Y’all musical theatre fans may recognise that title from 11 TIME TONY AWARD WINNING MUSICAL ‘Hamilton’, created by my number one man, Lin-Manuel Miranda. It’s a song about how Alexander Hamilton was ‘non-stop’ with his rise to the top (yay, rhyming). It’s also attributed to Lin himself:
And while I genuinely adore the guy with the rabid intensity of my pug when it comes to meal times, there is something to be said about slowing down.
I catch myself doing the ‘instant gratification’ thing all the time. I want everything now, and I want to get it quick. I want to DO everything right now and finish everything immediately. And I expect things come to fulfilment directly.
But that’s not how things work in real life.
People are rarely an ‘overnight success’. There is a lot that comes before that. And for some reason,
our generation of the dreaded word millennials a few of us don’t seem to comprehend that. No, I’m not saying we don’t work hard, as every Baby Boomer claims we don’t; we work hard, but we get frustrated oh-so-easily when the results aren’t evident in a short period of time.
At least I do.
We look at the lives of celebrities or YouTubers or famous Instagram accounts and say ‘YES, that is my aesthetic, and I want my whole world to look like that.’ Have we forgotten that all of that never came easily? That it took years to curate a room to look like that? That the lifestyle these people live are on a background of many years of hard work?
Here’s the thing, we are not ‘🎶 running out of time 🎶’. Why in the world do we all think that? I can’t help it either- I look at my age and I think ‘WOW, I’M SO OLD, I should be doing __ and ___ and ___ by now’.
But, wait, no, that’s not true. I need not have travelled in my 20’s. That’s not always possible. I need not own my own place, because, in reality, most of us cannot afford to, especially if you’re still in school like I am.
In reality, we have a lot of time. It just depends on what your goals are. It’s about having the patience and persistence to do the little things for us to reach whatever we want.
Realistically speaking, Lin-Manuel wrote Hamilton over the course of 6 or 7 years. He came up with the concept while on holiday, reading the biography of the Founding Father and deciding that it would be a great idea. On HOLIDAY.
He wasn’t rushing anywhere, he slowed down.
And yes, we admire the fact that he came up with the idea for lyrics while on the way to friend’s birthday party but here’s the thing: he was GOING TO A PARTY. He did not shut himself off in a little room and work non-stop because frankly, that’s not healthy. He had little deadlines set up by the director of the show, Thomas Kail. He had genius ideas, yes, but it took SIX YEARS at the very least.
Yes, that meme of ‘You have the same number of hours as ___’ is motivational. Yes, we should work hard. Yes, there is so much we can do with our time. Yes, if you have a deadline, you work towards it. But in all other aspects of life, even in normal work, there is no need to rush.
Pace yourself. Enjoy your work. Have you a room you want to decorate with all the ideas you have on Pinterest? Take your time. Do a drawer at first. Or one section of the wall. We don’t need to repaint everything, change the furnishings, buy the shelves and put them up immediately. Let the paint have time to dry. Pick out your shelves slowly. Use the ones you have in the meantime.
I’m really working that metaphor
There is no need to speed up life unnecessarily. Slow down. You’re not that old, the world will still be out there. There is no reason to take on everything in the same breath.
Take a break.