Rushing through the front door, I respond to my mom’s questions about my day at school, while grabbing a quick snack– typically a lemon Luna Bar– before making my way up to my room. Within seconds my backpack is unpacked and binders and books are scattered on my bed with papers lying about. Pencil in hand, I work swiftly, writing down every last answer on my physics worksheet. I glance at my phone. Four o’clock.
Just as quickly as I had arrived home, I’m back at school for Mock Trial practice– two straight hours of formulating a case. Sitting in front of my Chromebook, I type as swiftly as I had written just an hour before on my physics worksheet. Again before I know it the two hours have passed and I find myself back at home once more, multitasking– dinner and homework at the same time– getting as much done as humanly possible. Once I finish I do my nightly routine of getting ready for bed, before completely crashing from exhaustion. It would all repeat the next day. All week to be exact. This was only Monday.
One day when I was in the middle of this routine, I paused and thought, “What am I doing? Why am I doing this?”. Everyone spends so much time rushing, trying to get as many things done as we can within the day. We stretch ourselves so thin– but what for? It was easy to realize that we should slow down, take a breath, and smell the roses. But the real question wasn’t that. It was why do we want to rush? What makes us do it?
It could be to avoid certain feelings. The busier we keep ourselves and our mind, the more likely we are to not think about something we’re avoiding. According to Sura Flow from The Huffington Post, “We don’t want to feel our real feelings, or deal with our stuff. Constant movement is a distraction to deeper, underlying feelings that cause us dis-ease and discomfort” (Flow). If your mind is cluttered with other thoughts, tasks, and responsibilities, there’s no time to think about anything else.
Everyone’s purposely kept themselves busy before to avoid thinking about something, but now it’s reached a new level of subconscious. There’s certain emotions and thoughts you might not even realize you’re suppressing underneath your five hundred stacks of paperwork.
Another reasoning for rushing may be that it’s just part of our culture. It’s instilled in us to always be looking towards the future and do what we need to get there. Beverly D. Flaxington from Psychology Today states, “Our future-focused mentality and an acute need to get there quickly and do as much as we can once we’re there are not just one-time experiences, they have become deeply embedded into our culture” (Flaxington). Everything is about what you can do to be better prepared for your future, leading people to always work nonstop for a future goal.
No longer is it about what makes you happy now, but what would make you happy tomorrow, or the next day. Our culture prides itself on getting ahead and working hard for later, but later never seems to come. It’s natural for us as humans to always want more, thus we’re always working nonstop for it.
Rushing through life could even be because we feel wrong if we don’t. Rushing is so intertwined in our culture, that someone who takes things slower, might be seen as an outcast which no one wants. Michael Ashworth from Psychcentral says, “Time-oriented people often have a fear of being rejected or not being accepted for who they are” (Ashworth). It works somewhat like peer pressure. Everyone wants to be accepted, so if rushing is the norm they’ll go along with it to avoid be looked down upon. No one wants to look like the weak link.
Rushing is something we all do. Why we rush is because of internal and external pressure we feel. Whether it be because we’re avoiding feelings, it’s the cultural norm, fear rejection, or another various reason, it’s rooted in us. No matter the reason, is the race against time really worth it if stress is its prize?
Flow, Sura. “Why We Rush Through Life.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 03 Jan. 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.
Flaxington, Beverly D. “Rushing Through Life.” Psychology Today. Psychologytoday.com, 09 Nov. 2015. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.
Ashworth, Michael. “Always In a Rush? Maybe It’s Time Urgency.” Psych Central. Psychcentral.com, 17 May 2016. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.