Are You Living the Fast Life, Rather Than the Good Life?

As sexy and exiting as life in the fast lane can be, there may come a time when you have to ask yourself, “Am I living my life, or just hurrying through it?” Sometimes this question comes up as a result of an event—much akin to a cosmic two-by-four across the forehead—like when you’re faced with a serious illness. But it doesn’t have to come to that.

Carl Honore gives a great, 20-minute talk on this subject—how we got to this point of being obsessed with speed, and what, if anything, we can do about it.

He points out the sometimes ridiculous impact speed has on our lives, taking the form of speed reading, speed dating, even speed yoga for the zen-minded but time-challenged. But there is also hope. “Slow movements” of all kinds are cropping up across the globe.

From the Slow Food Movement (with 100,000 members in 50 countries) to the Slow Cities Movement, and even the Italian Slow Sex Movement, people are beginning to recognize that certain “slow” times are a vital part of life—without it you are missing out on some of the most important reasons for being alive—and you cannot get those missed parts back.

What will it take for you to slow down and ask yourself the question we started out with?


TED.com February 2007



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