Life is too short to stuff a mushroom!

I had an interesting meeting recently with some long standing clients who, in a simple sentence, summed up an approach to life which, along with good financial control, can make a serious difference to the amount of free time we have and what we do with it.

We were discussing their recent world cruise, which took them away from home for roughly 3 months of relaxation and luxury. Now home again, they were back to the normal hustle and bustle of daily life, a large part of which was spent babysitting grandchildren and trying to fit in the many day to day tasks we all have.

We touched on the fact that many things in life these days seem to be done in a hurry, with little time to reflect and savour the experience – to ‘sit back and smell the coffee’ as the saying goes. Their day to day life was in stark contrast to their cruise experience but they were pretty philosophical about this contrast!

It would be easy to see today’s focus on doing things quicker and enjoying things immediately as a negative and if this was the case all the time or with everything we do, that would be true. But it rarely is, or if it is, it doesn’t have to be. There are things we should spend lots of time doing and savouring and things we need to do as quickly as possible. For the latter, technology helps a lot. As an example, pre-prepared food can now reduce the time it takes to prepare a full meal significantly, without necessarily a huge sacrifice on quality. That wouldn’t appeal to a chef or a keen amateur cook but for my clients, who’s priority was their cruise, ‘Life is too short to stuff a mushroom’.

The reality is that balance is key and this balance needs to be driven by our own values and priorities. For some people, golf is ‘a good walk spoiled’ but for me personally it’s a big part of my life and brings huge benefits. A round of golf can’t be shortened much, it takes the time it takes but even if it could, I wouldn’t want to shorten it…I want to savour it. As is the case with my client’s world cruise. Even if they could do it quicker, they wouldn’t. It is what it is and they like to savour it as such.

Cruises or golf may not be your thing but you will have a thing…or a couple of things that are really important. When you know what they are, make time for them….ahead of the not so important stuff. Don’t spend time stuffing mushrooms, unless mushrooms are your thing that is, in which case, take your time and savour every minute.