I just finished Brendon Burchard’s book, The Motivational Manifesto. It’s a thought-provoking book, but what I found most useful were the last few minutes (I listen to audiobooks rather than read books). Burchard recommended having things last two beats longer. It’s a captivating thought. Not a minute longer. Not a week longer. Not a century longer. Just two beats longer. Well that’s pretty doable…isn’t it? So, breath in for two beats longer. Gaze at your lover two beats longer. Pet your dog two beats longer.
It’s such a simple concept. It doesn’t require a new notebook, new tennis shoes, or a new rain jacket. No equipment required. Just two beats longer. I’ve been paying attention to this and this is what I have found.
The benefits of two beats longer:
- The greatest luxury. Burchard writes: “The greatest luxury of life is an unhurried mind.” Is this not completely and utterly true? When you are not hurried, it’s like a giant down comforter. Things soften. Life is richer. Moments extend. It’s like letting off the gas and just coasting. It’s such a relief not to be pounding forward. Taking two beats longer provides for a more luxurious life. An unhurried mind waiting and able to focus.
- Multi-tasking is a lie. I used to think I was multi-tasking. You know, driving a car, listening to the news, putting on lipstick and drinking a Grande Frappuccino all at the same time. Instead I was skimming through and doing each thing less than 25%. Uni-task and focus on the moment. I was hiking the Balsam Trail on Mount Mitchell a few weeks back. As you hike along, there is this waft of balsam. The smell of Christmas. I stood there and closed my eyes. I took two beats (perhaps more) longer. I soaked it in. I won’t soon forget that moment. Don’t skim. Take it in two beats longer.
- Linger in your relationships. Burchard writes, “What would happen to the quality of our life and relationships if we simply amplified our senses just a little longer?” Hold the kiss for two beats longer. The embrace. The touch of the hand. Gaze into your lover’s eyes. Be there now for two beats longer. What would such a minuscule change do to your relationships? It’s like turning up the volume with a slight touch. Bringing things into focus. Being present and available for those you love. Love just two beats longer.
- Respond versus react. Most of the unsavory moments of my life were when I reacted instead of responded. Those moments when I came back with a snarky comment or rolled my eyes. If you take two beats between reacting and wait to respond, it can be the difference between keeping a job or losing a job. Between maintaining a friendship or becoming enemies. Between getting a client or repelling them. As I look at the difference between responding versus reacting, it’s all in the moments in between. Two beats longer gives you space to respond; not just react.
- Savor the moment. Burchard writes, “Do not gulp down the next meal but savor each bite for two beats longer, let the tastes melt and linger.” I inhale food. I have to be one of the fastest eaters I know. I think I have been racing my older brother Rick since elementary school to eat all the Cap’n Crunch before it was all gone. I’m still racing and I can afford all the Cap’n Crunch I could want. Taste the moment. The food. Enjoy it. It’s not something to get through but to enjoy. Slow down for two beats.
- Be present right now. That’s what this all comes down to after all. Be here right now. There is a really easy way to do that. Wait. Two. Beats. Longer. Eckard Tolle told us this in The Power of Now, “The past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.” Waiting two beats longer gets you into the moment right now. Let go the worries of the future and regrets of the past and be in this moment right now. Two beats longer.
This is so simple. So elegant. It’s not that hard to do. It’s just a conscious effort to wait…two…beats…longer. Give it a try and see what a difference it makes.