January 30, 2007

Slow Down- You move too fast


You got to make the morning last, Feeling Groovy.......I think that was a Simon and Garfunkel song. Now just replace the morning with good times and you will have Slow Down Culture.

I received a very interesting forward on this which I share here with you.
"It's been 18 years since I joined Volvo, a Swedish company. Working for them has proven to be an interesting experience. Any project here takes 2 years to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It's a rule.

Globalize processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to posses a need to see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the slow movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold x quantity of meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. At the end, this always yields better results.
Said in another words:
1. Sweden is about the size of San Pablo, a state in Brazil.
2. Sweden has 2 million inhabitants.
3. Stockholm, has 500,000 people.
4. Volvo, Escania, Ericsson, Electrolux, Nokia are some of its renowned companies. Volvo supplies the NASA.
The first time I was in Sweden, one of my colleagues picked me up at the hotel every morning. It was September, bit cold and snowy. We would arrive early at the company and he would park far away from the entrance (2000 employees drive their car to work). The first day, I didn't say anything, either the second or third. One morning I asked, "Do you have a fixed parking space? I've noticed we park far from the entrance even when there are no other cars in the lot." To which he replied, "Since we're here early we'll have time to walk, and whoever gets in late will be late and need a place closer to the door. Don't you think? Imagine my face.
Nowadays, there's a movement in Europe name Slow Food. This movement establishes that people should eat and drink slowly, with enough time to taste their food, spend time with the family, friends, without rushing. Slow Food is against its counterpart: the spirit of Fast Food and what it stands for as a lifestyle. Slow Food is the basis for a bigger movement called Slow Europe, as mentioned by Business Week.
Basically, the movement questions the sense of "hurry" and "craziness" generated by globalization, fueled by the desire of "having in quantity" (life status) versus "having with quality", "life quality" or the "quality of being". French people, even though they work 35 hours per week, are more productive than Americans or British. Germans have established 28.8 hour workweeks and have seen their productivity been driven up by 20%. This slow attitude has brought forth the US's attention, pupils of the fast and the "do it now!".
This no-rush attitude doesn't represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, productivity, perfection, with attention to detail and less stress. It means reestablishing family values, friends, free and leisure time. Taking the "now", present and concrete, versus the "global", undefined and anonymous. It means taking humans' essential values, the simplicity of living.
It stands for a less coercive work environment, more happy, lighter and more productive where humans enjoy doing what they know best how to do. It's time to stop and think on how companies need to develop serious quality with no-rush that will increase productivity and the quality of products and services, without losing the essence of spirit.
In the movie, Scent of a Woman, there's a scene where Al Pacino asks a girl to dance and she replies, "I can't, my boyfriend will be here any minute now". To which Al responds, "A life is lived in an instant". Then they dance to a tango.
Many of us live our lives running behind time, but we only reach it when we die of a heart attack or in a car accident rushing to be on time. Others are so anxious of living the future that they forget to live the present, which is the only time that truly exists. We all have equal time throughout the world. No one has more or less. The difference lies in how each one of us does with our time. We need to live each moment. As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
Congratulations for reading till the end of this message. There are many who will have stopped in the middle so as not to waste time in this globalized world. "
While on Sweden, a Swedish ship ( picture above courtesy the web), a replica of an 18th century one, Gotheborg, is coming to town by early Feb. It will be docked for about 10 days. I want to go and see it. Here is why...

22 comments:

Has to be me said...

Good one there! Thanx 4 sharing!

Fuzzylogic said...

I think we all can use some slow food:)Thanks for sharing that forward,it indeed makes us step back and think.That Swedish ship Gotheborg really sounds fascinating.You should go see it and get us some pics while you are at it:)I would have loved that too.
By the way the new pic of Anushka is so cute!Was this her take on the Lion King?:)

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I truly enjoyed your summary of the Slow Movement. I've finished the book "In Praise of Slow" by Honore and found it exceptional. He opened my eyes to a new way of thinking.
Thank you for posting such a thorough thinking through and examples of what its all about. It can be so misunderstoon.
BTW, I haven't been to India in 15 years but I remember it fondly as I was there for 3 months...
Loved it. I think of Nag Champa fondly and all the oils...now I want to visit again!
best,
Karen from California
karenferguson@compuserve.com

Sanjay said...

I am all for the slow food movement. Eating is not just an energy source for us, it is meant to be enjoyed at a nice pace.
Great post btw.

Sanjay said...

oops sanjay- i see ur pic-but i think u r like an advertising creative head - a little whacky- a little spaced out- definitely creative- that is how I picture u

I am glad I am not in advertising, am def whacky! Not sure if I am creative :) You are way too kind.

mommyof2 said...

wonderful post:-) Thanks for sharing.

I really loved the parking incident. Its silly but after reading about things with nice feelings involved make me all mushy from inside :sniff:

lalitha said...

Wonderful post and it is so true.we are caught up with this fast movement everything done in a hurry for immediate results.I think it is time we slowed down or else we will be missing so many things in life because it will be just passing us by.

NZ said...

Thanks for sharing that forward. We can all learn a few things from it :-)

BTW, Thats a lovely pic of Anush.

Orchid said...

Yep, I definitely need reminders like these .....thanks for sharing

Alan said...

I can remember when Feeling Groovy first hit the airwaves, around '67 I believe. I'll slow down one of these days. Sorry, gotta go!

artnavy said...

fuzzy/nz- thanks - good that you noticed Anush's pic - yes it is her take on Simba( WATCH OUT- it changes weekly)

all- This forward was just amazing and I was tempted to go to the end seeing its length but the last line provoked me to read the whole piece

Alan- My parents had not even met each other yet when the song was released- but I love it

FUZZY- cant wait to see the ship- hope they allow kids on board

itchingtowrite said...

the ship is docking today and they hav visiting hours. heard on radio city ... 91.1... the only one that plays hindi & english both....
thanks for sharing this piece

Usha said...

Most sensible ideas I heard in a long time now. Forwarding it to all my friends. This is something that everyone in the age group of 25 - 50 should read and think about.
Thanks a lot.

artnavy said...

usha/ itchy - thanks both

itchy- visiting hrs are 12.30 to 5.30 on Saturday alone

The Mad Momma said...

That was an excellent post. I am always reiterating the need to slow down.. where is everyone rushing off to? I keep wondering if I missed the memo that everyone else seems to have seen!!!!

I love all the no-comments on your Sai baba post.. they say so much more than a comment would!!!

And I am afraid I had no clue about what you look like so didnt hazard a guess...

artnavy said...

Madmomma- I have seen your photo on the beach when u were not preg and i am "J"

u r so right about not having to rush and waiting to savour the moment

Something to Say said...

hubby works for a european co - and wudnt trade places with anyone. When we went to Denmark for a work-visit - the slowness was in the air.... it was sooo.... different

devendra.r.deshpande said...

Can someone please trace the source of the message?

artnavy said...

it appeared in the NYtimes business section i hear- but i could not find it there

Ober Fuhrer said...

enjoyed reading your post.
I'm applying to volvo right now.

div said...

isn't Nokia Finnish?

artnavy said...

u r right div
so do not belive all that this forward has to say!!