Less is More, Slower is Better
“Slow and steady wins the race.” – Aesop
I like to get in touch with my inner-tortoise whenever I need to remind myself to stop and smell the roses. After all, getting results is not about racing through your moments to the finish line. It’s about making the most of your moments and knowing you’re on your path.
In the TED Talk, Carl Honore Praises Slowness, Carl reminds us that less is more, and slower is better.
Here are my key take-aways:
- Today’s world is about speed. Carl shares several examples of how we want everything faster: speed reading, speed walking, speed dating, speed Yoga.
- The Slow Movement. There’s a slow movement around the world in response to the fast pace of today’s world. Carl says it’s a philosophical declaration — “we believe that in the 21st century, slowness has a role to play.” According to Carl, countries such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland have slowed down, yet have improved their economic strength.
- Don’t race through your life – Live it. Find the lost art of shifting gears. For example, we get more pleasure from food when we cultivate, cook, and consume it. Sometimes it takes a wake-up call. For Carl, he found himself racing through telling his kid bedtime stories and the light-bulb went off. Now, it’s a treat he enjoys to cap his day, instead of another chore on his To-Do list.
- Schools are slowing down to get results. Carl shares examples where schools have cut back on homework and math and science scores went up. Some universities noticed that the caliber of students is falling. They have the grades and extra-curricular activities, but they lack spark. They lack the ability to think creatively, they don’t know how to dream, and they need to put on the breaks a bit. Carl noted that Harvard said students get more out of life and more out of Harvard when they slow down … and the letter from Harvard was titled “Slow Down!”
- Happier, healthier, and more productive. Slow down to lead a happier, healthier, and more productive life. Carl is a reformed rush-aholic. He no longer overloads himself and he now leads a happier, healthier, and more productive life. Carl says his most important measure is that his relationships are deeper, richer, and stronger. That sounds like a pretty good measure to me.
- There’s good slow and bad slow. Rather than just slow down for the sake of slowing or apply slow to everything, Carl suggests there is good slow and bad slow. Some slow is just a waste of time. Some slow is good at the right moments and improves our results. Carl shares some examples of good slow: taking the time to eat a meal with your family with the T.V. shut off, taking a look at a problem from multiple dimensions and make the best decision, and slowing down to savor your life.
- People do everything better. By slowing down at the right moments, people do everything better. Carl shares examples: eat better, sleep better, make love better, work better, and live better.
- Consider time as a cycle rather than linear. Carl shares another view of looking at time. Rather than see it as a race through linear time, enjoy and embrace the cycle of things. Don’t race against the clock – savor the cycles.
If you’ve ever felt that the more hurried you go, the more behind you get, maybe you just need to practice switching gears and add some slow to your life.
Photo by Clearly Ambiguous.