One of the stories that I like to share with my clients and friends is sharing the moment that I changed the speed at which I live my life.  The same could be extended to varying the speed of style.  I’m going to share the story, and then explain how the idea extends to style.

Some time back, I’ve written about an epiphany I had over three years ago, when I lived to outlive my father by one day.  But this part of the story is something I’ve not previously shared.

Before that day, out of fear that I wouldn’t live even that long, I could compare how I lived like cautiously driving down the Interstate highway at 55 miles per hour, when the posted speed limit was a comfortable 65 miles per hour.  Living at the speed of 55, I could sense that life was somehow passing me by.  Everyone else was racing along.

Going slowly was my way of coping.  I’d done that before in life.  Having dyslexia without realizing it until college, I would take my sweet time completing homework assignments.  It might have taken me three times longer to complete an assignment that anyone else could complete in a third of the time.  Still, the amazing benefit of that was that I internalized whatever I learned, and knew those subjects very well.

Living life at this seemingly fast speed, that in truth is not so fast on the Interstate highway, I may have learned a lot by going at that pace, but it was no longer serving me.

Then, I outlived my father by one day, and a paradigm shifted in my spirit.  It was time to speed it up…

It was clear to me that I could now be a faster driver of my life.  By going down the Interstate highway of my life at a more accelerated speed, I would optimize my efficiency, get more done, see and enjoy more scenery, cover more ground.  I brought along the earlier experiences of going at the slower pace, but now without the fear.  I even realized that taking some amount of risk is totally okay, just like driving 72 miles per hour down the Interstate will almost never land you with a speeding violation.

I think that finding the speed of your style happens over time by varying the speed of style.

When we are especially young, style is very experimental.  It’s important to approach style with abandon.  The pace can be at breakneck speed trying all kinds of ideas just to see what we like.  Going that fast is exhausting, and also wasteful of financial and natural [and synthetic] resources.  Eventually, we must proceed by varying the speed of style.  Taking what we have learned about what we like, we propel ourselves into the future with a more studied eye.

The thing is that when we get older, if we fail to maintain varying the speed of style, we go off road and end up in a ditch somewhere.  This happens when we have a myopic view of who we are.  Such a narrow view comes from a lack of awareness of who we have become as we age.  If we spend all our time looking in the rear view mirror of life, autopilot may propel us forward, but our vantage point of the past may cause us to be poor drivers of who we are today.

By varying the speed of style as you travel though life, you can dress for the speed that works for who you are during that period or phase of your life.  We are so much more dynamic and fascinating when we connect how we show up with where we are in our lives.  Having approached my personal style that way since my teenage years, I know that the way I show up today matches the amazing life I am now living.  You can have this amazing experience, too.

Joseph Rosenfeld helps successful Silicon Valley technology entrepreneurs and executives discover their personal brands and design their personal styles.  Get Joseph’s free report that helps you know “6 Secrets to Success in Silicon Valley”.  Need immediate and fast help? Learn about 1:1 private, intensive, and comprehensive 2 day VIP program designed to transform your personal brand and style in record time.