If you live in Chicago, you are familiar with the everyday rush of the day whether that is on your commute to school, work or the gym, everyone always seems to be in a hurry. Often times, we feel as if there is simply not enough hours in the day to mark everything off our “To-Do” lists.  Is it constant procrastination until there is a deadline to meet? Or do we pressure ourselves to finish a tedious list of tasks by the end of the 24-hour day? It could be both or none of the above, but the question is why?

Why are we constantly putting ourselves on this timeline whether that is to graduate from college at a certain age, commit to a lifelong relationship through engagement/marriage, or purchase your very first home, etc.?

Who is pressuring you to make life a constant race towards the finish line?

More often than we would like to admit, we are the ones held accountable for behaving this way. Although, we may not always want to believe it, we do this to ourselves. In a world where almost everything seems like a competition, from the clothes we wear to the car we own, we put this pressure on ourselves. If you are like me, you are a constant over-achiever. Not necessarily to please anyone, but mainly for self-gratification which can have its drawbacks.

Once again, my question is what is the rush?

For my younger audiences, you have your entire life to work at your dream job, spend a lifetime with your significant other, and attend to more responsibilities in this “adult-ing” life that you will eventually get tired of it.

Instead, I advise you to trust the process. Relax, take a deep breath, and dwell in the beauty of the journey. Life is not supposed to be a marathon or competition between anyone but yourself. Do it for you and only you. Go at your own pace without caring about what others are doing at the time. As John Heywood reminds us, “Rome was not built in a day.” Likewise, you cannot expect to build yourself with limited time.

If we continue to live on a timeline, life will pass us by without taking the precious moment to really appreciate any of it.

Think about how many times during the week you have time to sit down at dinner with your family or sip coffee slowly with an old friend? If the answer is: “Never, I’m preoccupied or busy with…” Then, I want you to re-evaluate your priorities. It is disheartening that more and more Americans do not have the time to even sit down at the dinner table with their family anymore due to lack of time or time that is spent on our phones instead. We rather text than call, email than send a meaningful letter– just to avoid the unnecessary time spent communicating with each other in person.

After all, time is just an illusion. If we are constantly timing ourselves, are we truly living? Who said you need to be married by the age of 28? Have kids by 35? And have over $100K in your bank account by 40?

Live at your own pace. Succeed at your own pace. The only way to precisely measure if you have won or lost this “race” that is life is all dependent on you, not your friend, neighbor, or relative. Don’t be afraid to fail; you must go through life in order to grow through life.

“Timing is everything, but there is no need to rush anything.”

Above all, believe.

Believe that this moment right now is exactly where you are supposed to be.