Slow down to get ahead. Slow down and look. Really look. Give each other a smile… or a prayer.

Slowing Down to Get Ahead

Reminders of what is important are all around us. Are we paying attention?

So far today, I have had an old blog post, a series of red traffic lights, a scene from a movie, and a young woman determined to change her life path all speak to me the same message: SLOW DOWN, BRENDA. Just slow down and get the right perspective before forging ahead.

Slow down. Get the right #perspective before forging ahead. #success Share on X

First it was the blog post. It reminded me of an important time when I stepped back for a few seconds and took another look from a different perspective…then was able to move forward with more clarity of purpose.

Take a look from a different #perspective…then move forward with more #clarity of #purpose. Share on X

Secondly, I hit EVERY red light on my way to an appointment for which I was already late. What is going on? I mean, seriously! Can’t somebody time these lights more efficiently? Oh my gosh! Another one? Seriously? Change! Change! Turn green! And it was as I sat at the 12th red light that I remembered the blog post…and I had a sense that the frustrating circumstances I was in at that moment were actually much more than that. There was a message in them. And I suddenly saw the red lights differently and began to pray and ask what I was missing. What was I not seeing?

Then I noticed the car behind me. Beside me. I noticed the people in them. I became aware of the QT to my right where people were pumping gas, and the Starbucks drive through line where people were getting their morning coffee, and the man under the bridge with his backpack who looked cold. Stopping and looking…really looking…can be hard sometimes. It can be unsettling. Uncomfortable. I looked deeper. I saw what was all around me. Stress. Anger. Fear. Frustration. Hopelessness. And I realized that as I fly through my days there are a lot of other people doing the same, and we miss the opportunity to slow down and give each other a smile…or a prayer.

Don't miss the opportunity to slow down and give each other a #smile...or a #prayer. Share on X

As the light turned green and I accelerated more slowly than I would have without this epiphany, a scene from the movie Gladiator came to mind. Maximus and other gladiators were in the center of the Coliseum, and the giant gates were about to open, with their heavily armed enemies in chariots about to be unleashed on them. Maximus makes a profound statement at that point that rings as true today as it did during the Roman Empire. He says, “Whatever comes out of those gates, we have a better chance of survival if we stay together.” And as the gates open, he gives the command for the men to lock shields.

Who are we locking shields with today? Or are we? Perhaps we need to slow down, and instead of charging ahead, or running, maybe there are people all around us with whom we can lock shields and stand as a force to be a team…because Together, Everyone Achieves More.

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Some of you are thinking WHY? When there are 50 gazillion things to do, why in the world would I slow down? I get it. I sometimes ask that, too. But then I sat and talked with a young woman who has made the hard choice to learn a new normal for her life, and this is what I heard: My whole life I have run around trying to fill a hole in me, doing one thing and then another to try and find significance. But I realized that it is in this place of quiet, of “being” instead of “doing”, that I am finding out who I am. Life is going to be different now. And for the 4th time in about an hour I heard the same message in a different way. Slow down Brenda. Get the right perspective before forging ahead. Clear direction. Clarity of purpose. Sounds good. Want to join me?

Slow down. Get the right #perspective before forging ahead. Clear direction. #Clarity of #purpose. Share on X

Brenda Harkins mines the gold in people to help them clearly see their talent, identify their purpose and unleash potential to navigate their unique success. Brenda is a Life and Leadership Coach in her own organization, as well as with The John Maxwell Team and CoreClarity. She is a Public Speaker, Author, Mediator, Entrepreneur, and President of The Harkins Group, Inc. You can connect with Brenda at or find out more at