Slowing down in a fast-paced world
How this hare is trying to take the tortoise approach to life


It’s no secret that we live in a fast-paced society. We’re obsessed with speed; we want fast food, fast Internet, fast service and the fastest way to get from one point to another. We’ve conditioned ourselves to expect speed and as a result, we emulate speed. We walk, talk, drive, type, text, eat, drink and live faster than ever before.

I’m the worst one of us, too. I’m obsessed with speed and I need everything (and everyone) around me to be as fast. I’ll just go ahead and put myself in the running for one of the fastest people in the world. This, of course, doesn't apply to running or athletic competition in any way (10 minute mile, anyone?) It’s my nature to act quickly and I’ve always had an inherent need to do everything as fast as possible. I walk fast: my six foot tall fiance has a hard time keeping stride with me when we walk. I talk fast. I type fast: this post is coming to you at over 100 words per minute. I work fast. I cook fast: I’m not allowed near knives anymore since that one time I was cutting a piece of bread too quickly and sliced my finger open.

You could argue (and the AT&T guy does) that faster is better, but I’ve been thinking that whoever said you should stop and smell the roses probably had a point,right? The world is moving so fast around us. With each additional device, new social network, news channel and latest trend, we’re becoming more distracted and more overloaded with information. As a result of our constant connectivity and expectation of speed, our overall well-being is suffering; our attention spans are getting shorter, our communication skills are deteriorating and we’re generally less happy.

My rationale is that if I can’t slow down the speed of information, technological advances or societal tendencies, I can at least control my own speed. So in an effort to live a more well-balanced life, I’ve been making an effort to slow down in everything I do. Easier said that done because it turns out that it’s quite challenging to reverse 25 years of behavior. Yesterday I literally had to tell myself to slow down as I was walking from the parking garage to my office building (am I really in that big of a hurry to get to work?) My hope is that if I can slow myself down to enjoy the small beauties that I bypass every day because I’m rushed (or rather I’m rushing myself), I’ll become a happier person. Oh, and I’m going to start taking yoga. That should help.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
― John HughesFerris Bueller’s Day Off