English Conversation on Lifestyle Philosophies -- Fast-Paced v.s. Slow Living

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In this Advanced English conversation, we discuss two lifestyle philosophies: fast-paced v.s slow living. We define and give examples of both and when you might implement which type of lifestyle philosophy in your own life.

00:00:00:03 - 00:00:31:17
Mary Daphne
Hello, Advanced English Learners. Welcome back to this native English speaker conversation. I'm joined by the one and only Greg. Welcome to all of you. So happy that you're here. Just as a reminder why we do these. It's for your, you know, for practice to be able to have listening comprehension practice to hear what connected speech sounds like. If you can follow along and, you know, hear native speakers and understand the conversation, that's amazing.

00:00:31:17 - 00:01:05:17
Mary Daphne
And use it as a, you know, a tool that you can use for pronunciation and new words and vocabulary. So without further ado, we're going to dove right into today's topic, which is. Drum roll, please. It's all about this dichotomy between fast paced living and slow living. So let's get right into it. All right. So maybe we should start by defining these terms.

00:01:06:18 - 00:01:35:06
Greg
Yeah. So fast paced living to me. I mean, pace was pace. Pace is like tempo, right? So it's the speed at which a beat is happening in music. Right. Or if you're in a competitive context, the pace of a run is sort of the speed at which you do a run. Yeah. And what people have done in modern times is apply that same concept to lifestyle.

00:01:35:12 - 00:02:01:06
Greg
Right. Right. So if you have a fast paced lifestyle, you just imagine a sprinter, right? Someone who's running really, really, really fast and their legs are almost a blur. That's a fast paced lifestyle and then a slow pace lifestyle. You can imagine someone plodding along, you know, walking slowly, maybe even a turtle or a turtle goes really slow or a sloth or a swath even better.

00:02:01:07 - 00:02:06:24
Greg
I love it. Yeah. If you've seen like Zootopia, the movie Zootopia, which is a great.

00:02:06:24 - 00:02:08:04
Mary Daphne
Movie, great movie that has a.

00:02:08:04 - 00:02:12:20
Greg
Very, very funny scene where at the.

00:02:12:20 - 00:02:13:06
Mary Daphne
DMV.

00:02:13:07 - 00:02:34:16
Greg
It's a rabbit. Yeah. Who? Who is typically considered a fast paced creature, right? Right. Very. She talks very quickly. She loves to run around. She's very hyper. And she has to go and get something from a sloth who is a very slow moving creature. Yes. And talks to the.

00:02:34:22 - 00:02:38:03
Mary Daphne
And she's on the edge of her seat, left waiting for the.

00:02:38:03 - 00:02:59:27
Greg
Nets, trying to be polite. Yeah. So anyways, that's sort of how I would define fast paced and slow paced, like slow paced lifestyles. Yeah, it's really about the the sort of speed at which you like to get things done and the speed at which you like to process information.

00:03:00:12 - 00:03:26:08
Mary Daphne
Yeah. So when I think of fast pace, I think of go, go, go. Like people who just and I've definitely been there myself where it's like there's no moment just to like decompress or think or I mean, you are thinking obviously, but it's like, you know, you're on to the next thing and you're going fast. You're, you know, with your career, you're just hustle and bustle with your weekends, you're doing all the activities, right?

00:03:26:08 - 00:03:50:21
Mary Daphne
So it's really just it's the opposite of the slow pace, the slow living. So it's interesting how it's not the the term is is not slow paced living because that kind of sounds like well, it's like boring. It's like, you know, a downer kind of thing. It's slow living. And that sounds so much more. I know, exciting in a way.

00:03:50:22 - 00:03:51:06
Mary Daphne
Right?

00:03:51:25 - 00:04:12:05
Greg
Yeah, it sounds kind of cool. They're like hyper slow living. Yeah. Another way to think about fast pace versus slow paced. The the common stereotype is that you live in the countryside, you have a slow paced lifestyle. Things are, you know, relaxed and your schedule is pretty predictable.

00:04:12:21 - 00:04:14:21
Mary Daphne
And you get the countryside, you.

00:04:14:21 - 00:04:33:12
Greg
Get the chai, you you know, you wake up with the sun and go to bed with the sun, right? Everything's just sort of a low key. Of course, if you actually worked on a farm, you would know that's not the case. All it's actually very, very hard work, but that's the stereotype. And then the.

00:04:33:12 - 00:04:33:23
Mary Daphne
City.

00:04:34:12 - 00:04:47:21
Greg
Is like crazy, crazy, rush, rush, rush. You know, waking up at the crack of dawn, going to bed late at night and during the day, it's just boom from one test the next. There's a million demands on your time. It's just go, go, go.

00:04:47:22 - 00:05:14:20
Mary Daphne
Yeah. I honestly think people should experience both. I think their moments in our life or both. I think, you know, I don't know how easy or feasible it would be to rotate, you know, have like two weeks of slow living and two weeks of fast paced living. I think the reality is, is that summers can be taken more so, especially if you have you configure your schedule such that you have like a week off or two weeks off or oh my goodness, three months off.

00:05:14:20 - 00:05:39:07
Mary Daphne
If you're a teacher for example. And so really taking advantage of that time to experience something like slow living. I know that when I first heard that term, I was teaching and one of the the teachers was talking about her holiday, her vacation, and she was talking about how she spent the summer slow living. And I was like, what does that even mean?

00:05:39:07 - 00:05:51:27
Mary Daphne
Like, this is years and years ago. And I was like, What is that? Like, I was very curious about it because to me, you know, there was like fast pace and there was like nothing like that conscious.

00:05:51:27 - 00:05:56:01
Greg
Yeah. You know, I think slow paced gets a bad rap.

00:05:56:02 - 00:05:57:01
Mary Daphne
Yeah, I think so too.

00:05:57:01 - 00:06:00:21
Greg
Because often when people hear slow paced, they think lazy.

00:06:00:21 - 00:06:01:19
Mary Daphne
Or unproductive.

00:06:01:19 - 00:06:02:22
Greg
Or unproductive.

00:06:02:25 - 00:06:05:23
Mary Daphne
Not living up to your full potential. Exactly. Yeah.

00:06:06:09 - 00:06:32:20
Greg
And when I was younger, I definitely felt that way. Yeah, right. Yeah. I felt like if I was sleeping more than six or 7 hours, that I was wasting time. If I didn't have a million things going on at once that, you know, I wasn't yet living up to my potential. Yeah. Over time, I started coming to the realization that slow pace living, you can actually still get a lot done.

00:06:33:01 - 00:06:59:17
Greg
And often what you get done is more focused work you. The quality of output is higher. Yeah. And so while your volume might be lower, the value of what you're putting out is higher. And so at the end of the day, if your productivity isn't measured in quantity, but it's in measured in quality. I think for me, in my experience, slow pace living actually wins out.

00:06:59:17 - 00:07:02:19
Greg
It certainly wins in terms of the way I feel.

00:07:02:23 - 00:07:20:18
Mary Daphne
You hit the nail on the head with that one because meaning you, you got right to the point the meat of it, because I think it's it's all about that intention. And then when we're doing things that really like, you know, we feel good about like the process is something that we enjoy. We're that much happier for it.

00:07:20:19 - 00:07:43:23
Mary Daphne
Right. And I think it's also this idea of, you know, not just like going through the motions of something and rushing through it and just like checking off one of the, you know, items on our to do list. It's really more about thinking about it in a deliberate way, being intentional. Right. And it doesn't necessarily mean that you're you're going to be slower to complete the tasks.

00:07:44:06 - 00:07:58:25
Mary Daphne
It means more so that maybe you have fewer tasks at any given time. The priorities are like more apparent to you right. And that you're just approaching it with more mindfulness. I think mindfulness is a big buzzword these days, wouldn't you say?

00:07:59:02 - 00:08:21:03
Greg
Yeah. And I like what you said about your priorities, right? Yeah. You may have fewer tasks that you're working on, but you. You applied wisdom and judgment to the situation to filter out the unnecessary tasks. Yes, right. Often the fast paced lifestyle happens so quickly that you don't have time to really think through what's important and what isn't.

00:08:21:17 - 00:08:41:07
Greg
Whereas if you adopt a slower pace, you really can determine what generates the most value is the parade of principle, right? Which says that 80% of the value comes from 20% of the tasks or, you know, 20% of the time that you spend. Yeah.

00:08:41:09 - 00:08:47:10
Mary Daphne
Parade of so yeah. I think it's pr ito. Right. Per parade if you wanted to look.

00:08:47:10 - 00:09:03:03
Greg
Yeah. Yeah. And so with that in mind, if you can identify that 20%, the 20% that produces 80% of the value. You can do a lot more with a lot less time for sure.

00:09:03:03 - 00:09:24:18
Mary Daphne
And you can also apply this idea or methodology to your, you know, your social life even. Right. Instead of trying to go to all the social events and maybe that you were invited to like five different things one weekend, you might choose what is the highest priority to you, what is going to create the most value, even if you're just there for one hour.

00:09:24:27 - 00:09:46:17
Mary Daphne
Right. So thinking about, you know, who who's going to be there, what kinds of conversations you'll be able to have, if it's like a situation where it's a very loud, noisy space with a lot of people probably not going to get that much quality time with the people, right? As opposed to like a nice, you know, lunch or a dinner or a barbecue or something with fewer people.

00:09:46:28 - 00:10:01:27
Mary Daphne
You get much more of that back and forth interaction. And that's ultimately why we like to spend time with people, right? We get to, you know, learn what they've been up to, hear their thoughts. What's the latest book they're reading, that kind of thing. Right. To spend time with them?

00:10:02:01 - 00:10:23:21
Greg
Definitely. Definitely. And yeah, I find that often that I have more meaningful connections with people in smaller groups, right? Yeah. In slower paced parties where you really can just sit down and have a real conversation versus going to, you know, a mega mixer where there's a thousand people and, you know, you can't keep track of anyone.

00:10:23:22 - 00:10:27:14
Mary Daphne
You can't hear the person next to you shout over the music or whatever.

00:10:27:21 - 00:10:28:15
Greg
Exactly.

00:10:28:15 - 00:10:35:26
Mary Daphne
Those are fun, too. But it's just a different context, right? It's it's a different type of interacting, let's say.

00:10:35:27 - 00:10:59:29
Greg
Yeah. And I would also say in defense of the fast paced lifestyle. Yeah, that is a good way to experience a lot. Yeah. In a short amount of time. So I think particularly when you're younger, when you're in college, maybe even in high school, certainly right out of college, that fast paced lifestyle can be helpful early on. Yeah, you don't necessarily have the experience and wisdom to determine what's highest value.

00:11:00:06 - 00:11:26:20
Greg
You may not even know what your preferences are to determine that. So it doesn't hurt early on to take that fast pace approach. Like you were saying before, start with something fast paced, get a lot of experience in. Yeah, and just experience that fast paced lifestyle and over time you'll start to determine, you start to be able to distinguish between high value versus lower value, what you enjoy, what you don't enjoy.

00:11:26:27 - 00:11:34:09
Greg
And then you can start to sort of gradually shift to a slower pace while still getting the same amount or even more done for sure.

00:11:34:09 - 00:12:02:21
Mary Daphne
And I think the final thing I'll say here is that I think there are some cultural expectations and societal expectations underpinning these two types of ways of living these lifestyles, fast paced lifestyle and slow living. And I think for the most part, American culture is more of the go, go, go with, you know, making sure that you're on top of your, you know, your career, your life, even, like go, go, go with your self-care.

00:12:03:00 - 00:12:31:03
Mary Daphne
Right? And it's like sometimes we have to be aware of that and bring ourselves back to that mindfulness. And with things like tools like meditation and proper, you know, I guess techniques for self-care, we're reminded of that. Okay, just slow it down, be intentional, be deliberate. But I think honestly, like playing around with both, you know, having a balance between the two is a way of really just enriching your life.

00:12:31:03 - 00:12:37:03
Mary Daphne
I think in a lot of ways there are moments for both, and I think that's sort of the take away in my opinion here.

00:12:37:13 - 00:13:10:21
Greg
Yeah. And even if you're doing the fast paced lifestyle, you can still take opportunities to be present in the moment. Right. We were talking about mindfulness earlier. If you if you can be present, just, you know, take 30 seconds of your day every hour or two to just pause and sort of get your bearings and do a meta analysis on sort of what's going on at that moment can really help make you feel grounded and control the pacing so that you still are operating at a fast pace, but you're doing so mindfully.

00:13:11:03 - 00:13:32:19
Mary Daphne
I love that. Yeah, that's just that's perfect. And paying particular attention to those transition moments. So that's a nice one. Maybe we can all work on that. We can all get better at that, right, as a collective unit. All right. Well, I hope that you enjoyed this conversation. You know, there's lots to think about with this dichotomy of fast paced living.

00:13:32:19 - 00:13:57:29
Mary Daphne
Slow living. What camp do you follow in? What are some of your goals for these? I think, again, like we said, you know, having a balance between the two is great. So I would love to hear from you. You know, what sort of what's been what's been done in your what are the cultural and societal expectations where you're from and how are you, you know, dealing with different ways of doing that. So I'm really curious to hear from you as always. All right. Well, we're going to see you in the next advanced English lesson and conversation. So be sure that you're subscribed. Share the channel and the podcast with everyone you know that would enjoy this kind of content. And I think, you know, that's it for us today. So we're going to see you next one. Thanks and bye for now.