Embrace the Space

Published on July 10th, 2019

Today's busy world lures us into the trap of trying to fill each minute, each moment with something, anything, and everything. Worse, when we feel that we are behind or that there is not enough time, we double down on this approach. After all, it would seem paradoxical to slow down to speed up.

And yet, those among us who live from a place of serenity and/or peak performance embrace this approach. They don't cram more into less. They embrace the space.


  • Elite athletes using high-intensity training (HIIT) workouts know that the recovery periods are just as crucial as the intervals in maximizing strength building and reducing recovery time.
  • Meditation teaches us the value of mindfulness and presence, maximizing the experience between and beyond thoughts.
  • Stephen Covey suggests that relationships are transformed that we seek first to understand, then to be understood. That we listen with intention before formulating a response.
  • Creative pursuits require us to shut down the ego and access the inner muse.
  • Brainstorming is best when afforded enough time and permission.
  • Startups generate ideas from no map, requiring exploration and fumbling around in the darkness.
  • Fasting between meals not only brings health benefits but makes us more aware of our cravings and eating habits.
  • Boredom is actually good for children development, requiring them to become resourceful and use their own imagination.

Despite these benefits, the modern world would have us keep adding more and more into each minute, into each moment. However, one cannot build a bigger bonfire by cramming in more wood. Eventually, the additional wood blocks off the oxygen supply (the space) and suffocates the flame. The same is true for us. Over scheduling todos, tasks, and activities ultimately lead to overwhelm and burnout. Fortunately and paradoxically, we can speed up by slowing down.

There is so much richness in the space. Embrace it.

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About Rick Manelius

Quick Stats: CXO of Atomic Form. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.