Well, that title doesn't make this trend sound hot - slow, idle, happy - although, on second hand, that little island off Tahiti is sounding nice. This is one of those half-baked "just thinking aloud" ideas I said I'd be sharing more of. I can't help notice the common thread weaving through these recent posts and articles:
- Forbes publisher (you read correctly, Forbes), Rich Karlgaard has just published a book on slowing down and escaping big city life in Life 2.0:How People Across America Are Transforming Their Lives by Finding the Where of Their Happiness (review, excerpts). (Karlgaard himself testifies to the lifestyle.)
- Noticed a review for In Praise of Slowness: How a Worldwide Movement is Changing the Cult of Speed, by Carl Honore (via Dragonfly Review).
When journalist Carl Honore found himself salivating over an ad for one-minute bedtime stories (thinking of the time it would save him reading to his son), he realized he had crossed a line.
What he found was a wide range of indications that people around the world are discovering the virtues of deceleration.
- Seth Godin's interesting post on the "blended economy" about how work styles are quite varied these days and it's hard to pinpoint success by external means.
Having your headquarters in Manhattan used to be a sign of real success.
- The Virtues of Idleness (now this title caught my eye, and I found it on DayPop as one of the top stories today). (My two cents, a lot about "the church" being responsible for the fast pace, but then again Psalms 46:10 says Be still and know that I am God...not run around like a chicken with its head cut off and know that I am God.)
- Kottke.org points to an interesting article on "inconspicuous consumption" and its possible relation to happiness through "buying" more time.
My gut says this isn't just only slowing down - it's about leading more autonomous lives at home and at work - following the beat of our own drummers, not Madison Avenue's. Maybe not anyone else's drum, period. Some interesting stuff to pay attention to for marketers and innovators alike. Heck, looks damn useful just from the personal innovation front (I caught that meme from Clayton Christensen, he uses the term in his plug of Life 2.0).
Maybe that's the trend: Personal Innovation.
This dovetails with the self-determination trend that the book, The Support Economy, notes and the psychological center of gravity internal shifts that David Wolfe expounds on in his book, Ageless Marketing.
From a previous post:
Lately [that was then] I'm reading Ageless Marketing: Strategies for Reaching the Hearts and Minds of the New Customer Majority (highly recommended) which states that the current "Psychological Center of Gravity" (+/- 5 years of the adult median age) "exerts a disproportionate influence on the ethos of society." The PCG in the U.S. heads 4 out of 10 households today and comprises 40 million people, between the ages of 39 and 49."...As midlife approaches or soon after its arrival, innate forces incline people to begin changing from a social and vocational development track to a self-actualizing development track." - Ageless Marketing
They care less about upholding what Jung calls our "social mask".
As for me, I like stillness and I like fast. Consistent slow is boring for me. But you don't need to include me in your market research. One appealing lifestyle for me would have me alternating between the pulsating, vibrant, frenetic pace of cities like San Francisco, London or Tokyo for a few months to places where time stands absolutely still like the fjords of New Zealand, the cool crevices of a chiseled red rock canyon in the Southwest. But then again, I don't believe there is a physical "where" to happiness, but that's another story.