziness.

Is ‘Do it Now!’ so bad? Isn’t it precisely China’s adoption of ‘hurried worried western man’s’ furious belief in progress that’s responsible for it’s growing success?”

MJF: Hi Steve, I’m a big believer in “Do it Now” – and so are the people in China who give me a massage or who wait on me. They just don’t do it now in a hurried, stressful way. They don’t do it now with anxiety. They simply do it.

In certain situations, someone who is slow is definitely lazy. But the real meaning of “man” is not just slowly.

It also means to go in a relaxed way.

I do some things quickly. But I also do my best to  stay relaxed regardless of the speed.

Many people have often asked me, “How do you get so much accomplished each day?”

My reply is to say, “I get very little accomplished. Just a number of things I focused on.”

Somedays it’s five or six things. Other days it’s seven or more.

But I don’t only judge my day based upon what got done. I judge it based upon how I felt while I did it. If at the end of the day I am stressed out, burnt out and so on – I know I was out of balance.

I’m happy to say that the days in which I feel stressed or out of balance are few.

No, I don’t think China’s progress is due to being “hurried and worried.” I think it’s due to the fact that the government finally gave the people the freedom to make money – something that Chairman Mao wouldn’t allow. And the speed of growth is a natural out-pouring of desire and enthusiasm to make one’s life better.

Is everyone in China calm, relaxed and in the flow?

No. Many are not.

Are there lazy people. Of course.

Same is true in the U.S.

Likewise, in the U.S. there are very accomplished people who go through their day in a calm, relaxed manner.

My point was that, culturally speaking, the Chinese concept of time is very different than our perception of it in the western world.

Breathe deeply, relax and MOVE. If you will do this, not only will you get more done in less time, you’ll have a blast while doing it.

Matt Furey

P.S. This is turning into a great subject. Can’t wait to release my Make it Fun program.

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