Stop That Runaway Train (“Oh no!”)

Let’s discuss a phenomenon I’ll bet most of you are familiar with. Raise your hand if you’ve ever suddenly discovered you’re chugging along through life on nothing but adrenaline and momentum, like a runaway train. And it was bad enough that you had no idea why you were doing it, you didn’t even know you were.

As always, I’ll rely upon you to bring more clarity to the issue through your comments; however, what I’m describing is living life in a, well, almost manic fashion. Now, be careful, I’m not using that term within the context of a clinical mania. Nonetheless, the fact of the matter is when we’re in this mode of functioning we often don’t sit still, rapidly go from task to task, talk excessively, excessively chat on the phone or text, and delay sleep. And in spite of ourselves, we’re incredibly productive.

So what’s up with this anyway? Well, I believe there are conscious and unconscious factors involved.

Again, your comments are valuable and necessary, so let’s begin with this list…

  • We’re running from something (a counselor once pointed out to me, “It’s much harder to hit a moving target.”)
  • We’re trying to keep people and circumstances at arm’s length
  • We’re trying to keep ourselves at arm’s length
  • We have no known purpose in life
  • Living life neck-up keeps us from the feelings that exist neck-down
  • We feel safe when something’s going on
  • Your thoughts?

Okay, so we’re cruising through life in this manner, thinking we’re free as the breeze. But you know what? A very inconvenient, yet inevitable, reality is gonna’ hit home. We, as humans, have emotional, mental, and physical tolerances. And sooner or later we’re going to hit one or more of them. And very suddenly we’ll be faced with two choices. We can forge ahead and risk some sort of emotional, mental, or physical short-circuit. Or we can volitionally slow things down and catch our emotional, mental, and physical breath.

Now, perhaps you’ll agree, this slowing down business can be really very scary. I mean, if you take another look at the reasons why we may have “runawaytrainitis” in the first place, you’ll easily see the implied risks of a change in behavior.

So what can we do to avoid this very sticky web?

  • As always, become aware of the phenomenon and how it’s traditionally presented
  • Begin to monitor our emotional, mental, and physical pace
  • Come to know the signs of moving too quickly
  • Jot down what’s going on in our mind and world as our pace has quickened
  • Jot down what it is we’re trying to avoid with our perpetual motion
  • Participate in planned down-time, pondering the contributors to our behavior
  • Practice! Practice! Practice!
  • Your thoughts?

Don’t know about you, but I’ve done a whole bunch of running in my life; and it can still very stealthily sneak back into the picture. I’ve said it before, my grandmother used to say I approached everything “like I was trying to kill a snake.” Well, I’m tired of killing snakes, so it’s all about awareness and intervention on this side of the fence. How is it with you?

We have two lists we’re building here so your comments are really important. Let’s talk it over.