About Blink and being slow

This post was written by Megan on February 19, 2010
Posted Under: burnout and stress management

Zen police cartoon

In my world of slow, I've been reading a book about fast decisions.  The book is called 'Blink' by Malcolm Gladwell (author of the best seller 'The Tipping Point').  

The sub-title to 'Blink' is particularly appealing to this foggy-brained burnee: "The power of thinking without thinking".  The book is about intuition, essentially.

From reading 'Blink', one can deduce intuition used for fast decision-making can be good or bad, depending on the experience of the person. 


A surprising study

Close to the end of the book – on page 234 – a surprising observation from a study of police officers was made:  

"…when police officers are by themselves, they slow things down,
and when they are with someone else, they speed things up"

As a result, police officers were sent out 'solo' rather than in pairs, because speeding things up led to more arrests, injuries and charges for assaulting a police officer.  

You would think that a police officer with a partner would be safer.  But no.  A police officer without a partner is more likely to behave kindly and allow more time for the situation to unfold.  From the slower tempo, citizens will respond in a calmer manner and are more likely to be more co-operative.  And the police officer is safer.


So what's this got to do with burnout? 

As wonderful as we have always been…maybe, just maybe, learning to slow things down and being calmer will ultimately make us even better company.

Prior to burnout we possibly weren't the calmest people on the planet.  And we possibly weren't making the greatest decisions in the world.  If we were, would be be in this state now?  

By being forced to slow down, we can start making better decisions for ourselves.  And rather than seeing ourselves as a burden on those around us, we can start being the very thing they need.


Here's a powerful thought for you:

We can see ourselves as leaders of 'the new calm'  (if we see it, we're more likely to become it, ja?)

This not a challenge, but a gentle invitation.  Care to accept?


This post was written by Megan Hills.  Megan is a writer and cartoonist who wishes she didn't have to return 'Blink' back to the library.  Find out more about Megan

Reader Comments

I accept!
Funny, but only in the past little while have I realised I often hold my breath when reading things online or concentrating really hard. It's hard to be calm when starved of oxygen. So from today on, I shall breathe, breathe and find more of the calm…
Thanks Megan:-)

Written By Sara M on March 16th, 2010 @ 11:43 am

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