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that I hop e will resonate with other things you've already heard, and I'll try to make som e connections myself, in case you miss them. I want to start with what I call th e "official dogma." The official dogma of what? The official dogma of all wester n industrial societies. And the official dogma runs like this: if we are interes ted in maximizing the welfare of our citizens, the way to do that is to maximize individual freedom. The reason for this is both that freedom is in and of itsel f good, valuable, worthwhile, essential to being human. And because if people h ave freedom, then each of us can act on our own to do the things that will maxim ize our welfare, and no one has to decide on our behalf. The way to maximize fre edom is to maximize choice. The more choice people have, the more freedom they have, and the more freedom th ey have, the more welfare they have. This, I think, is so deeply embedded in the water supply that it wouldn't occur to anyone to question it. And it's also deeply embedded in our lives. I'll give you some examples of what modern progress has made possible for us. This is my s upermarket. Not such a big one. I want to say just a word about salad dressing. 175 salad dressings in my supermarket, if you don't count the 10 different extr a-virgin olive oils and 12 balsamic vinegars you could buy to make a very large number of your own salad dressings, in the off chance that none of the 175 the store has on offer suit you. So this is what the supermarket is like. And then y ou go to the consumer electronics store to set up a stereo system -- speakers, C D player, tape player, tuner, amplifier. And in this one single consumer electro nics store, there are that many stereo systems. We can construct six and a half million different stereo systems out of the components that are on offer in one store. You've got to admit that's a lot of choice. In other domains -- the world of com munications. There was a time, when I was a boy, when you could get any kind of telephone service you wanted, as long as it came from Ma Bell. You rented your p hone. You didn't buy it. One consequence of that, by the way, is that the phone never broke. And those days are gone. We now have an almost unlimited variety o f phones, especially in the world of cell phones. These are cell phones of the future. My favorite is the middle one -- the MP3 player, nose hair trimmer, and creme brulee torch. And if by some chance you haven't seen that in your store ye t, you can rest assured that one day soon you will. And what this does is it lea ds people to walk into their stores asking this question. And do you know what t he answer to this question now is? The answer is "No." It is not possible to buy a cell phone that doesn't do too much. So, in other aspects of life that are much more significant than buying things, The same explosion of choice is true. Health care -- it is no longer the case in the United States that you go to the doctor, and the doctor tells you what to d o. Instead, you go to the doctor, and the doctor tells you, well, we could do A, or we could do B. A has these benefits, and these risks. B has these benefits, and these risks. What do you want to do? And you say, "Doc, what should I do?" A nd the doc says, A has these benefits and risks, and B has these benefits and ri sks. What do you want to do? And you say, "If you were me, Doc, what would you d o?" And the doc says, "But I'm not you." And the result is -- we call it "patien t autonomy," which makes it sound like a good thing. But what it really is is a shifting of the burden and the responsibility for decision-making from somebody who knows something -- namely the doctor -- to somebody who knows nothing and is almost certainly sick and thus not in the best shape to be making decisions -namely the patient. There's enormous marketing of prescription drugs to people like you and me, whic
All of this choice has two effects. asking themselves. but not everything w as a matter of choice. every minute that we' re watching our kid mutilate a soccer game. if you think about it. on our laps. material things an d lifestyle things. I'm not telling you about it because I want to use it. And even if they're all shut off. so I'm going to talk about what's bad about it . One effec t. or a career first?" All of these are consuming questions. (Laughter) We all know what's good about it. and of course tomorrow n ever comes. And that means that every day when y ou wake up in the morning. And indeed they should. paradoxically. So what this means. not when.except the Randolph Hotel. We can go to watch our kid play soccer. as this slide is m eant to indicate. Work -. The only real choice was who. as Carl was pointing out.10 percent fewer employees participate than if you only offer five. And the world we now live in looks like this. We don't inherit an identity. "Should I get married or not? Should I ge t married now? Should I get married later? Should I have kids first. the gigantic mutual fund company of about a million emplo yees and about 2. this incredible freedom of choice we have with respect to work. and we have our cell phone on one hip. and I assign 20 percent less work than I used to. I teach wonderfully intelligent students. And they're going to answer these questions. presumably. and our laptop. And we get to re-invent ourselves as often as we like. since we can't buy them. rather than liberation. With respect to marriage and family. two negative effects on people. rate of participation went down two percen t. is that it produces paralysis. And it's not because they're less smart. a study that was done of investme nts in voluntary retirement plans. and it's not because they're less diligent. and then tomorrow. You offer 50 funds -. there was a time when the default assumpt ion that almost everyone had is that you got married as soon as you could. And the world we used to live in looked like this. A colleague of mine got access to investment records from Vanguard. and t hen you started having kids as soon as you could. makes no sense at all. I' ll give you one very dramatic example of this. is this good news. life is a matter of choice. Understand that not only does this mean that people are going to hav e to eat dog food when they retire because they don't have enough money to put a . (Laughter) There is one corner. and our Blackberry on our other hip. These are important ques tions to answer. That is to say. about whether we shou ld or shouldn't be working. that I'm not going to tell anybody about. we are also asking ourselves. you have to decide what kind of person you want to be . and tomorrow. with the tech nology that enables us to work every minute of every day from any place on the p lanet -. by the way. we get to invent it. there were some choices. So everywhere we look. And then t omorrow. Why? Because with 50 funds to choose from. And what she found is that for every 10 mutual funds the employer offered. And the que stion is. where the WiFi works. With so many options to choose from. it's so damn hard to de cide which fund to choose that you'll just put it off until tomorrow. and tomorrow.000 different workplaces.h. and not what you did after. or bad news? And the answer is yes. people find it very difficult to choose at all. Nowadays.we are blessed. It's because th ey are preoccupied. big things and small things. again and again and again. Why do they market to us if we can't buy them? The answer is that they expect us to ca ll our doctors the next morning and ask prescriptions to be changed. is t hat we have to make a decision. everything is very much up for grabs." it's certainly goi ng to make the experience of your kid's soccer game very different than it would 've been. "Shoul d I answer this cell phone call? Should I respond to this email? Should I draft this letter?" And even if the answer to the question is "no. Something a s dramatic as our identity has now become a matter of choice. whether or not it means not doing all the work I assign and not gett ing a good grade in my courses.
they are passing up as much as 5. it is easy to imagine the attractive features of alternatives that you reject. and they were incredibly unco mfortable. even if it was a good decision. (Laughter) But here's what you're supposed to be thinking." this guy is thinking. when there are lots of alternatives to consider. or even the wrong salad dressing." (Laughter) . and you bought them. So paralysis is a consequence of having too many choices. It makes points about living in the moment as well. and they fit like crap. you know. And the more options there are to consider. easy fit. even w hen what we choose is terrific. They have it all to themselves. What could be better? "Well. This hit me when I went to replace my jeans. Very expensive real estate. My jaw dropped. "I want the kind that used to be the only kind.. Third: escalation of expectations. they s tarted to feel OK. Now this cartoon makes a lot of points." And he spends two weeks nagged by the idea that he is missing the opportunity. One of them is that with a lot of different salad dressings to choose from. Here's another example. we end up less satisfied with the result of the choice than we would be if we had fewer options to choose from. The second effect is that even if we manage to overcome the par alysis and make a choice. Second.and. " And the shopkeeper said. t hat make you less satisfied with the alternative that you've chosen. to have a great parking space. I want a pair of jeans. Well. And those other things may have lots of a ttractive features. the easier it is to regret anything at all that is disa ppointing about the option that you chose. day after day. what salad dressing is? It's easy to imagine that you could have made a different choice th at would have been better. Here's an e xample. I could be parking ri ght in front of my building. Oppor tunity costs subtract from the satisfaction we get out of what we choose. And there was a time when jeans came in one fl avor. So th at's one effect." On and on he went. and after I recovered. and if you wore them long enough and washed them enough times. relaxed fit? You wan t button fly or zipper fly? You want stonewashed or acid washed? Do you want the m distressed? You want boot cut. I said. (Laughter) You really want to get the decision right if it's for all eternity.way. So I went to replace my jeans after years and years of wearin g these old ones. blah blah blah . And what happens is this imagined alternative induce s you to regret the decision you made. "You know. And I think it makes the world look like this. I apologize. and this regret subtracts from the satisf action you get out of the decision you made. I wear jeans almost all the time. what economists call opportunity costs. and probably about doing thi ngs slowly. By not participating. and I said. y ou're choosing not to do other things. here's my size. and it's going to make what you're doing less attractive. And there are several reasons for this. who would happily match thei r contribution. "It' s August. For those of you who aren't New Yorkers. if you buy one. and it's not perfect -. Here's this couple on the Hampto ns. Beautiful day. the more attractive features of these options are going to be reflected by us as opp ortunity costs. The more options there are. But one point it makes is that whenever you're choosing one thing. Gorgeous beach. it also means that making the decision is so hard that they pass up signifi cant matching money from the employer. you want tapered. Dan Gilbert made a big point thi s morning of talking about how much the way in which we value things depends on what we compare them to. Everybody in my Manhattan neighborhood is away.000 dollars a year from the employer. right? You d on't want to pick the wrong mutual fund. "Do you want slim fit.. damn it.
it was actually possible for people to have experiences that were a pleasant surprise. in dustrialized citizens. Nowadays. but it wasn't perfect.truth be told -. There's some magical amount. and also suicide. the thing to t hink about is this. And then when they have t o explain these experiences to themselves. and we feel worse. and what I got was disappointing in comparison to what I expected. (Laughter) The reason that everything was better back when everything was worse is that whe n everything was worse. my expec tations about how good a pair of jeans should be went up. There's no question that some choice i s better than none. and you ask why. and even though the results of the decisions are good. who's responsible? It is equally clear that the answer to the qu estion is you. I didn't settle.the secret to happiness is low expectations. they blame themselves. have gone through t he roof. damn it. and I walked out of the store -. you wouldn't all know what this was about. the world we live in -.the best you can ever hope for is that stuff is as good as you expect it to be. What enables all of this choice in industrial societies is m aterial affluence. even when they're good results. I believe a significant -. What could you do? When there are hundreds of different styles of jeans available. who's responsible. It is not true. All this choice made it possible for me to do bette r.He had no idea what that was. a nd you ask why. and we have heard abou .this is what you all came for -. Finally. as a policy matter -. I couldn't have done better. S o let me remind you. and she's really quite wonderful. There are lots of places in the world. Now. But settling isn't always such a bad thing.just a little autobiographical moment -. Because if they did. And what that's going to produce is less satisfaction with results.not the only. And so I compared what I got to what I ex pected. they think they're at fault. With a hundred different kinds of jea ns on display. The reason I felt worse is that. And what I got was good. I had very low expecta tions. You could have done better. But I felt worse.with the best fitting jeans I had ever had. objectively. The truth is more like this. Why? I wrote a whole book to try and explain this to myself . I'm prett y confident that we have long since passed the point where options improve our w elfare.that I actually am mar ried to a wife. they feel disappointed about them. I don't know what it is. The world is responsible. my expectations. with all of these options available. I did better. and it's all false. is that people have experiences that are disappointing because their standards are so high. I had no particular expectations when they only came in one flavor. And so t he net result is that we do better in general. (Laughter) (Applause) I want to say -. but it doesn't follow from that that more choice is better t han some choice. the answer is clear. You will never be plea santly surprised because your expectations. And so when people make decisions . there is no excuse for failure. Nobody in the world o f marketing knows this. Clinical depression has exploded in the industrial world in the last generation. Addin g options to people's lives can't help but increase the expectations people have about how good those options will be. This is the official dogma. and you buy one that is disappointing. When they came in 100 flavors.I'm almost done -. but a significant contributor to this explosion of depression. one of them should've been perfect.we affluent. the one that we all take to be true. with perfection the expectation -. so I spent an hour trying on all these damn jeans. one conseq uence of buying a bad-fitting pair of jeans when there is only one kind to buy i s that when you are dissatisfied.as a policy matter. The secret to happiness -.
so I did a spot on CNN the othe r day where I actually spent more time in makeup than I did talking on air. and. you don't have freedom. now we speed dial.t several of them. Because everyone these days wants to know how to slow down. say. A world obsessed with speed. it's that the supreme irony of publishing a book a bout slowness is that you have to go around promoting it really fast. not only woul d those people's lives be improved. which is -. you decrease satisfaction. So .we live in now. complicated choices -. the more I came to the view that this fish knows something. "Ah! What does this fish know? You know nothing is p ossible in this fishbowl. you know.. To borrow a phrase from Carrie Fisher. I seem to spend most of my time these days. affluent. If some of what enables people in our societies to make all of the choices we ma ke were shifted to societies in which people have too few options. a myopic view of the world -. And even things that are by their ver y nature slow -. If you shatter this fishbowl so that everything is possible. which is that if I've learned anything over the last year. They actually make us worse o ff.because of how all this excess choice plagues us. but they want to know how to slow down really quickly. however.and that's the way I read it at first. So -.is in my bio the re.." And if you think about how we to try to make things better." Impoverished imagination. We used to read. This is wh at economists call a Pareto-improving move. interview to interview. Thank you very much. you guessed it. You're supposed to read this cartoon. So to conclude.it's no t simply that they don't help.that's not really surprising though. I suspect. The more I thought about it. I'll just toss it out again -. a new evening course. Th eir problem is that they have too little.we try and speed them up too. with cramming more an d more into less and less time. And of cour se. and you decrease satisfaction.perhaps even for the fish. speed yoga. And it was for. and. Everybody needs a fishbowl. We used to walk. now we speed read. And what is so frustrat ing and infuriating is this: Steve Levitt talked to you yesterday about how thes e expensive and difficult to install child seats don't help.not just poor people -. They actually hurt. is it? Because that's kind of the world that we -. now we speed walk. Income redistribution will make ever yone better off -. (Applause) Carl Honore praises slowness What I'd like to start off with is an observation. where their problem is not that they have too much choice. and I walked past a gym that had an advertisement in the window for a new co urse. Because the truth of the matter is that if you shatter the fishbowl so that everything is possible. studio to studio.So I was in New York recent ly. we used to date and now we speed date. we speed them up. But the absence of some metaphorical fishbowl is a recipe for misery. don't we? So we used to dial. Every moment of the day feels like a race agains t the clock. So the stuff I'm talking about is the peculiar problem of modern. You increase paralysis. So this . You have paralysis. with doing everything faster. It's a waste of mon ey. Western societies. zipping from city to city. What I'm telling you is that these expensive. And I think that -. a world stuck in fast-forward. serving up the book in really tiny bite-size ch unks. This one is almost certai nly too limited -."These days even instant gratification takes too long. being a sophisticated person. but ours would be improved also. disaster. certainly for us. what do w e do? No.
urbanization. or even desirable. My first reflex was to say. but a finish line nonetheles s. that there is a -. the usual suspects rear their heads. and what it was doing to me and to everyone else.what a great idea! This is exactly w hat I'm looking for to speed up bedtime even more.you know. is it possible. the environment and our community. paragraphs there. Y ou think of. we speed up. our diet.the perfect solution for time-starved professionals who want to. And I think what that -. "I can't take it anymore. And my wake-up call came when I started reading bedtime stories to my son." And I -. the most intimate. And by the tim e I got off that plane.to alert us to the fact that we're hurr ying through our lives.it creates an equation. don't we? We try and do more and more with less and less time. and I found that at the end of day. I would go into his room and I just couldn't slo w down -. we often lose sight of the damage that this roadrunner form of living doe s to us. I mean. "Hallelujah -.you know. how did we get so fast? And t he second is. that we're living the f ast life. doesn't it. instead of the good life. my little boy knew the book inside out." and throws in the towel.whic h is I did nothing. It's always renewing and refreshing itself. incidentally. And what sho uld have been the most relaxing. time is cyclical. but my first reaction at the time was very different. a burn-out. consumerism. In other cultures. has it really come to this? Am I real ly in such a hurry that I'm prepared to fob off my son with a sound byte at the end of the day?" And I -. if you thin k about how our world got so accelerated. when I began looking around.you kno w. you know. "Whoa -. so what do w e do? Well -. And this went on for some time. We're so marinated in the culture of speed that we almost fail to notic e the toll it takes on every aspect of our lives.or. to slow down? Now. our w ork.and I sat there. And one of them made refe rence to a series of books called "The One-Minute Bedtime Story. You either use it. T ime is money. A finish line. Or maybe a relationship goes up in smoke because we haven't had the time. It's seen as moving in great unhurried circles. to be with the other person. and I took a st ep back. And I -And I had two questions in my head. the answer is yes. and my next reaction was very different.-. I'd be speed reading "The Cat In The Hat. time is linear. Time is scarce. And I think for many people. I wanted to investigate this whole roadrunner culture. or the patience. the workplace. technology. or lose it. you know. And I guess that the question is. our relationships. a light bul b went on over my head.well. or eventually the body sa ys.a wake-up call. but only want to give over about 20 minutes to it. . But there's a very serious point." I'd be -." But thankfully. And sometimes it take s a -. The first was. and I think that in the headlong dash of daily life. became instead this kind of glad iatorial battle of wills. until I caught myself scanning a ne wspaper article with time-saving tips for fast people. and they're amusing and good to laugh at. to -. and I did something I hadn't done for a long time -. to listen to them. the nub of the question.I put away the newspaper -. is it possible to break free from that mind set? And thankfully.and I was getting on a pla ne -. the most tender moment of th e day. On our health. and I thought. It' s a finite resource. You know.I win ce saying those words now. or the tranqu ility. because what I discovered. when a dad sits down to read to his son.that does to u s psychologically is it -. that we never reach. as Benjamin Franklin said. I just thought. We turn every moment of every day into a race to the finish line . But I think if you cut through those forces you get to what might be the deeper dri ver. and I thought long and hard. I'd decided I wanted to do something about it. sometimes a whole page and of c ourse. sa lute the sun. a clash between his speed and my -.a global backlash against this culture that t ells us that faster is always better. so we would quarrel. and that busier is best. Whereas in the West. my speed and h is slowness. that wake-up ca ll takes the form of an illness. which is how we think about time itself. these a re sort of the extreme examples. instead of actually living them. it's always draining away. I'd be skipping lines here.
And in this kind of cauldron of moments. they make love better. y ou're roadkill. b ut has spread across the world. you know. There's an awful lot of fast sex around. And Europe is an example of t hat.000 members in 50 countries. If you think of food. And in this. the opposite turns out to be true. Now." So. more holistic forms of hea ling. you k now. a nd the renaissance farmers' markets. we all laughed at Stin g a few years ago when he went Tantric. emotional. and now has 100. An d it's driven by a very simple and sensible message. and you get a better orgasm with the buildup. is another -. whe n they sang the praises of a lover with a slow hand. That by slowing down at the r ight moments. a men's magazine. obviously the jury is out on many of these complementary therapies. And millions of them around the world are turning to to complementary and alternative forms of medic ine. many of you will have heard of the Slow Food movement. Italians always seem to know where to fi nd their pleasure -. gain mainstrea m approval. isn't there? I was coming to -. spiritual currents. and I saw a magazine.to slow down and smell the roses and conne ct with one another. Sex. I like a quickie as m uch as the next person. "How to bring your partner to orgasm in 30 seconds. Now if you'll permit me a small act of hypocrisy. which is that we get more p leasure and more health from our food when we cultivate. and even just relaxation. I mean. gentler. I'll just give you a very quic k overview of what -. but I think that there's an awful lot to be gained from slow sex -. I was making my way. an d what we might learn from them. A nd of course. so that people are encouraged to -. they exercise better. it's kind of like a philosophical declaration. let's say. and finding that although conventional wisdom tells you that if you slow down. And blue-chip medical colleges ev erywhere are -. in Italy where -. In medicine. and it s aid on the front. And in some ways. I think a lot of people are deeply disillusioned with the kin d of quick-fix mentality you find in conventional medicine. they live better. They want to get back to slower rhyt hms.North America being a notable exception -. the Pointer Sisters said it most eloquently.I mean.from slowing down in the bedroom. and no w you find couples of all ages flocking to workshops. You can get more bang for your buck.th ose deeper. and places. and I personally doubt that the coffee enema will ever.working hours have been coming down. and acts of deceleration.Right across the world. these changes add up to more than the sum of their parts. slowness has a role to play. let's say. beca use I think when a Slow City becomes officially a Slow City.they've launched an official Slow Sex movement. psychological. you know.we ll -.are other illustrations of th e fact that people are desperate to get away from eating and cooking and cultiva ting their food on an industrial timetable. You know. The workplace -. and people finding that their quality of life improves as they're working .are starting to study these things to find out how they work.right across much of the world -. sort of. lie w hat a lot of people now refer to as the International Slow Movement. you know. But other treatments such as acupuncture and massage. cook and consume it at a reasonable pace. people are doing the unthinkable: they're slowing down.what's going on inside the Slow Movement. but you fast-forward a few years. but has spread right across Europe and b eyond. even sex is on a stopwatch these days. They eat better. slowly to Oxford. or put in a park bench. towns begin to rethink how they organize the urban landscape . and to the people in that town. or some green space. you tap into that -. Now. finding ways to put on the brakes and have better sex. which has started in Italy. or maybe just on their own in their own bedrooms. people find that they do everything better.no pun intended there. It's saying to the rest of world. Now. Started in Italy. which tend to tap into sort of slower. And out of the Slow Food movement has grown something called the Slow Citie s movement. I think also the explosion of the organic farming movement. that we believe that in the 21st century. they work better. So they might curb traffic. clearly have some kind of benefit. a nd I went through a news agent. didn't they.
But that said.for the brain to slide into that kind of creative mo de of thought. and the high-achieving parents freaked out and said . So wherever you look.telling them that they'll get more out of life.too much. your children need to slow down at the end of the day. they have CVs jammed with extracurricu lars.with an exclamation mark on the end. is it? It's chi ldren. too rigid. notably the Nordic countries. clearly there are p roblems with the 35-hour work week in France -.freshmen -. but that's not all of it. a nd you're finding that. And Norway. it's not that easy to slow down. It's not just. and I look at kids n ow. "No. of course.mobile phones. But they lack spark. you'll have a pretty good i dea of how fast I was going. it seems to me. the exam results came in.very revealing . than we would ever have conceived of a generation ago. And some of the most heartrending emails that I get on my website are actu ally from adolescents hovering on the edge of burnout. and that's true. though. And even if they sometimes do nothing at all. these days. the time that things need. during the work day or on the weekend. And if you go beyond sort of the country level. And that letter is called -. if they put on the brakes. who are often cited as the reason that people drive their kids and hothouse them so much. more tut oring. So there was a case up in Scotland r ecently where a fee-paying. I'm 37. too. And I think what's very revealing is that the elite universit ies. are starting to notice the caliber of students coming to them is falling. science. are starting to send a message to parents and students that they need to put on the brakes a little bit. And i f any of you have ever driven on an Italian highway. the message. There are homework bans springing up all over the dev eloped world in schools which had been piling on the homework for years. Denmark and Finland now rank among the top six most competitive nations on earth. These kids have wonderful marks. and also that their hourly productivity goes up. I got that ticket in Italy. so that they have time to recharge and to -. though. to help them slow down.you know. is it? I mean. and slow down. I was actually en route to a dinner held by Slow Food at the time. high-achieving private school banned homework for e veryone under the age of 13. And so what these Ivy League schools. more extracurriculars." And just this last mon th. and my childhood ended in the mid-'80s.they don't know how to dream. but give ti me to things. to enjoy them. and more out of Harvard. Homework is another thing. there is a backlash there in parenting as well. that slower is very often better. And if that's not shaming enough. down at the micro-c ompany level.to take a lunch bre ak. you know. pleading with me to write to their parents.the headmaster said. our kids will fall" -. to help them get off this full-throt tle treadmill. towns in the United States are now banding tog ether and banning extracurriculars on a particular day of the month. is the same. more and more companies now are realizing that they need to allow their staff either to work fewer hours or just to unplug -. If they do less. I think -. and Oxford and Cambridge and so on. for instance. to savor them. too soon. Sw eden. and now they're discovering that less can be more. they send out a letter t o undergraduates -. That less is ver y often more. they la ck the ability to think creatively and think outside -. to the point that would make your eyes water. so that peo ple can. Now. "What are you -. you heard that I got a speeding ticke t while I was researching my book on the benefits of slowness. no . to switch off their Blackberrys -. (Laughter) . decompress and have some family time.you at the back -. But thankfully. and they work the kind of hours that would make the average American wee p with envy."Slow Down!" -. are showing that it' s possible to have a kick-ass economy without being a workaholic. marks went up 20 percent on average last year. adults who overwork. And in Harvard. you know. B ut other countries in Europe. or to go sit in a quiet room.less. and in math. and I'm just amazed by the way they race around with more homework.
with the TV switched off. more productive. I think. In the developing world. perhaps. is the cultural t aboo that we've erected against slowing down. It's hard to give it up. but it's also been taken up.have embraced the ide a of the Slow Movement. healthier. got in touch with my inner tortoise. sort of. that's really bad slo w.with being stupid.I'm happy to be abl e to say to you that the answer is a resounding yes. is it. I guess what the Slow Movement -.that yes. the sort of revolutionary idea of the Slow Movement. I thin k. which is a ring road around London.although I think." So all of that said.these countries are -.the purpose of the Slow Movement.that speed is fun -. Slow is a dirty word in our cultur e. And good slow is. Thailand. and to say that -." too. we like that aspect of what you've got. business press. for being somebody who gives up. one of the things that I found most uplifting about all of this stuff that' s happened around the book since it came out. big companies and leadershi p organizations. or at least not as much as I did before. We fill our head with distraction. And I present myself as Exh ibit A. by the corporate world -. you know. You know. sometimes sl ow is not the -. is to tackle that taboo. and they 're saying. Or -. is th at there is such a thing as "good slow. I can actually hear it now. and I work as a journalist.I'm living my life rather than actually just racing t hrough it. is that it's not just in the devel oped world that this idea's been taken up. Bra zil. and I wouldn't give them up for the world. but also. there's to o much busy-ness. that there is such a thing as "bad slow. deeper quest ions.But why is it so hard to slow down? I think there are various reasons. the most powerful reason -. I p lay squash and ice hockey. I live in London. My default mode is no longer to be a rush-aholic. Poland. are starting to realize that there's too much speed in the system. that lost art of shifti ng gears. and there's a debate going on in th eir media." It's actually synonymous with being -. Y ou know. I think there's a kind of metaphysical dimension -that speed becomes a way of walling ourselves off from the bigger. it would be welcomed by the New Age brig ade. or get back to. in countries that are on the verge of making that leap into first world status -. is it possible? That's really the main ques tion before us today. And I can tell you. It's a byword for lazy. the most important measure of the success of this is tha . and so on -. am I well? Am I happy? Are my children growing up right? Are politicians making good decisions on my behalf? Another reason -. because I see my time is ticking off.I got stuck on the M25. really. so that we don't have t o ask. I still love speed. and I enjoy the buzz and the busy-ness. And I knew that when my book on slowness came out. " he's a bit slow." You know. recently.taking the time to look at a problem from all angles in the office to make the best de cision at work. that -. Another encouraging sign. And perhaps. But the new idea. on the streets. And the upshot of all of tha t is that I actually feel a lot happier. Is it possible to slow down? And I -. speed is sexy.the answer. Now. over the last year or so. I no longer hear time's wing ed chariot drawing near. Because people at the top of the chain. you know. and it's time to find.China.yo u know. It's all that adrenaline ru sh. with great gusto. One is t hat -.why we find it hard to slow down. "Well. people like you. Or even simply just taking the time to slow down and savor your life. a kind of reformed-and-rehabilitated speed-aholic. or its main goal. taking the time to eat a meal with your family. But I've also.you know. and the adrenaline rush that comes from both of those things. (Laughter) And what that means is that I don't -.I no longer overload myself gratuitously. is the reaction to it. with busy-ness. I guess. I feel like I'm -. a nd spent three and a half hours there. than I eve r have. slacker. Because I think they're looking at the West. many people in them. but we're not so sur e about that. two very fast sports.
no. or he handed this to me. I switch o ff my computer. and -. and it said.he'd made a card for me. they ate their first hamburger. And there too the news is rosy. that's really sweet. a quiet street. at the end of the day. 2007 was a great year. so I can't hear the email pinging into the basket. Kenya. My dad left a small village outside of Am ritsar.I guess. They need you to move at their rhythm. "Yeah.this is a card for being the best story reader in the world. Tintin. and we grew older . I don't wear a watch. I find that 1 0 minutes into a story. I moved out of the house. And for me. He'd gone and stapled two cards. no. and I was waiting for a taxi. you know. My mom left Nairobi. I settled down -. the -. I f ound a girl. was always going to be bedtime stories. I went to high school. 2006 was a great year. My sister and I grew up here. my son will suddenly say. which goes a little bit like this.the journey began. They settled in a shady subu rb about an hour east of Toronto. happy childhoods. India. on the front.. And they got here in the late 1960s.and I read it." And I thought. stronger. they don't do quality time. because it was so sl ow and I had to get through it quickly. good friends. We had close family. and I . something happened in the playground today that really bothered me. "No." And we'll go off and have a conversation on that. when my mom and my dad came to Canada. We grew up taking for granted a lot of the things that my parents couldn't take for granted when they grew up -.you know. I got married. And I have a kind of Hollywood endi ng to my talk this afternoon.and we read. richer. a nd my son came down the stairs and he'd -. (Laughter) But life was pretty good. and wha t it would mean.things li ke power always on in our houses. "To Daddy. I go into my son's room. And he said to me. something I really -.and I realize it sounds like a bad sitcom or a Ca t Stevens' song. I was getting ready to go on another book tour. Daddy -. I got a job. together. and I had my bags packed. And because children have their own temp o and internal clock. where you schedule 10 minutes for them to open up to you.t I feel that my relationships are a lot deeper. Life was pretty good. Under cle ar blue skies in July in the wine region of Ontario. this slowi ng down thing . I was downstairs by the front door." And I thought. things like schools across the street and hosp itals down the road and popsicles in the backyard. very like these. They saw the ir first dentist. is that a good luck on the book tour card?" And he said.I really cherish. you know. and I just sl ow down to his pace and -. And I now find that bedtime stories used to be a k ind of -. I graduated. you know. "Aah. "You know. I graduated from school. And they settled into a new life. It's become my reward at the end of the day. because that's sort of where the -. And he was c arrying it. " Thank you very much Neil Pasricha: The 3 A's of awesome So the Awesome story: It begins about 40 years ago.. love Benjam in. and we had quiet. I -. surrounded b y 150 family and friends. the litmus test for whether this would work. and they had their first kids. and put a sticker of his favorite character. something that I dreaded.a box on my to-do list. We grew up. A few months ago.
but we just don't talk about enough -. 2009 were heavy years for me for another reason too. and we just were growing further and further apa rt. when I hea rd something even more heartbreaking. Chris. being the first table to get called up to the dinner buffet at a wedding. So I came home from work one night. And nobody read it except for my mom. when you turne d on the TV. And for those of you whose lives have been touched by menta l illness. or when cashiers open up a new check-out lane at the grocery st ore and you get to be first in line -. or our retirements. My friend Chris. and the voice at the other end of the line said. believe me. I was trying to remind myself of the simple. (Laughter) And then I got excited when it started getting tens of hits. And as these dark clouds were circling me. I spoke to him on the phone at 10 :30 pm on a Sunday night. who I just showed you a picture of. but i t was breathtaking. And I went onstage t o accept a Webby award for Best Blog. And then I got a ph one call. 2008. (Laughter) And slowly over time. I know that they were tougher for a lot of people. (Laughter) So you can't actually see them. "I don't love you an ymore. And the surprise and just the amazement of that was only overshadowed by my return to Toronto. First of all." And it was one of the most painful things I'd ever heard and certainly t he most heartbreaking thing I'd ever heard. in my inbox. and it was heavy before that. really d ifficult to think of anything good. and so many of us losing our homes. It started getting bigger and bigger and bigger. to have a very honest conversation.things like waiters and wa itresses who bring you free refills without asking. Very sadly. Flash-for ward to the next year and "The Book of Awesome" has now been number one on the b . and I started up a tiny website called 1000awesomethings. hurricanes and an economy that was wobbling on the brink of collapse.c om. I started putting myself in a better mood. Here's a picture of me and m y friend. 10 liter ary agents were waiting for me to talk about putting this into a book.000 blogs are started a day.went on a road trip with two of my closest friends. swoop right in there. My marriage wasn't going well. and I logg ed onto the computer. I was going through a lot of personal problems at the time. "You've just won the best blog in the world award. wearing warm underwear from just o ut of the dryer. on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. I found out that he disappeared. wars going on around the world. 50. or our livelihoods. until only a month later. (Laughter) (Applause) Which African country do you want me to wire all my money to? (Laught er) But it turns out. I jumped on a plane. I said to myself that I really needed a way to focus on the positive somehow. it was about ice caps melting.000. I mean. you know how challenging it can be. had been battling mental il lness for some time. universal. not just me. And then I started getting exc ited when it started getting dozens and then hundreds and then thousands and the n millions. when. And it was a really heavy time. It's still heavy now. a nd then eventually did collapse. and I ended up walking a red carpet b etween Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Fallon and Martha Stewart. We talked about the TV show we watched that evening. and I was finding it really. Although I should say that my traffic did skyrocket and go up by 100 percent when she forwarded it to my dad. We actually saw seals out of our car window. and we pulled over to take a quick picture of them and then blo cked them with our giant heads. but when you flip open a newspaper. (Laughter) 2008 and 2009 were a little tougher. A nd Monday morning. through a lot of tears. or our jobs ." I was like. that sounds totally fake. little pleasures tha t we all love. And so my blog was just one of those 50. One day my wife came home from work and summoned the courage. the news was so heavy. And she said. he took his own life. eart hquakes.even if you were last at the other line.
you can grieve and then face the future with newly s ober eyes. One. I love the way that they can stare at a bug crossing the sidewalk. (Applause) But look. B ut lately I have had the opportunity to take a step back and ask myself: What is it over the last few years that helped me grow my website. which was crushing skulls and separating shoulders on the football field. for me personally. or Rosey Grier as people used to call him." These were four guys on the L. you can swirl and twirl and gloo m and doom forever. your headaches might be more serious than you thought. Over the last few years. your girlfriend co uld cheat. I love hanging out with three year-olds. That th ree year-old boy is still part of you. we're all going to get lumps. "Found money. no matter how difficult it is. Because you all used to be three years old. and choo sing. or two. They're in there. he also loved needlepoin . And there are times in life when you will be tossed in the well too. because they're seeing the world for the first time. I said I wanted to tell you the Awesome story. but also grow myself ? And I've summarized those things. I love the w ay that they'll stare slack-jawed at their first baseball game with wide eyes an d a mitt on their hand. Having a great attitude is about choosing option number two. I haven't had that much time to really think.est-seller list for 20 straight weeks. And when that bad news washes over you. So there was a time when it w as your first time ever hitting a string of green lights on the way home from wo rk. I love the way that they'll spend hours pick ing dandelions in the backyard and putting them into a nice centerpiece for Than ksgiving dinner. I love the way that they see the world. and when that pain sponges and soaks in. I wanted to share with you the three A's of Awesome. But Rosey Grier also had another passion. So let's talk about those thr ee A's. And being aware is just about remembering that you saw e verything you've seen for the first time once too. I love the w ay that they see the world. It's sad. I said I wanted to do three things with you today. as three A's. grew up and grew into a 300 lb. Having a sense of awareness is just about embracin g your inner three year-old. and it's not pleasant to talk about. I just really hope yo u feel like you've always got two choices. soaking in the crack of the bat and the crunch of the pe anuts and the smell of the hotdogs. but your kids coul d get mixed up in gangs or bad scenes. There was the first time you walked by the open door of a bakery and smelt t he bakery air. Roosevelt Grier. And for this one. Let's go all the way back to 1932 when. six-foot five linebacker in t he NFL." The last A is authenticity. on a peanut farm in Georgia. but we do know one thing about it and that 's that it ain't gonna go according to plan. a little ba by boy named Roosevelt Grier was born. and I wanted to leave you with a closing thought. no matter what pain hits you. but between those high highs. I want to tell you a quick story. The second A is awareness. That three year-old girl is still part of you. or your dog co uld get hit by a car on the street. awareness and authenticity. or the first time you pulled a 20-dollar bill out of your old jac ket pocket and said.A. Your mom could get cancer. with twists in your stomach and with holes in your heart. because they're seeing the world for the first time. I'd love to just talk about each one briefly . father-daughter dances a t weddings and healthy babies screeching in the delivery room. We will all have high highs and big days and proud moments of smiles on graduation stages. but your husband might leave you. In his deeply authentic self. Rams in the 1960s you did not want to go up against. So attitude: Look. we may also have some lumps and some bumps too. Here he is pictured with the "fearsome fo ursome. They were tough football players doing what they love. It's not a happy thought. your dad could get mean. and we're all going to get bump s. He's number 76 in the picture. They are at titude. choosing to m ove forward and move on and take baby steps into the future. None of us can predict the future.
And you end you end up following your heart and f eeling very fulfilled. you end up following your heart. And my dad says he got off the plane and he went to this lunch and there was this huge spread. and he was welcomed by a non-profit group. mini dill pickles. the re was casseroles. I don't know what it would feel like coming to a new country when y ou're in your mid-20s. And when my dad tells the story. because you don't g et many opportunities in life to do something like this. except bread. You go places you've dreamt about. So I wanted to ask them to. what was vegetarian. my dad used to take me grocery shopping. There was tuna salad sandwic hes and egg salad sandwiches and salmon salad sandwiches. There was rolled up turkey cold-cuts." (Laughter) I didn 't know what was meat. (Laughter) And this non-profit group had a big welc oming lunch for all the new immigrants to Canada. I mean. he loved it so much that. "I don't know where Mor occo is either. If you notice. And he even put out a book called "Rosey Grier's Needlepoint for Men. because I never did it. But I would imagine that it would take a great attitude. he says. can you believe they have a mango here from Mexico? They've got an apple here from South Africa. rolled up ham cold-cuts. there was those little. And it's a great story. if they don't mind. Is this A&P?" And he'd say." (Laug hter) "I just couldn't believe how many things you can get here. "The crazies t thing was. he started joining club s. You meet people that you like talking to." (Laugh ter) (Applause) It's a great cover. after he retired from the NFL. So those are the three A's. And he would stare in wonder at the little stickers that are on the fruits and vegetables. "I'm five. there was olives. And we'd actually take an atlas off the shelf. I want to take you all the way back to my parents comin g to Canada. my dad would say. and we'd go home. I don't know. H e would say. And when we did." (Laughter) When I was five years old. and you put yourself in places and situations and in conversations that you love and that you enjoy. It's just about being you a nd being cool with that. I would imagine that you'd have to be pret ty aware of your surroundings and appreciating the small wonders that you're sta rting to see in your new world. That's what he said. it relaxed him. I'd never seen any of that before. there was brownies. my dad used to love telling the story of his first day in Canada. stand up. there was butter tarts. and we'd flip through it until w e found this mysterious country. I was eating olives with pie. And that's what authenticity is all about. lots and lots of pies. "Look. And I just wanted to say thank you to you guys. (Laughter) And so what I love about this story is that Rosey Grier is just such an authenti c person. y ou'd have to be really true to yourself in order to get through what you're bein g exposed to.t. There was bread . and there was pie s. I'd like to pause my TEDTalk for about 10 seconds right now. because what happened was he got off the plane at the Toronto airport. "Do you know where Morocco even is?" And I'd say. Can you believe they've got a date from Mor occo?" He's like. which I'm sur e someone in this room runs. He loved knitting. (Applause) When I was growing up. I don't even know where I am. And I think you'd have to be really authentic. For the closing thought. those little whit e onions." And so we'd buy the date. There was lasagna. he's actually needlepointing his own face. rolled up roast beef cold-cuts and little cubes of cheese. "Can you bel . it took a way his fear of flying and helped him meet chicks. He said that it calmed him down. and my parents are sitt ing in the front row. And I think when you're authentic. but let's find out.
embracing your inner three year-old and seeing the tiny joys that mak e life so sweet and being authentic to yourself. You can go to a concert and hear guit ars jamming. And that's the sad part. that we've ever seen. Thank you. everyone that's ever woken up beside you. always. house party scenes. We're the o nly ones with jewelry and democracy. every politicia n in every country. We've got books. always fleeting. capable of experiencing so many of these th ings. interio r design and horoscope signs. being you and being cool with t hat. And that's why I believe that i f you live your life with a great attitude. You can smell bakery air. so they could sell it to us for 25 cent s?" And I'd say. living with a sense of awareness of the world a round you. I mean. there are so many things t o be happy about. wedding brides and roller coaster rides. We are the only species on the only life-giving rock in the en tire universe. Y ou can watch a horror movie with monsters. pop bubble wrap or take an illegal nap. put it in a tr uck. he's absolutely right. . every actor in every movie. "I don't believe that. walk around with rain hair. We got all that. You can go to the movies and get g ood seats." When I stop to think about it. letting your heart lead you and putting yourself in experiences that satisf y you. the telemarketer calling you during dinner. everyone in this room and you will be dead in a hundred y ears." And he's like. we're the only ones with architecture and agriculture. We've got fashion magazines. and I thi nk you live a life that is truly awesome. the foreman at your plant. then I think you'll live a life that is rich and is satisfying. everyone you love. We've got airplanes. every te acher you've ever had. And that moment is right now. "I don't believe it eith er. buffets and radio waves.ieve someone climbed a tree over there. You will never be as young as you are right now. You can sleep in clean sheets. the guy tailgati ng you home on the highway. Life is so great that we only get such a short time to experience and enjo y all those tiny little moments that make it so sweet. and those moments are always. drove it all the way to the docks and then sailed all the way across the At lantic Ocean and then put it in another truck and drove that all the way to a ti ny grocery store just outside our house. There's just so many things to be happy about. highway lanes. Things are amazing. and those moments are counting down. every single person in your fami ly. picked this thing off it. choosing to move forward and move on whenever life deals you a blow. The cashiers at your grocery store. but we only got 100 years to enjoy it.
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