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Just to share this message i have it in my inbox forwarded by a friend few months back, it is another perspective of how we can approach a task, does everything should be done rapidly? are we more adapted to "doing things faster" culutre? We cant either be too slow but do the things moderately with proper planning:


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".

9 comments to “An interesting reflection. : Slow Down Culture”

  1. very good one, really enjoyed reading it..I also detest this culture of hurry and worry..hurrying always gives me stress, I prefer doing everything at my pace and still am very efficient in my work..I am saying this only to emphasize my point:) .

  1. BACK WITH A BANG!!great post Suffix.I loved the thoughts expressed by your friend at the parking lot wonderful..if only all of us start to think like him world would be a better place.SLOW EUROPE sounds a very good wave...i hope it reaches here too.You are right ...we need to live each moment.

  1. I appreciate for your wonderful post. I liked it very much and enjoyed reading it as you have portrayed the true fact. I feel that the work whatever it may be, it should be done in a smooth way and not in a hurry. If work gets done timely then everybody will be happy and we can be fully satisfied.

  1. Dear Shafi,
    Good Evening!
    I liked your post n one can really learn good values!slow n steady wins the race-it's rightly this fast paced life we forget to the time we realise our mistake,life doesn't wait!
    celebrate life n let it be our new year resolution[just one among many].
    please do write posts regularly.good luck!
    wishing you a wonderful evening,

  1. @Antarman
    Keep it up, it should be the way. All the best!!

    Thanks Kavita, Yep i agree your motto 'Live and let live'

    Have a joyous vacation my friend.

    Thanks Anu for your motivation, i will try my best.

  1. well, we indians are sure different ... i think there is no room for comparison ..
    but of course, "time-factor" sickness is a common one that i guess kills more people if not instantly than any other diseases in the world ...

    i think we get an opposite picture if we go to one of the forlorn villages in our country ...

    thanks for coming around and for ur graceful words ....

  1. brilliant post..liked this buddy..hey am going to chennai this weekend for a short break u doing? tc

  1. Hi thanks for visiting my blog and for sharing ur working life abroad:))

  1. Hi Suffix,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. You have a very interesting blog here. Enjoyed reading this post as I always like John Lennon's quote too. We are always busy with other things that we usually take for granted what meant the most to us.