The Beautiful Coalescence of Fast and Slow

I tend to be slower and more deliberative, while my husband tends to be faster and more instinctive. These traits have been on my mind lately as I’ve considered not only how I live my personal life on a day-to-day basis but also how I run my business.

And, while I do believe that we are each predisposed to one or the other demeanor, I also think we are not linear beings, and that we switch between behaviors almost instinctively, throughout each day, throughout our lives.

Fast, underpinned by the quietness of slow

In the case of my husband and me, while he is more of a fast thinker and doer (generally speaking), and I tend to be slower and more deliberative, we also each have habits and behaviors that illustrate how we are a bit of both and how this feeds into our more natural tendencies.

For example, Rob underpins his fast thinking and acting inclinations with a slower and more deliberative daily awakening that begins 30- to 60-minutes before sunrise. He fuels with his vitamin-C drink, the solitude of pre-sunrise and our water fountain pouring meditative calm through his soul.

Fed by this meditative ramp-up to his day, he launches into his go-go-go big picture visionary work and life blend. Rob has a strong skill for seeing the broader and artful palate of business and life and painting big picture strokes to energize sales and solutions.

The finer details, while extremely important to his perfectionist demeanor are spurred forward by his oft action-oriented impatience for results.

Slow, buoyed by an exercise in vigor

And, I on the other hand, juxtapose my slower and more introspective demeanor with an action-oriented start to each day, as I move more from bed to gym clothes, striving to knock out my exercise regimen before weight of the day drains my physical ambition.

It is amid this heart-pumping routine that I sweat out angst and imbibe clarity. This buoys my confidence and calm necessary for the day’s introspective writing and conversations with ambitious and often anxiety-ridden senior executives in the throes of transition.

I do believe that Rob’s more natural state and talent is ideating and envisioning complex and often magnificent destination ports. However, plotting the most efficient and swift paths thereto often is strengthened by slower mornings as well as other intermittent, more thoughtful habits that equip him for such energizing and often heart-pumping results.

I also believe my more natural state is immersion in the slower and often finer details of a conversation, a written few sentences as they unfold into several well oiled paragraphs or the deadheading of my hibiscus plant as I wander slowly through my garden.

But likewise, my deliberateness is equipped by fast-moving exercises such as my morning fitness routines that open up the airwaves for clarity of thought and creativity.

The complementary nature of fast and slow

Again, while most of us exude a blend of quick and slow thinking, instinct and deliberative action, we generally find ourselves both surviving and languishing in one side or another of this river of thought.

As such, we do well to pair our natural inclinations with those who complement us in order to create a more well rounded and robust life, one that is not dictated only by our DNA.

I know, for example, that my 16-year relationship with Rob has enabled me to marry my slow and in-my-head demeanor to his more get-it-done big picture energy, enabling kick up my heels periods of wild abandon and wind-in-my-hair moments that I might otherwise not have known.

-Jacqui Poindexter

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