Slow Down, Speed Up: The Hidden Power of Pausing

Mr. Fireside
6 min readOct 26, 2023
Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash

In the high-speed lanes of our digital age, there’s a kind of urgency that governs our daily lives. The rhythm of *beep*, and *ping*, the ceaseless flow of information, and the relentless expectation to keep up, be available, and perform at our peak. As I reflect on this constant rush, an age-old paradox emerges: To truly speed up, sometimes we must first slow down.

Every corner of modern life is seemingly designed to ensure we’re always “connected.” From infancy, we’re surrounded by unnatural things, ‘soothing’ light-emitting devices that demand attention, from the toys that flash and play music to tablets offering endless streams of entertainment. Our daily commute, once a time of quiet contemplation or casual conversation, has transformed into another opportunity to multitask — with podcasts, audiobooks, or catching up on missed calls. The workplace isn’t exempt either. The transition from physical to virtual meetings means there’s no place off-limits for a quick chat or email. Serendipitous coffee breaks? Often replaced by a quick scroll through our phones.

I recall a casual conversation with a colleague recently. As we spoke, he was interrupted by a news alert from his smartwatch. After reading it, he chose to share its contents with me. Meaningless. Or was it? That interruption, brief as it was, showcased a profound truth: even during genuine human connections, we allow countless interferences.

But there’s an antidote, a remedy to this endless churn: slowing down.

Imagine the sensation of standing barefoot on a chilled October morning, feeling the dewy grass beneath, while the sun triumphantly claims the sky. A tranquil moment where you can hear your breath, feel your heartbeat, and truly be in the present. Or instead of imagining it, try it, and see how you feel.

Our fast-paced society often overlooks the necessity of these moments. We’ve forgotten the art of solitude, daydreaming, and the sheer joy of ‘doing nothing.’ Instead, meal breaks have turned into silent periods of scrolling, and the night’s dreams are deferred for binge-watching.

However, pausing doesn’t mean halting.

God forbid right?