Susan Dunlop: Lead Believe Create

Slow Dance Poem

Yesterday I was reminded of this poem ‘Slow Dance’ printed in the book of Tim Ferriss, The 4-Hour Work Week. I recall reading this poem when the company I used to own was gaining momentum in sales and gaining territory each year.

They were good times!

Our nurses had more work than they needed, and everything was going to plan. Adrenaline-pumping, high-achieving me was saying, ‘ More, do more, work harder’. I was also meditating and an avid reader of all kinds of leadership books. One book I read was The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.

The poem, titled “Slow Dance”, was towards the back. I read the words, then sat quietly. I looked up, looked around, and tears flowed down my cheeks.

Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids, on a merry-go-round? Or listened to the rain, slapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight? Or gazed at the sun into the fading light?

You’d better slow down, don’t dance so fast. Time is short, the music won’t last.

Do you run through each day, on the Fly? When you ask: “How are you? Do you hear the reply? When the day is done, do you lie in your bed, with the next hundred chores running through your head?

You’d better slow down, don’t dance so fast. Time is short, the music won’t last.

Ever told your child, ‘we’ll do it tomorrow’? And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch, let a good friendship die, ’cause you never had time to call and say, “Hi”?

You’d better slow down, don’t dance so fast. Time is short, the music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere, you miss half the fun of getting there. When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life is not a race. Do take it slower.

Hear the music, before the song is over.

Written by child psychologist, David L Weatherford

On my next coaching call to Ley-Ann in Canada, I focused on my vision for the company. I had choices to make. I could keep going, keep building but in my heart, I knew that I was going to give myself the gift of setting it up for sale, so that I could walk away to find what else there was for me in this one life we have.

I recall saying the words ‘I will sell’ with certainty and it gave me goosebumps, it was a knowing and the right decision for me.

So I set about focusing on the business being sale-ready. A professional, quality-assured business. Maximised for sale.

Timing-wise we hit tough times in the industry for the next 18 months, with the State government going through a change that had a dreadful impact. Whilst it distracted me, it strangely gave me exquisite clarity and calm I’d never had, the business was sold 2 further years after that through acquisition by a national competitor.

I share the Slow Dance poem here for you to read, rather than keeping it for myself, knowing it is powerful.

Improvement is only possible through our capacity to reflect.

Where are you headed? Are you worrying and hurrying through life?

Please give me a call and let’s talk about self-leadership and making empowering decisions. I’d love to speak with you.

Take care,


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