Slow down

More and more in our current culture are we rushing from one thing to the next. And towards what are we rushing? Our deaths! Literally and figuratively. When we run upstairs, drive fast or don’t check things through fully we are putting ourselves and other people at risk and bypassing all of the good stuff that’s going on right around us.

By slowing down we can appreciate what we already have and learn to be content. We can savour the journey itself and not be ruled by our destinations or goals. We are more present, alive and engaged and this in itself is very attractive to other people.

In Carl Honoré’s TED talk he raises some good issues about why we chose not to slow down:

I think there’s a kind of metaphysical dimension – that speed becomes a way of walling ourselves off from the bigger, deeper questions. We fill our head with distraction, with busyness, so that we don’t have to ask, am I well? Am I happy? Are my children growing up right? Are politicians making good decisions on my behalf?

I can definitely associate with this. It’s scary to slow down and actually confront the issues at hand. I often talk so fast because I sometimes get social anxiety and therefore want it to be over but then it all comes out in such a garbled mess that the other person will ask me to repeat myself – therefore defeating the whole purpose of being fast. Since slowing down I have let the words come freely and presently and when I’m listening to others, I’m really listening and trying not to think of what I’m going to say next.

However Carl also talks of still liking speed:

I still love speed. You know, I live in London, and I work as a journalist, and I enjoy the buzz and the busyness, and the adrenaline rush that comes from both of those things. I play squash and ice hockey, two very fast sports, and I wouldn’t give them up for the world. But I’ve also, over the last year or so, got in touch with my inner tortoise.

I too love the rush and excitement of the big city and I like to zip about from time to time but it really comes down to choice and balance. Instead of buying a ready meal or takeaway, buy whole fresh ingredients and cook a meal from scratch. Yes it will take longer but the payoff is you know exactly what went into that dish. Instead of trying the latest workout fad like six minute abs, slowly implement a new habit of working out/playing a sport that you enjoy.

For the whole talk follow the link below.

TED – Carl Honoré – In praise of slowness

Share your thoughts