Which got me thinking about racing drivers. As a general rule, they’re always either accelerating or braking. They never coast. They’re always speeding up or slowing down. They waste valuable seconds when they do neither of the two.
I think this heuristic transfers to life as well.
The equivalent of braking in life is doing things that we know are harmful and hinder our progress. The equivalent of accelerating is engaging in small behaviours that compound into huge benefits. Things like practising gratitude, reading, de-narrating, becoming stronger, getting healthier and moving yourself down the path to mastery.
Most people coast. They don’t do things that actively harm them, but they don’t do anything that dramatically improves their lives either.
But here’s the thing. Coasting is assumed to mean staying at the same speed, neither going faster nor slowing down. Except it’s not. Coasting is still slowing down, it just doesn’t feel like slowing down.
On the track and in life, due to the forces of friction, coasting is slowing down.
Which means you have three choices.
1) Slow down. Do things that damage your health and negatively detract from your personal and professional life. 2) Coast. Do the same as you’ve always done, slow down and be overtaken by everyone who chooses to… 3) Speed up. Make yourself better every day by choosing to do things that help you to learn, grow, expand and become a better human.
Decide now, but don’t complain later if you pick 1) or 2).