The Long Hallway In Between
When we’re eager to make a change in our work or our life, our relationship with time and how we understand time can shift. In a funny way, time becomes both an adversary and an ally in times of transition – never moving fast enough when we’re stuck in a rut or anticipating a new opportunity, yet moving too quickly either when we’re happy where we are, or when we’re faced with a sudden, unexpected shift.
I recently came across a wonderful quote that said:
“When one door closes, another opens – but no one talks about the hallway in between.”
I love this idea of the hallway because I think it perfectly captures the feeling of suspension, of both waiting and hurrying, that we often feel as wayfinders. We know that a door will open eventually, but we don’t yet know how long or crowded the hallway is, nor do we always know where the soon-to-open door will actually lead us.
The past few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about time and my relationship to it. My own journey exploring and then launching Wayfinders Collective has happened in ways that feel both instantaneous and sluggish. Fits and starts of electrified energy and slow molasses, all at once!
I’ve found that, much like the current of a winding stream, it’s easier to flow with the water than against it. So, when the pace of the stream feels active and vibrant, I try to lean into the idea of also moving quickly – what can I accomplish, experiment with, or learn about in a quick burst of applied energy?
And when the water in the stream seems to meander, taking its time to flow around and alongside rocks and other obstacles, I’m also practicing moving more slowly myself – deepening my inquiry, slowing my focus and making it more intentional, taking time to settle in to some of the bigger ideas and questions I’m working through.
At times, moving quickly often feels exhilarating and enriching, although it can also make us feel harried and rushed when we’re not ready for the faster pace. And the opposite is true: when the speed at which we’re able to make progress, get an answer, or figure out something slows, it can feel like either a relaxed exhale or a tortuous waiting game.
I’m coming to realize that neither fast nor slow is “right” – there are times when we can move at different paces for many different reasons (many of them outside of our control). So, over the next couple of weeks I’m going to be examining questions of time and speed: when can we accelerate our wayfinding work through speed (as they say, fail fast to succeed sooner)? Conversely, when does moving slowly, settling into the pace and the rhythm of a quieter moment, actually support our learning and growth in ways that speed never could?
This week, it’s all about speeding ahead with active learning and experimentation. Check out our latest tool, 60 Day Wayfinders Sprint, and consider how you can quickly discover, imagine and try out ideas that support your wayfinding journey.