Don’t you love meat that’s moist and fork-tender? Chefs use a technique called simmering to achieve such delicious effects. Simmering means to cook something in liquid slightly below the boiling point. Simply put, simmering cooks food gently and slowly.
One of the great lessons I learned last year is to engage in simmering time. Simmering time is the process of thinking gently and slowly about a decision before responding. My MO has been to respond quickly with the bare reasoning powers I can bring in the moment. Unfortunately, it’s not much.
Why do I feel compelled to respond so quickly? Here are a few reasons off the top of my head:
- To sound confident.
- To get something off my plate quick.
- To avoid hurting someone’s feelings.
- To appear smart and with-it.
The deeper issue is I actually think I can reason towards a wise decision or answer in a split second, and that creates consequences. Making hurried decisions hurts others, and eventually, yourself.
Seeing the need for simmering time in my own life has been a grace and a discipline. I’ve had to practice implementing a new phrase in conversations, emails, and texts messages. Think about stealing it, it goes like this:
‘Let me sit with that for a couple days.’
When you use it, people will respect you for it. It’s admirable to think things through.
Like learning anything new, it takes time and I’ve made many mistakes, but the fruit from this practice has been profound. Letting go of the burden of answering quickly is a great relief. Making slower and thus better decisions has a way of domino-ing positivity in your life. Why not give it a try.