When you rip open a bag of M&Ms, how do you eat ‘em? Pop one at a time,
rapid-fire? Pour handfuls into your waiting maw? Or do you slide a
single one into your mouth, suck on it for awhile, then finally swallow
and consider, possibly, having another?
The way you answer that question could have remarkable ramifications for
how you approach life in general. Are you the type of person who
consumes new experiences at a phenomenal rate? Do you let everything go
by in a rush as you focus on something else? Or, perhaps, do you savor
each experience one at a time?
Interestingly, conventional wisdom might be right for once. Savoring one
experience at a time lets you take in more, and more importantly,
understand more. I once met a maharaja who visited my cultural
anthropology class in New Zealand. He insisted that it would take many
years to learn what he was about to try and teach us in an hour. Being
young and inexperienced, after the lesson was over I privately scoffed
at the seeming simplicity and easiness of the concepts. How could it
possibly take years to learn this?
Now, eight years later, I understand.
Some things, like the meditative world view the maharaja tried to teach
us, are intellectually very easy to disassemble…but very difficult to
actually understand. Learning and understanding are two very different,
though interrelated, concepts. In order to fully understand a lot of the
seemingly simple productivity and personal growth concepts floating
around the Web these days, you must experience them over an extended
period of time instead of merely seeing them, analyzing them, and
casting them aside.
So the next time you open up a bag of those metaphorical candy-coated
chocolates, try savoring them one at a time. You might be surprised at
how much more you enjoy them.