Slowing Down, with Carl Honoré

Eudaemonia Podcast: Transcript

Carl Honoré is an award-winning writer, broadcaster and TED speaker. He is the voice of the global Slow Movement, and author of several best-sellers. including In Praise of Slow.  Carl’s message is simple but game-changing: To thrive in a fast world, you have to slow down. In this episode, Kim Forrester connects with Carl to discuss the art of slow living, and to explore how we can flourish when we enjoy life at its most fulfilling, most authentic pace.

Kim Forrester (00:00):
In a world that celebrates productivity and glorifies busy, it can be all too easy to run ourselves ragged, push ourselves beyond our limits, and rush unthinkingly through the moments of our lives. I’m Kim Forrester. You’re listening to the Eudaemonia podcast and today, as I prepare for a sabbatical from this podcast to replenish my well-being and reconnect with my homeland, I feel it’s a perfect time to talk about the vital importance of slowing down.

Intro (00:36):
Welcome to Eudaemonia the podcast that is all about flourishing. Plug in, relax, and get ready for the goodness, as we explore the traits and practices that can help you thrive in life with your host, Kim Forrester.

Kim Forrester (00:56):
Carl Honoré is an award-winning writer, broadcaster and TED speaker. Carl is the voice of the global Slow Movement and author of several international bestsellers, including In Praise of Slow, The Slow Fix and his latest title, Bolder: Making the most of our longer lives. Carl’s counter-intuitive message is simple but game changing -to thrive in a fast world, you have to slow down. It is my absolute delight to be connecting with Carl today, to discuss the art of slow living and to explore how our lives can flourish when we get out of the fast lane, put on the brakes and enjoy life at its most fulfilling, most authentic pace. Carl Honoré, welcome to the Eudaemonia podcast. It’s such a delight to have you here with me here today.

Carl Honoré (01:48):
Thank you so much. I’m thrilled to be with you.

Kim Forrester (01:51):
Carl, you are one of the main voices of the Slow Movement, a huge advocate of the Slow Movement globally, and you do actually say that the Slow Movement is not about moving at a snail’s pace through life. You actually say it’s about balancing the things that require prompt action with the things that we can slow down and savor a little bit more. So how do we know which activities are best taken fast and the activities that are best taken slow? And does the tempo always remain the same for each individual activity?

Carl Honoré (02:29):
Hmm, there’s a lot to unpack there because there’s never a simple answer. I think the way to know if you’re in the right mode – right, you’re in what I would call slow mode – which is, you’re moving at the right speed. You’re present. You’re mindful. You’re in the moment. You’re doing one thing at a time. You’re giving your full attention and energy to whatever that task is. When you’re in that place, then I think there’s a sense of stuff just falling into place. I mean, I think the flip side is when you’re not in that slow mode, that’s when you start to feel a kind of, physical kind of anxiety or nausea. You feel anxious, you’ve got one eye on the clock. Also, after the fact, you don’t remember things as well, because there’s an intimate bond between slowness and memory, right? Milan Kundera, the Czech novelist, talked about that; that when you’re moving through things too quickly, nothing sticks. Everything is a blur. So it’s almost a kind of reverse engineering. It’s kind of, it feels good. I mean, but that doesn’t really tell you enough, right? There’s a good feeling, right? There’s a feeling of being in the sweet spot of being in the zone. That’s when you’re in the slow mode. It’s sometimes easier to recognize the flip side, which is when you’re not in the zone. So look out for those warning signs, right? That feeling of anxiety, that feeling of rushing, rushing the clock, that feeling of dashing to a finish line you never reach. That feeling of not remembering – that’s very often a sign that things are not in sync that you’re in the wrong place on the tempo scale. The second part of your question was more specifically about actions. Short answer, again is no. There is no universal tempo for every activity. I mean, I think every person is different each and every one of us, we have our own metronome, an internal metronome, and that changes with the circumstances and the moments and the seasons, and even maybe times in our life, right. Stages of life. So I think there’ll be times when you may do activity X, whether it’s going for a walk or banging out a company report, you know, sometimes you’ll do that a little bit more quickly and that’s fine. I think what we want to avoid here – and this is something people often fall into – is believing that there is a universal recipe for slow; there is a constant perfect tempo that must be reached for every activity. Life is just much more fuzzy and much more messy than that. And I think much more thrilling and interesting as a result, right? It’s partly trial and error. It’s partly finding your way. And it’s partly just kind of feeling the groove.

Kim Forrester (04:58):
You seem to be alluding to a principle that I adhere to very strongly and I’m always touting. And that is that the sense that we are nature, Carl. We are nature. And therefore we have natural rhythms that we’ve often overlooked or forgotten in our modern world. And we have a natural tempo for various times of our lives and various activities in our lives. And I think one of the things about reconnecting with the nature that we are is that we become more rooted; we become more rooted in life, we become more rooted into the moments of our lives. Do you think that one consequence of this fast paced, busy life that we seem to have invited into our society, do you think one of the consequences is that we skip through life a lot more superficially? You know, we’re not so deeply rooted. We’re not deeply thinking, we’re not deeply discussing. We’re not connecting deeply and intimately with the people around us. Do you think that’s a problem and have you found a new depth in your life since you started slowing down?

Carl Honoré (06:06):
Absolutely. I think that’s one of the main things that we sacrifice on the altar of speed – hurry, distraction, busyness, whatever you want to call this fast culture – is depth. It’s texture, it’s layers, it’s nuance, it’s meaning, right? Because when you get stuck in fast-forward, in roadrunner mode, you are just skimming across the surface, like a, you know, a flat stone across a pond, right? You’re not actually getting down to the core. That’s what slowing down does. You use the metaphor of roots getting down into the earth, the fertile ground upon which all human experience is constructed. You can think of it that way. Slow is about being in that moment. And that allows you to anchor yourself there and to go deep, to get down to the core, to get to the heart of the matter, which is utterly the opposite of what happens when you’re stuck in, in fast forward, right? You end up just ticking boxes. You become a human doing, instead of a human being. Right? And I think that’s another way to think about this fast-slow dichotomy, is that a fast mindset, a dash to the finish line lifestyle, is very often about simply getting through. It’s about powering through a never-ending list of tasks that you’ve got to do. Whereas a slow way is more about being. It’s about being in each moment, inhabiting it fully, deriving from it all of the joy, learning, color that there is to take from it. And so, yeah, I think in very, very simple terms, slow is deep, fast is shallow.

Kim Forrester (07:45):
It’s pretty self-evident, Carl that a slower life is also going to be great for our relationships, right? By taking time to slow down, we can be more present with others. We can connect more deeply and authentically with others. And I want to know how slowing down has changed your relationship with yourself. Have you found more space to discover more about who you are since you slowed the tempo in certain parts of your life?

Carl Honoré (08:14):
I think that’s one of the main benefits of reconnecting with your inner tortoise, if you like, of slowing down and embracing this slow creed, is that encounter with the self. Because what happens when you get caught in fast-forward and turbo mode is that you you’re skimming the surface. You never have the time, the space, the tranquility, the bandwidth, the serenity to pause, shut out the sound and fury of modern life, and look inside. You know, to be at one with yourself, to grapple with those big questions, such as “Who am I? What’s my purpose here? Am I living the right life for me?” Because when you’re in roadrunner mode, all you have time and energy for is the small stuff, right? You sweat the small questions, like “Where are my keys? I’m late for my next meeting.” You know, that kind of thing. And very often what happens when people get stuck in that fast way of being is it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy or a self-reinforcing loop. So human beings need – I mean, Socrates told us this 2000 years ago, right, the power of the examined life – taking that time to look inside and do that internal homework, that metaphysical housekeeping that we all need to do to live a full and meaningful life. And when you don’t do it, you move further and further away from yourself. Your life gets decoupled from you and you end up in a different space from where you are. Or you end up just chasing your tail and rushing around on a hamster wheel, trying to get to the end of the never-ending to do list. And one of the main benefits that I say of slowing down is that reconnection with self. Which has been something I think many people have discovered through the pandemic, because with all these lockdowns did to us. I mean, I don’t say this as a fan of the pandemic. I mean, many people said to me, actually, when the pandemic hit, they said, “Oh, you must be so happy. This forced everyone to slow down.” And I’ve never been happy about this pandemic. It’s a total nightmare for everyone in lots of different ways. But there is, I think a silver lining, which is that many of us have been forced to go through a kind of workshop of slow. And what that meant was that we had a lot more time to be alone with ourselves, alone with our thoughts, to let our minds wander, to go deep, to go inside. We couldn’t go outside, so we went inside. And what we found inside, many of us, was that we hadn’t been doing that metaphysical emotional homework. And we discovered that the lives we were leading before were not the right lives for us. So it’s so interesting. Now, if you look around social media, the mainstream media, even your own social circle, I bet you’ll find loads of people saying, “You know what, I’m coming out of this pandemic and I’m going to make some tectonic changes. Some seismic shifts. I realized that the work I was doing wasn’t right for me. I’m going to change jobs or I’m going to leave that relationship, or I’m going to move from the city to the country, or the country to the city.” And that is a marker I think, of how people were just sleepwalking through their lives, just getting through one day to the next. And that’s what fast-forward living does, where slowing down allows you that rooted moment to see the big picture, to join up the dots and to make the best decisions for forging a life that makes sense for you. And, that, I think, is going to be a benefit. It was already for people slowing down before the pandemic, but many people have been forced to do it through the pandemic, so that will be a happy upside, I think.

Kim Forrester (11:32):
Certainly, overwhelmingly in my life, the people around me have slowed down, reprioritized, reflected on their life during the last 18 months or so. But Carl, there are people who have resisted and pushed against the lockdown and the slow down, the whole way through the pandemic. And it does make me wonder, do you think that some people just work better in the fast lane, right? They might not be particularly deep thinkers. They might not feel comfortable going within to that kind of depth. They might feel restricted or uninspired if there isn’t this forward momentum. Can there be such a thing as moving too slow if it doesn’t suit your personality to do so?

Carl Honoré (12:20):
I do think that we all have our own internal metronome, right? So I think that some people are born more tortoises and some people are born more hares. But I do think that everyone benefits from, everyone needs, that reflection, right? This is a culture that privileges and venerates reaction, right? It’s all about speed and pace of movement and so on. But actually I think that the secret to living – I can return to the Socratic idea, right – is the examined life. And you cannot examine, you cannot reflect, you cannot do all that important internal work unless you slow down. So even fast people – and I include myself in that category. I am a natural hare, I’ve always been fast. I am still fast in many ways. Now I speak fast, I play fast sports, I move fast. My wife who is a natural tortoise, still thinks I’m fast, but that is her external view. What’s changed for me, palpably, is on the inside I have a very clear before and after. Before I felt rushed all the time, I felt like I never had enough minutes, enough hours in the day, and I was constantly peddling just to keep my head above water. Now I’m still busy. I still get lots of things done. To people like my wife, I still seem pretty fast, but I don’t feel rushed. I just simply do not feel rushed or a victim of the clock, or time sickness, or whatever you want to call it. I just don’t feel that anymore, but I’m still on the surface in many ways, to plenty of people, moving quickly. So again, it comes back to what we were talking about earlier that everybody is different. There are different modes and it’s important, I think, to honor those different modes. I mean, if you’re thinking about a company or an organization working together, I think a key first step to harnessing the power of your staff is to appreciate that everybody has different tempos. Everybody works in different ways. And so you, rather than imposing one speed on that workforce, you say, “Okay, well, look, let’s try and build a symphony here where some people play at a different tempo.” Others are a bit more uptempo, some are a bit more low tempo and you allow those people to flourish together to produce a beautiful sound. And so I think that, yes, I, I certainly don’t want anyone to hear me speaking now, or ever in any context, and think, “Oh no, I must feel ashamed of being quick.” I think quickness has all kinds of benefits and I love fast. Faster is often better. I like doing stuff fast too, but it’s kind of, you can do the things fast, but if you’ve got a slow spirit, right? So you’ve got a kind of stillness in your mind, you’re in what athletes call, you’re in the zone. So you may be moving it on the outside at superhuman speed but on the inside you’re unhurried, you’re unruffled, you’re focused. You have time for reflection. You create moments of pause that allow you to go even faster when you need to. So it’s about playing with all those different tempos and being open-minded to the fact that we’re all different and that we can all bring different things, different tempos to the table.

Kim Forrester (15:22):
That’s really powerful there. And it brings me to something really personal going on in my life. I am a speed freak, we would say. I’m also a hare and I’m invigorated, normally, when I am working at speed. I can get a lot of stuff done in a day. And particularly when I’m working towards my dreams and my aspirations. And normally when I’m in that zone, normally when I’m inspired and passionate about the things that I’m creating for myself and in my life, I don’t feel like I am being rushed. Except for recently. Recently, Carl, I noticed that I was trying to keep up the same tempo – for instance, with the podcast here – and noticed that I was feeling out of the zone. I have been feeling tense and that has compelled me to take a sabbatical from the podcast. And I must tell you, it is something that has not come easily to me because I’m very afraid about slowing down. And I’m very, very afraid about not having that momentum towards the dreams and desires that I hold dear to myself. How can we express and embody passion, ambition, inspired action in a way that also honors the power of slowness?

Carl Honoré (16:44):
You know, I mean, bravo you, because I think in your question lies the answer, right? The fact that you very wisely noted that you were someone who could, you know, knock things out of the park, get all kinds of stuff done, and you felt good with it, right? You felt you were in the zone. Until you weren’t, right? And I think that’s what happens is that people reach the point where they aren’t anymore, but they just power on. They power through. They ignore the symptoms. They ignore the signals that our body sends us, that our minds and emotions sends us, that people around us send us. We get into that tunnel vision mode and think, “Well, you know, it was working for me before. I was chasing my life dream, my passion. This is what defines me. This has worked up until now. I’m going to double down on it.” And that’s often where things end in tears. You’re doing exactly the right thing there, which is honoring and respecting those signals, those warning signs and pushing pause and saying, “You know what, it makes sense to stop.” I mean, even all the greatest athletes will tell you this as well, right? That there are times when you’ve got to get down there and invest a Herculean, Olympic effort in your training, in your performance in the stadium. But in between, you’ve got to have times for rest, for replenishing, for recharging, for resetting, maybe just rebooting and changing course a little bit. So I don’t know your circumstances obviously, inside out, but perhaps the reason you started to get those warning signals was that the dream you were passing before, that you were following before, maybe maybe needs a little rethinking, a little reshaping. And that’s where reflection comes in.

Kim Forrester (18:19):
Such wise guidance from you, Carl. I appreciate it. But I think rushing towards our dreams and our desires is only one way that we sort of engage in fast, you know, to our detriment. There is one thing I think we do in modern society that is incredibly detrimental to us. And that is this compulsion we have to rush through emotional healing. Particularly grief, right? In the UK, they had to pass a law that allowed parents two weeks off work to grieve the loss of a child. Two weeks. And in the USA experts are saying that employees ought to give about 20 days … Sorry, employers are giving about 20 days to employees who have lost a close loved one. What are your thoughts on this modern approach to grieving, to trauma, to psychological distress? How would you like to see people manage emotional healing in the modern world?

Carl Honoré (19:27):
Well, I think that approach is grotesque and cruel and wrong-headed and ultimately counterproductive, right? Because human beings are not algorithms, right? We’re not machines. We are far more complex and we bring a lot more to the party as a result of that. But you’ve got to treat people as complex creatures, right? You just can’t just treat them as automatons. So there’s two ways to unpack this. One is on the kind of moral, ethical grounds, which is to say, I think we all ought to be aspiring to create a kinder, gentler culture,;one that makes space for emotions. And I think that’s something that’s been coming in the last few years. Certainly there’s much more openness to the idea of mental health problems, talking about them in the workplace, discussing them openly. Celebrities, talking about their troubles with anxiety and depression and so on, or bipolar. So these things are not coming, you know, above the radar. They used to be hidden in the closet. Now they’re out in the open. So that’s the first step. The next step is changing the rules of the game in the workplace to allow people the time and the space that they need. Now, I don’t … I can’t say to you, because I don’t know, what the exact number of days ought to be. I mean, I don’t think we’d ever come to a sort of magic number that each person should get in the event of a bereavement for instance. But I think, two weeks? I mean, death. It seems pretty small. It should be flexible. There should be, I would say also, even if you give people X number of days or weeks to stop work, or be away to deal with the fallout, emotional fallout from this loss, there should also be an awareness that when they come back, they’re going to be altered and that they’re going to need support. They’re going to need a metaphorical arm around them and so on. So there’s a whole rethink that’s got to go on, both in society in general and especially in the workplace. But it is not surprising that we find ourselves in this predicament because, I mean the whole culture is about doing everything faster that, you know, if you want to improve things, you can just speed them up. But you know, we are, I think, already bumping up against the limits of what makes sense when it comes to trying to accelerate the processes of human emotion. I was heartened to see that during the pandemic, the whole Tinder culture took a bit of a knock. Because of course you couldn’t swipe right. You couldn’t meet anyone anymore. So all that kind of swipe right, and you’re in bed with somebody four hours later, just sort of evaporated. And what you found was people going on Tinder or dating app dates through Zoom. You know, they would order a meal together and eat, you know, in different parts of the city or whatever. And they would have a conversation and they would, there would be courtship and conversation and seduction. And I’m not saying we have to go back to a kind of Jane Austen era of endless letters back and forth. Right? But it was interesting to see how many people, particularly women, said how much more they loved the dating scene because they would say, “Well, the other person had to listen to me. They had to ask me questions.” Right? And so these things, these natural experiences of building a friendship, falling in love, getting over grief, these things have a natural human arc that is probably as long today in 2021 as it was 2000 years ago. And that is colliding with our chronic impatience today, which is why I think so many of us are so ill ease and why mental health problems are at – you know, I don’t want to use the word pandemic again – let’s say epidemic proportions.

Kim Forrester (22:51):
That’s such a powerful concept you’ve just covered there, Carl. And I think it’s one that we can all sort of hold very gently in our back pocket, because we are all striving in some way to be better humans, to be better friends, to be more compassionate and thoughtful. And I think that something we can all remember to do more often is to allow others the time and space they need to work through their emotional expression, whether it is courting and dating or starting a new friendship, or whether it is someone who is grieving. And there’s a lot of grief around at the moment. So I love that whole idea there, Carl, of us allowing the people that we love and the people we’re close to to have the time to work through their emotions at their own speed.

Carl Honoré (23:41):
Can I just, can I just throw just a final thought on that, which is, as you were talking there, it reminded me of a favorite proverb of mine. Or, not of mine, I think it’s an African proverb. And it’s, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. I think that’s a nice reminder that slowing down is … I mean, people often come to it through a self-improvement, you know, “How am I going to be my best version of myself, living my best life?” and so on, but that’s only part of the equation, right? Really what speed does – the speedaholic culture – is, it dehumanizes us. What slowing down does is it rehumanizes us. And a big part of that is reconnecting us to other people, their emotions, their needs, being aware of what other people … you know, being of service and all of that. These things all fit together and slowness is at the core of it, right?

Kim Forrester (24:33):
So let’s talk about dealing with other people because you often speak in your work of the common judgments that are made of those who choose the slow lane, right? They’re called lazy or unproductive or unambitious. Oh, God forbid. So if we are relying on others to help us get something done, whether it’s a friend or a work colleague, if we are relying on someone to produce, you know, a piece of work that is actually important and vital for us and our momentum, and they do not deliver on that promise in the time that we are kind of expecting of them, how can we actually give people an opportunity to move at their pace without excusing what is actually laziness, or noncompliance, or unreliability?

Carl Honoré (25:27):
Well, I think, I mean, depending on the circumstances, but if we’re talking about the workplace, then deadlines are very important, very important. So, people, again, I think this comes back to the taboo against slow that people often think that as you say, slow is lazy, it’s slacker, it’s missing deadlines. No, it’s none of the above. And I never miss a deadline. Right. I always had my deadlines and I expect the people I work with to do it as well. There’s nothing un-slow or, or cruel, or wrong about that. I think that the starting point needs to be when you’re working with anyone, if there’s a very important deadline, then it’s very important that everybody meet it. So that’s first step. The second then is how do we get from where we are now to that deadline? And that’s where more conversations and more openness is gonna happen because people will want to, will thrive in that space between now and the deadline differently, depending on their working patterns, depending on their pace, their tempo. So in any kind of relationship, whether it’s a one-on-one in the workplace or a team, it’s so important to start off the very beginning laying down, “Okay, this deadline is rock solid, right? This is super important. We hit it. But between now and then we’re going to give you, or the other person, the responsibility, the freedom to choose how you use the time to get to that deadline.” So I think it’s, I guess a lot of workplace corporate culture for much of the 20th century was about command and control, right? It was sort of hierarchical. It was telling people, do this, do that, do the other. Now I think in this, especially in the knowledge economy now, and the networking, and then all the kinds of things that go on at work these days, the world is more flat. And you get far better results if you flatten out the hierarchies and say to people, “Look, we’re giving you the reins here. We’re saying here’s responsibility – here’s the deadline, but you have the responsibility, you have the freedom to define how you get there.” And I think that just flipping that equation around can make a huge difference in teams and one-on-one relationships. It’s just making that super clear, upfront – that deadline, non-negotiable. Very important. But up until then, everything’s on the table. Right? And I think that just gives the people you’re working with that confidence and certainty in their own selves to forge the right tempo in that moment for them.

Kim Forrester (27:41):
Let’s talk about finding solutions. One of your books is called The Slow Fix. It was fascinating. When we’re in a challenging or distressful situation in our personal lives say, it seems really natural to kind of hurry towards a solution. I don’t want to be feeling uncertain, I don’t want to be feeling challenged or distressed, so I’m going to rush towards finding a solution. In your view though, can it benefit us to adopt a wait and see approach sometimes? Is it beneficial for us to sit in the discomfort of a problem for longer than we would choose to do so, rather than rushing at any and/or every solution we see?

Carl Honoré (28:26):
Very much so. And this of course is a quick fix culture. And the truth is a quick fix has never, never really worked. Do they? I mean, you can’t mend a broken relationship with a box of chocolates. You can’t, you know, you can’t end a global pandemic with a couple of vaccines, right? These things are endlessly more complex. And it’s so true what you say there – that people, we flee. Because earlier on you were talking about speed being driven by, we’re rushing towards our dreams, rushing towards this luminous golden future. But often what we’re doing when we’re rushing is, we’re rushing away from something, or rushing away from our own insecurities, or rushing away from uncertainty. The word you use there is so key because this is a world where we expect everything to be regimented. The metrics are there. We want it all laid out. We want to, show me the numbers, all that stuff. But actually, most of life, most of the good stuff in life is a little bit woolly and uncertain. And actually it’s in the uncertainty that the creativity flourishes. That’s where the big ideas can blossom. That’s where new departures can come forward. That’s where good solutions are created. And if you look at the way the brain works, very often, when we get into that fight or flight mode – that sort of high anxiety, high stakes, itchy, “Oh no, I’ve got to get this done. I got to get out the door” – you go into tunnel vision and we start going for the low-hanging fruit. We don’t join the dots up as well. We, you know, all these things like confirmation bias and so on, all these people will have heard of that. We just go for the easy, quick fix and you know, the quick fix, usually usually doesn’t work. You’re much better off with a slow fix. So one way to short circuit that tendency, that natural instinct to go for the quick fix, is just simply to slow down. Here we are again. To slow down, to take a little bit more time, to say to yourself, “Okay, I’m going to sit in this uncertainty a little longer and see what comes out of it.” Because when you do that, I mean, there’s research that shows – in fact, I think one study showed pretty clearly – that if people are invited to contemplate a complex problem or really difficult thorny problem for two minutes, just two minutes, right, they are far less likely to go for the easy, quick fix solution. They’re far more likely to jump over confirmation bias and all those other biases that are hardwired into the brain, to find a more useful, more workable, more, maybe more complex, but ultimately better solution. And that’s two minutes, right? It’s not like you’ve got to sit in that uncertainty for two years, or two weeks, or even two days. Maybe not even two hours. Sometimes a small injection of slowness – in this case, a couple of minutes – can make a big difference to the way your brain- it’ll just shift into a different angle, tilt it from a different way. And you come up with a better solution. So yeah, embrace the uncertainty, embrace the friction. You know, Silicon Valley is constantly telling us that everything’s going to be frictionless, but actually friction is often what creates heat, right? It creates a light. You still do need a bit of friction, a bit of discomfort, and then even boredom, right? We’re all terrified of boredom nowadays. But we know the research shows very clearly that when people are bored, that restlessness, the wanting to escape from the boredom, that fires up your creative juices and comes in, you come up with new solutions, new ways of doing things. So sit with the uncertainty, take a little bit more time, and you will get better results.

Kim Forrester (31:41):
Carl, I am so regretful that we’re up to the final question, but here we are. And this final question is one I ask every guest on the Eudaemonia podcast. Can you offer a morning reminder – so this may be a practice, a mantra, an affirmation – something that can help us all slow the heck down as we begin each day.

Carl Honoré (32:04):
I think every day you should start in the morning and wherever you are, get up, get out of the house and go outside, just be outside in the sun for a minute or two. We know that being in nature is the ultimate balm. It slows us down, physically, mentally. It just, it’s a wonderful soothing experience. Sunlight. I mean, all these things, it’s just right there. It’s all around us, yet how often do we go out the door and we don’t go out until we’ve already gone through our stressful breakfast. Just first thing you do when you get up in the morning, go outside for a couple of minutes. Just outside and then come back in again. And I think you’ll find that sets the tone, sets a slow tone for the day.

Kim Forrester (32:47):
Wow. Connecting back with that natural part of ourselves. Again, perhaps that natural rhythm. Carl Honoré, you are the voice of the global Slow Movement. You’ve done wonderful work in that space, bringing that information and those concepts to the world. You’ve got some incredible books. If my listeners want to learn more about how to slow down and how to solve problems more slowly and more effectively, how to grow older and bolder and make better use of the longer lives that we have, where can people find out more about you?

Carl Honoré (33:19):
That’s easy. It’s one link. It’s just my full name, So, and you will find it, everything you wanted to know about me and my work. Far more than you’d ever want to know, probably, in one place. All there. Workbooks, books, videos, online courses, everything to help you find your inner tortoise.

Kim Forrester (33:43):
Well, they say that time flies when you’re having fun and I am so sad that the interview is already over. I thoroughly enjoyed your books. They were very thoughtful, insightful, and I did take away quite a few sort of insights and tuck them in the back of the brain there. Obviously, it compelled me to take a sabbatical. Thank you, Carl Honoré for gifting me your presence here today on the Eudaemonia podcast.

Carl Honoré (34:04):
Thank you. It’s been a treat. It’s been a gift from start to finish.

Kim Forrester (34:09):
The American comedian, Eddie Cantor, once advised, “Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast. You also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” You’ve been listening to the Eudaemonia podcast. I’ll be offline for the next several months as I travel to Aotearoa New Zealand to settle my daughter into university, reconnect with my family, and replenish my soul. While I’m away, if you’d like to learn more about how to live a truly flourishing life, come join me on Instagram @iamkimforrester, or check out for more inspiring episodes. I’m Kim Forrester until next time, be well, be kind to yourself and take the time to slow down.