By Jeff Shepard
Not long ago, something amazing and really quite cool happened—I arrived 30 minutes early to a meeting. Mind you, I am rarely late for meetings, but I have become masterful at fitting a lot into a single day, and running things with military-like precision. As a result, it’s not uncommon for me to arrive for a 10 am meeting at 9:58 am, with a hint of smoke escaping from my engine compartment.
This particular day, it just so happened I took off at a particular hour, allowing enough time to arrive at one destination, including a traffic allocation, only to realize the meeting was closer than anticipated and it would take a fraction of the time to get there. As a result, I found myself moving over to the right lane on the freeway, allowing those in a hurry to buzz past me in the center and left lanes. I put on classical music and found myself incredibly relaxed and actually enjoying a leisurely drive instead of my usual laser-focus on the destination.
When I arrived at the meeting site 30 minutes early, it was peaceful and serene. I had time to look around and observe things I normally would rush right past. I even took the time to call a friend to say hello and thank them for being a great friend all these years.
When the client arrived, I was in the best of moods, which was infectious. This change of pace made the meeting even better, and helped elevate the client’s mood, too. The experience was awesome…all because I was early and decided to practice a mindset which I coined as “Right Lane Living.”
Decades ago, Robert Hastings wrote a wonderful poem called “The Station.” In it, he writes that everyone is in a hurry to arrive at a mystical station—a place where, upon arrival, everything will be right, dreams will have come true and life will be complete. However, Hastings opines that there is no station, no one place at which to finally arrive. The true joy of life is the trip, and the station is but a dream that constantly outdistances us.
Moreover, Hastings urges to stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, he tells us to climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, walk barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less. I guess now I’d humbly suggest an addition to his list—to practice more Right Lane Living. Without question, most of us are incredibly busy and always trying to accomplish more while we climb the infamous ladder of success. Pressures and deadlines exist, and most of the things commanding our time and attention are meaningful.
Nevertheless, do we need to take on so much and try to be so much to so many just to find ourselves constantly weaving in and out of the center and left lanes of our lives? What price are we paying to stay on that ladder and drive in the fast lane? Might we actually accomplish more by finding balance, and making sure we’re enjoying the journey along the way?
“Enjoy the Journey” is one of our cherished Hughes Marino Core Values, and a very important one at that. It reminds us to stop, take a breather, and appreciate the little victories, the family trips, and valued relationships we come across along our path. A small turn of events—my arriving early to a meeting—caused me to have a new, positive perspective on life. We must make a conscious effort to enjoy the journey each and every day. As Hastings astutely reminds us, the station will arrive soon enough.
Jeffrey Shepard is a senior vice president of Hughes Marino, an award-winning California commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Contact Jeffrey at 1-844-NO-CONFLICT or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.