I saw the movie Lucy this weekend. If you like a good sci-fi action movie combination put this one on your list. It isn’t amazing, but it will make you think.
At one point, Lucy (played by Scarlett Johansson) shows a group of researchers that an image can be sped up to the point that it disappears from sight. The object is still there, but you just can’t see it.
Put aside the whole metaphysical premise of the movie for a moment. That scene struck me as an accurate description of how we pursue success and results. We assume that doing as much as we can as fast as we can is the key to getting everything we want. And in the process of continually running faster and further, we eventually become invisible to ourselves and others. We are still moving, but we are invisible.
From a physics perspective, we experience speed as the distance covered within a unit of time. If time is constant, an increase in velocity means that we travel a greater distance. If the distance is constant, the increase means that we reach the destination in less time. But what if there were no constraints to velocity? What if we were moving so fast that, like this time elapsed photo, our image became so blurry that we eventually disappeared from the view of others? We are still there, but no one can quite put a finger on exactly where “there” is.
Most organizations and individuals fail because they lack a sense of urgency. They appear to be standing still even when they believe that they are running at top speed.
But, there are a few who take the need for speed to an extreme. And when that happens, the richness of our results and relationships is lost when we become victims of the belief that the only way to achieve everything you want is to run faster and further than we have ever run before.
There is a saying that I have always heard attributed to Frank Dane: “Blessed is he who runs in circles for he shall become a big wheel.”
The challenge for each of us is to find that sense of harmony and balance where we are moving quickly but not so fast that we become invisible.