How to be more successful by slowing down

Is going as fast as you can a good strategy?

From childhood, we are taught that we must do things quickly to succeed. We take timed tests, have foot races, and participate various other competitions where whoever is the fastest wins. This continues into adulthood.  Our employers, other drivers, and people you serve in a restaurant don't like it when you move slowly. However, is doing things as quickly as you can the best option? This is not always the case. Let's explore:


Many single people want to find their "soul mate" as quickly as possible. Others look for a one night stand, and frequent night clubs to find a willing partner so they can satisfy their urges that same night. Many of the popular websites and magazines teach men how to do this. Unfortunately, this results in bad relationships and frustration in the long term.

So how do you actually find a quality significant other? The answer is to take things slowly.  Go out with your prospective partner many times before you try to kiss them or sleep with them. Get to know the person you are with.  Sex is fun, but do you really want to get involved that way with a psycho?

Buying Things

Buying things on impulse is one of the reasons our economy is in the bad state it is in today. Numerous borrowers bought expensive houses, even though they couldn't afford them. Once the temporary, low payments ended, lots of homeowners ended up having their homes go into foreclosure. Also, the number of auto repossessions taking place is at a record high. If people weren't in such a rush to get these things, the economic problems in this world would be significantly reduced or eliminated.

Instead of borrowing money for so many things, wait until you can pay cash for a big ticket item such as a car. If that is not possible, at least wait until you have a more significant down payment and/or an increased income so you can better afford the car, house, or whatever it is you want to buy.


Employers can be very demanding. For instance, many call center jobs require that you rush through calls as quickly as possible. If your job involves doing data entry, your employer will want you to process data as quickly as possible. Most bosses in these type of jobs evaluate you on how much you produce. The quality and accuracy of your work is not nearly as important to your supervisor.

So what are the consequences of employers running their companies this way? Call center managers force their employees to rush customers off the phone.  This causes substandard customer service.

Many patients are getting wrong medications and wrong dosages because employees of doctors' offices and pharmacies are being rushed.  This results in health problems and even death for many people. Even when the consequences of an error on the job doesn't affect people that way, rushing employees in these sweatshops causes stress.  If you don't meet productivity goals at these kind of jobs, you could get fired.  If you do get fired from this type of job, it is natural to get upset. However, you should actually consider yourself lucky to not have report to work at such an awful place.

If you are unhappy in these kind of environment, go into business for yourself, or find a job that doesn't measure productivity like this. Your future self will thank you.


Do you drive over the speed limit? It is natural to try to get to your destination as quickly as possible. However, let's evaluate how much time you are actually saving.

For instance let's say you drive 70 miles an hour when the speed limit is 55. The total distance you drive on the highway is 20 miles. Congratulations - you saved a total of five minutes!

However, let's say you get pulled over for speeding. The officer writes you a ticket and it ends up costing you $150. You make $15 an hour, so you have to work ten hours to pay for the ticket. Also, you have to account for all the time that you lost from being pulled over and having to go to court.

Speeding on a regular street with signal lights is even less productive than speeding on a highway. If you go faster than you're supposed to in these situations, you'll often only be successful at getting to the red light first. All of the time you may have saved will be spent on getting your brakes repaired.

Do you sleep to the last possible second and then drive fast so that you can get to work on time? As an alternative, get up earlier, and leave for work ten minutes earlier than usual. You will avoid getting speed tickets, you may avoid causing an accident, and you will arrive at work less stressed.

While you're doing that, work on generating income from other sources so that you don't have to rely on a day job.

Finding Happiness

No one wants to be unhappy. Therefore it is tempting to drink alcohol or do drugs to feel better quickly. These substances can make you feel better in a matter of minutes. The problem with this is alcohol and drugs may alter your state of your reality, but it will not alter your actual reality. Are you in a bad relationship or in a job you hate? Prozac won't change that. Only you can.

Instead of using substances to feel better, work on self improvement instead. It may take weeks, months, or even years before you see a difference. However by doing this, you can find happiness that won't end after you wake up the next morning.

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Comments 1 comment

pgrundy 6 years ago

I think you've really hit the nail on the head. This rush toward the fast lane has done little except make most of us more stressed and unhappy, while enriching a few. Great hub!

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