Pace Yourself


A couple of months back, I was in the Standard Chartered Marathon, running a 10k. There were thousands running their marathon, their half marathon or like me, their 10k. Each runner runs at a different speed, a different pace from the rest. Unless you are running in a pair or with a group, which just annoys people who are trying to overtake the pack.

Many may know that I’m currently overseas in Japan for a week for an impromptu vacation. This is the fourth day of the trip and as I sit across the popular Shibuya Crossing at the Starbucks in Shibuya Tsutaya, I can’t help but think of the thousands of people rushing across this busy street everyday. It seems like everyone is rushing somewhere, to meet a person, to reach a destination. Some are running, some are walking and some, you could say, should be walking faster than they are.

One question that kept coming back to me the past week as I walk the streets of Japan is “how do we want to pace our life?” Are we walking fast because everyone else is walking fast? Or are we keeping our own pace of life?

It is easy to walk and keep walking without stopping to think how fast or slow we walk. There are seasons in our life that we have to run, seasons in our life that we have to walk, and seasons in our life that we just have to stop. Whichever season that is, we need to choose the pace ourselves, if not we get caught up in the current.

How do we PACE ourselves in life? Four simple things to look out for:

1. Productivity

Productivity is an interesting concept because we become productivity when we work on something. When we work on something, we eventually become engrossed in it. Eventually, we come to a point when our productivity drops even after putting in the same effort. 

When that happens, we need to look at our pace, whether it matches our optimum productivity. Sometimes it is good to just stop and review before going off again. 

2. Attention

Someone once said that nothing could stop mankind if we were to put our mind into it. That holds true especially when it comes to life. Our focus determines our results. When we attend to a matter, we put much attention into it, sometimes to the point that we forget everything around.

In my trip to Japan, one thing that had been interesting to me is the opportunity to just slow down and start changing my attention to what’s going around me. There are so many thing that we can be taking in that we would miss out if we only focus on that one thing.

3. Connection

When we are running too fast or walking too slow, we may miss out on the connections we can make around us. That brought me to the Standard Chartered Marathon couple of months back. Funny thing that happened – I signed up for the run with another friend, but we barely met each other during the run other than the start and the end of the run.

When we start to miss out on the connections that we could be making, we should look at the pace we are going whether we should speed up or slow down.

4. Enthusiasm

Remember the time when you were particularly excited about something? Give it a month or two, what happened? Let’s say a year or two, what happened? Where is the same enthusiasm you used to have about that something? Could it be that we have outpaced ourselves? Maybe slowing down could help us see and get back to why we were so excited about it in the first place.

Enthusiasm is often a litmus test for our pace. When we are unable to be enthusiastic about what we are doing, maybe we are in the wrong pace and need to calibrate again? Once we calibrated our step, we can get back into the excitement and enthusiasm.

The lesson is simply… Pace Yourself! 

Food for thought… If we spend so much money on wearables that track our heart rate, our steps, our speed, etc, why aren’t we spending enough time on the pace that really matters?

Pace Yourself

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