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It is the unofficial handbook and bible of the Slow Movement. Of course not! I love speed. But faster is not always better. Being Slow means doing everything at the correct speed: quickly, slowly or whatever pace works best. Slow means being present, living each moment fully, putting quality before quantity in everything from work and sex to food and parenting.
A magazine in Britain even published an article recently on how to bring about an orgasm in 30 seconds! A personal wake-up call. When I caught myself admiring a book of one-minute bedtime stories Snow White in 60 seconds! On the contrary. If you are always rushing, you only skim the surface of things. Every moment of my day used to be a race against the clock. Now I never feel rushed any more. I do fewer things but I do them better and enjoy them more.
I am healthier and have more energy. At work, I am much more productive and creative. I also have time for those little moments that bring meaning and joy to life — reading to my children, sharing a glass of wine with my wife, chatting with a friend, pausing to gaze at a beautiful sunset. I feel so much more alive now. Lots of reasons. Speed is fun, sexy, an adrenaline rush. At the same time, the world has become a giant buffet of things to do, consume, experience — and we rush to have it all.
The modern workplace also pushes us to work faster and longer while technology encourages us to do everything faster and faster. Thanks to the powerful taboo against slowness, even just thinking about slowing down makes us feel afraid, guilty or ashamed.
Add to that the fear of being alone with our thoughts. Speed is often an instrument of denial, a way of avoiding deeper problems. Instead of facing up to what is going wrong in our lives, we distract ourselves with speed and busyness. Slowing down can be the antidote to that. It allows us to reflect on the big questions: Who am I? What is my purpose? What sort of life should I be leading? How can I make the world a better place? Such questions can be uncomfortable but confronting them ultimately brings greater depth to our lives.
Very much so. Forward-thinking companies all over the world are looking for ways to help their staff slow down. By giving them more control over their schedules so they can work at their own pace, accelerating and decelerating when it suits them.
By limiting working hours. Or by creating quiet spaces for doing yoga, massage or even take a short nap during the workday. The boom in meditation or mindfulness in the corporate world is another sign that business is waking up to the power and wisdom of slowing down.
Mastering the clock of business is about choosing when to be fast and when to be slow. The good news is that the Slow movement is growing fast! And as the world gets faster, the need for a counter-current of slowness will grow too. I feel more optimistic now than I did when In Praise of Slow first came out. But what do you say to people who claim that the world will inevitably go on speeding up and that a Slow revolution is pie in the sky? I say look at the history books. Take the rise of feminism.
In the 60s, when feminists said the world was unjust and the moment for change had come, the mainstream reaction was: No, the world has always been this way. Go back to the kitchen! But look at the world today. Obviously there is a long way to go to create a world of perfect gender equality, but a woman today could hardly imagine how severely life was limited for her grandmother. I look at my sister and my grandmother and marvel at the change in just two generations.
And the green movement has followed a similar arc: it was dismissed as a plaything for hippies and tree-huggers thirty years ago but today is near the top of the political agenda.
The message is that the world can change, if we want it to. For a cultural revolution to occur, you need three factors: the need for change; an awareness of the need for change; and people willing to put that change into practice. We now have all three factors in place for the Slow revolution to push on.
I think the Slow movement is at the same point as feminism or green-ism was 30 or 40 years ago. It will take time. But I believe it will happen.
It will be a world that is healthy, happy and humane. But you have to realistic. I am no utopian. I am a skeptic by nature. The world is too complex and interconnected for that. Impatience is also part of being human. I suspect even the Dalai Lama rushes unnecessarily sometimes! Even I forget to slow down from time to time. But at least our starting point should be to seek the tempo giusto and to expect others to do so too. I hope that they will pause and reflect on how they lead their lives and how their lives affect the people and the world around them.
I guess what I really want is for readers to grasp the very counter-cultural idea that the best way to survive and thrive in the fast-paced modern world is not to speed up but to slow down. And it seems to be working. Every day I open up my inbox and find a few emails from readers around the world who say the book has changed their lives.
Read it slowly to allow inward digestion without dyspepsia. A million times more inspiring than any of the mass of self-help books around on downshifting. A rare treat to be savoured — at your own pace, of course. All Londoners should read it. His book challenges the conventional view that faster is better. Readers would be wise to savour it slowly. Vibrant and very readable. Engaging and persuasive.
Who knows? Maybe reading this book could be a life-altering experience! In Praise of Slowness is a gift to all of us. Take the time to read this important, excellently written book — our future depends on the ideas it contains! There is so much food for thought here that I cannot recommend this book enough. However, taking the time to read In Praise of Slowness may be the best decision an entrepreneur, or anyone working full time, can make.
He combines fact, analysis and anecdote elegantly and compellingly. Essential reading for a happier, healthier, more productive life. Has our obsession with speed has gone too far? What inspired you to embrace Slow? But if we slow down, surely life will pass us by? How has slowing down changed your life? Why do we live so fast today? What is the main obstacle to slowing down in this fast world? Is the Slow Movement also gaining ground in the workplace?
What are the tell-tale symptoms of living too fast? What will a Slow world look like? What do you hope readers will take away from In Praise of Slow?
In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed
It is the unofficial handbook and bible of the Slow Movement. Of course not! I love speed. But faster is not always better. Being Slow means doing everything at the correct speed: quickly, slowly or whatever pace works best.
In Praise of Slow
In Praise of Slow : How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed
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