Slow down, and the world will slow down with you


I was late for work earlier this week and was driving down the same route as I had been taking since January to go to the client site. In my hurry, I remembered thinking WHY is everyone driving slower than usual today? And whilst trying to prevent myself from zig-zagging through the lanes so I would make it to work on time, it occurred to me that when you are rushing, and wishing things/people would move faster, everything and everyone around you will always seem to move slower.

I had this conversation with a friend and she agreed that this could be true. Colors, situations, and conversations turn out to be much richer when people slow down and take the time to enjoy each of this activity on its own. Besides it’s been scientifically proven that multitasking reduces ones productivity.

Now that’s one thought to sit with. But what does it mean by “slowing down”?

Our conversation went on around the concept of returning to yourself. When the world around you gets chaotic, when things disappoint and refuse to go the way you want it to, when everything that is happening around you becomes draining rather than sustain you, that is when you look inwards and return to yourself.

Chill. Breathe deeper. And do the activities that enriches you.

Last weekend I took the plunge and participated in a photography workshop. At some point I figured I needed to learn how to work the nifty gadget I bought earlier this year for my Italy trip. Off I went into the heart of Kuala Lumpur on a Sunday morning, armed with Google Map and walking instructions which was useless because I ended up lost. Trying my best not to look like a tourist so I won’t get mugged in broad daylight, I stopped at a nearby bakery to ask for directions.

And he nearly got me lost too.

Anyway, I eventually found it. In some instances, I had to love the Malaysian Timing concept, because at that time, I wasn’t even late considering there were so many others that got there later than myself. When practical time came, we were set loose on Petaling Street to walk freely for an hour and take photos.

Subject out of focus, but I still like it anyway!

During this time I took to follow one of the expert photographers from behind, short of stalking him, I wanted to pick his brains on what gives a photograph the WOW factor.

“It’s all about the timing. Sometimes you have to sit there for a while, and wait for your subject to come into the frame, or for them to move in the way you want them to. The difference between drawing on canvas and photography is that you start on a blank canvas. You add things in by drawing them. With photography, it’s the opposite. You have to learn to take away things from your frame until there is one meaningful subject to focus on”

Then it occurred to me, why most of the photographers I see possess some sort of zen-ness about them. Photography slows people down. It forces you to stand there and wait for the right moment to capture that awesome photo. I think I have a new hobby.


4 responses »

    • Thanks Stu 🙂 I’ll keep an eye out for that book on my next book binge. I still have a whole heap sitting next to me now to go through. I’ve heard of the slow eating movement, but not so much anything beyond that. Will be interesting to experience these stuff and really feel what it’s really like to truly slow down your life

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