Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Slow Down...

How many of you have seen a sun rise in the last one week? One month? 6 months?
When was the last time you smelt a flower closely in your garden?

Yesterday, I resolved to get up early and see the sun rise, and I did succeed. I went for a stroll to the park, smelt the flowers, touched them, observed the morning sky, walked on
the green grass bare footed, heard the birds chirp. In short, after many many years, I slowed down. And with it I experienced life more closely.

I always think about life. If we are living it fully. I probe and try to understand if this is how I want to live my life. A life where I am running and rushing through things. Cluttering it with all "important" tasks.

And when I am busy shifting from one task to another, my life is whizzzing past in front of me, as it has already most of it, and I very soon I wouldnt be able to know when it will get over.

How many of you have seen TAARE ZAMEIN PAR? I would urge everyone who hasnt seen to see it. You would gain a lot of insight. If you aren’t a parent it would help you be a better parent. And if you are already a good parent, you will feel proud to be one. The movie has a song, where the father, mother and the elder brother rush through the daily grind of their lives at clockwork precision, shifting themselves like TV channels each hour. Whereas the youngest kid, dreamily gets up at his own will, is lost in the world of his own. Dreams of the world of animation, rainbows and color. In true sense he was living his life. He wasn’t running through his life. He was going slow.

But dont we associate "slow" with failure, inefficiency and perhaps worse-laziness?

We all worship speed these days.We love speed. We have speed dating, speed networking, fast food. Microsoft says, "do more, faster".

We want our products to get to market faster. After all, competition it to so fierce. We'd better be efficient, get there first -- be a winner. How do we do this? We forge ahead. We speed up.The less time we have, the more we try to cram into it. Time is a non-renewable resource.


Time poverty
Many of us complain of not having enough time. Attention spans decrease. Patience vanishes. Mistakes mount. In call centers customer service agents are rewarded for getting rid of customers fast. An agent who slowed down enough to spend time and respond appropriately to a complex call wouldn't be thought of as successful. Complexity needs time and patience.

Time is used as a status symbol. Working long hours is a badge of honor. It shows our commitment. Busy-ness is good. Increasingly, the pressure is on for employees to be seen to come in early and stay late. But are we more effective by working longer hours?

The effect of speed on creativity

We are conditioned to go fast. In school, children are taught to come up with the anwers fast. There is little time for discovery and developing a more leisurely and creative approach. Children are expected to know "how" but not necessarily "why". They have to rush through the material. there is no time to be curious, to play with ideas and to find out why.

Slow creativity

Creativity, innovation and adaptation drive our economy. Creativity will become essential to our future as literacy is today. there is a lot of talk about creativity in business, sadly, most of it is just talk. Creativty is a process that takes time. New ideas, new ventures, new ways of thinking dont happen in a flash of inspiration, but they more readily surface after a period of incubation,

Slow seeing
You can observe a lot by just watching. Seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one has thought. Slowing down gives us the oppurtunity to see more clearly what we otherwise miss. Einsten spent a lot of time staring out of window from his princeton office.

The future is uncertain. Our world is dynamic, and it is our thinking that will make or break us. Taking the time to slow down can help us be more creative, see oppurtunities, avoid mistakes, and be more productive.

Slow is not lazy

i take this oppurtunity to talk to you about a not for profit organization who endorse slow down lifestyle in order for people to connect to their lives,: its called


Its manifesto reads:

Do less, slowly. Multi-tasking is a moral weakness.

If you can slow down when all around you are speeding up, then you're one of us. Be proud that you are one of us and not one of them. For they are fast, and we are slow. There are those that would urge us to speed. We resist!

We shall not flag or fail. We shall slow down in the office, and on the roads. We shall slow down with growing confidence when all those around us are in a shrill
state of hyperactivity (signifying nothing). We shall defend our state of calm, whatever the cost may be. We shall slow down in the fields and in the streets, we
shall slow down in the hills, we shall never surrender!

Why? Because if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing slowly. Some are born to slowness—others have it thrust upon them. And still others know that lying in bed with a morning cup of tea is the supreme state for mankind.

I am embracing a slow life. Will you?


Anonymous,  Wednesday, February 20, 2008 6:21:00 AM  

Hey Ravi

I must admit your posts are stimulating and make me think a lil more than I would love to.

Well to be very frank at the moment I am NOT EMBRACING slowness because I can't afford to. There goes my personal opinion.

One thing I would like to let you know is this blog is something I turn to every now and then for inspiration. Even if our ideas don't match at certain instances I still find myself devouring the words written here.

I hate to praise you so much but I mean it when I say you deserve every bit of it. And here I am being frugal...

Amazing work...please keep it growing. There is one person who turns back to this for inspiration.


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