The What’s Next Syndrome
I used to be one of these people, always thinking about my next task at hand, even before I’d finished my current one. Whether that was a work related task, a household errand, or even at times on holidays I’d be wandering around a museum and in my mind I’d be planning my next sightseeing stop.
Thank heavens I got out of that phase. And I have only one thing to thank for it – moving to India.
Whilst Mumbai is a buzzing, sleepless city that’s always on the go, the people here are remarkably in tune to their present moment. They are in the here and now, and even when they let their mobile phone interrupt your conversation, they are 100% dedicated to the person on the other line. I’ve seen big shot directors of companies able to juggle numerous projects and queries all at once – they somehow partition their mind whenever an interruption takes place. Focussing on the present is what they do.
Recently I had a bout of visitors from my other home, Sydney, and it gave me a chance to reflect on a number of personal changes I’ve experienced in recent years. This “What’s Next” syndrome is one of them.
I found that people visiting me were constantly on the go, waking up with a to-do list in their head that was continually being updated, ticked off and reshuffled. This was all whilst on a holiday, supposedly. It did occur to me that these people were largely members of my immediate and extended family – that could explain why this syndrome had such a profound impact on my own life for a number of years.
It’s just that I was able to see it from a different perspective this time. It was as if they couldn’t relax until all their tasks were completed. Even shopping would be done with such a dash-in-dash-out gusto that it felt like an arduous activity, rather than leisurely. And then, after a whole day of being out and about, travelling over 60km on the roads of Mumbai (no mean feat, I assure you), they would come home and go directly into the kitchen, without passing go (or visiting the loo, or changing into relaxing home clothes, or even sitting down for a cup of tea!). Instead, they had to get the ‘task’ of preparing dinner done, before they would allow themselves the luxury of sitting down for a moment to just breathe.
It was quite an eye opener. Made me realise that if I hadn’t moved from Sydney I might be exactly like that.
Posted on February 29, 2012, in All I Wanna Do is Vent, This Keeps Happening To Me and tagged always on the go, just be, learn to relax, present moment, task list, the what's next syndrome, whats next. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.