365 day blog challenge Day TWO

In a society obsessed with speed, we forget the power of going slowly. Here are a few riffs on the concept:

Learn slowly, forget often

Slow practice is so important. Like Tai Chi, rehearsing your moves on slowly but accurately helps avoid the danger of burning in the wrong skills by accidentally repeating them. A coach or teacher can help a ton by getting you past the quicksand traps of amateurism into real deep learning.

As I wrote in my book, Practice Secrets of the Pros, the process of forgetting and remembering is a crucial part of learning (it’s called spaced repetition) that strengthens the neural pathways for a given skill.

Practice piano slowly

You must play slow first to get fast. There are many ways to achieve speed, if that’s what you want. But beautiful tone on a perfectly placed note beats speed any day. Mainly musicians care about speed. Listeners care about how you make them feel.

Paris bridge photo by Alexa Weber Morales

Eat slowly

True but quickly forgotten. I did not follow this rule today. Tips: Drink water. Put your fork down between bites. Don’t read or watch a screen while eating. Savor each bite.

Run slowly

A few years ago I had the thought that being a joyful runner was a wonderful alternative to being a very fast one. I still want to work on speed and intensity. But there’s time for slowness.

Playing with my Yamaha Genos, Fall 2020

Travel slowly

Modern jet-fueled travel has become a rat race, a forced march checking off tourist sites from the guidebook. Try the slow route instead, via train, boat, bicycle, horse, or your own two feet. And consider local travel before you jaunt to the other side of the world.

Age slowly

The past me and the future me are other people. I am only the present me. But my years, like compound interest, have built up a reservoir of experiences, insights and skills. As long as I keep learning, I hope to live a long life with no real loss of function until my last breath.

Get rich slowly

With the recent stock market shenanigans, it’s easy to forget the simple path to wealth: Compound interest, saving more than you spend (“pay yourself first,” my mother always said), not gambling, and a healthy body and mind. Health (physical, mental, interpersonal, planetary) is the most important measure of wealth, and exercise/physical practice the most important investment.