Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

carl honore Archive



March 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | Living Slowly

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living slowly wednesday wisdom

“Everywhere, people are discovering that doing things more slowly often means doing them better and enjoying them more. It means living life instead of rushing through it. You can apply this to everything from food to parenting to work.” Carl Honoré

I’ve long been a fan of Carl Honoré’s insight into the slow movement; he comes at the topic from a place of practicality, and believes in the value of moving more slowly.

Where are you today? Rushing through work, sending off a series of emails, or trying to complete as many things as possible off your to-do list before the end of the day?

Time is a hot commodity and often we spend so much of our energy trying to jam as many activities into our limited time that we lose sight of the things that really matter. We even practice daylight savings time in an effort to give ourselves more daylight hours to get things done!

Wes and I were talking last night about how in some cultures, there is beauty in slowness. Life, when it’s not muddied by our modern-day “conveniences” (smart phones, internet, fast cars) becomes something that we can appreciate, and even enjoy.

Is the stress that rushing brings really worthwhile? Is pushing through a task just to complete it really better than taking the time it deserves to be done right? Does eating fast make my dinner taste better than if I actually took the time to taste it? The answer to all of these questions, is no.

“Everywhere, people are discovering that doing things more slowly often means doing them better and enjoying them more. It means living life instead of rushing through it. You can apply this to everything from food to parenting to work.” Carl Honoré



February 2016

Hope Reflected: Haste Makes Waste

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Benjamin Franklin quote.

My Dad has always been one of the biggest encouragements in my life – especially when it comes to reminding me that I need to take time to slow down. It was my Dad who introduced me to Carl Honoré, the magnificent mind behind the slow movement, and it is my Dad who frequently reminds me that I need to take more time out for myself.

Ever get annoyed when someone says, “Don’t rush,” or “Take your time,” right when you need to be somewhere, or you’re in a serious time crunch? Well, the next time you’re feeling rushed, or overwhelmed with all the work before you, just remember Benjamin Franklin. It was Franklin who once famously said, “Take time for all things: Great haste makes great waste.” This is coming from a guy who had a whoooole lot on the go. I mean seriously, not only was Ben Franklin one of America’s founding fathers, he was also a renowned politician, a postmaster, a scientist (American Enlightenment, anyone?), a diplomat, and an inventor (you may recall the lightning rod, those bifocals you’re wearing, and even the Franklin stove). Still, Benjamin Franklin knew the value of taking the time to think things through, and to do things right.

So how can we learn to halt the hurriedness in our everyday lives, especially living in this age of technology and increased connectivity? Here are five practical points for using your time wisely, whatever goals you’re pursuing.

  1. Be proactive; don’t procrastinate. If you’re someone who works better on a deadline, or thrives in a fast-paced, high-stress environment, “unlearning” procrastination can be difficult; however, the rewards to being proactive are many. Proactive people are purposed in their work, principled, and they practice healthy habits.
  2. Be purposed. Sometimes you have to ask yourself the tough questions, like “is what I’m doing today helping me get to where I want to be tomorrow?” If the answer is “no”, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate what you’re doing and what steps will help you reach your goal(s). We all need to have a ‘why’. What’s yours?
  3. Be productive. Stop wasting time being “busy” and start being productive. No matter what you’re doing, time is going to pass, so why not make your work matter? Start focusing on the right things that will take you in the right direction, and limit everything else. Take charge of your time, and don’t get caught up in outside distractions.
  4. Be realistic. There will always be more things to do than hours in a day, and that’s why it is crucial to focus on your priorities. You may ask, “How can I focus when everything is a priority?” Well, what’s your primary goal? Break it down and work specifically toward that. Keep in mind that not all hours in the day are equal. What time of day do you operate at your best? Use those hours to pursue your goals, and the rest of the time for lesser tasks.
  5. Get started. Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” One way to eliminate haste is to get started. Sometimes, you’ve just got to stop making excuses, and go for it!

It’s the little life hacks that help – get in the habit of setting up your breakfast before you go to bed each night, plan and prepare your meals for the work week in advance, set a weekly laundry day so you’re not scrambling to get dressed each morning, and reserve one night a week to take time to just be – plan for your best tomorrow by preparing today.

Originally published as “Haste Makes Waste”. Minto Express. February 25, 2015: 5. Print.



April 2014

Hope, She Wrote: In Praise of Slowness

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work, Uncategorized


Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone! It’s so easy to get caught up in circumstances and day-to-day activities, but it’s so important to — regularly — take time to slow down. I need to remind myself of this almost every day (and it’s a challenge). Here’s my latest column with five ways to practice slowness.

Every year, things seem to move faster than they did the year before. Personally, the past few years of my life have involved so much activity that it’s difficult to remember a time when I moved at a slower pace. This is thanks in part to advancements in technology that allow for us as a society to do so much more. (Theoretically at least.) We live in a society where it’s just not cool to stay in and go to bed early; where clocking over time, taking on excess work and personal responsibility aren’t appreciated – they’re expected.

I recently discovered that I belong to a growing number of young professionals who are “dual-device” – people who carry two cellular devices, one for work and one for personal use. While in some ways it’s an advantage to be continuously connected – I can tell you at any given point in time what the latest news headlines are, how certain stocks are performing, and even see fuel prices at the nearest service station, – being continuously connected is also a growing concern. People everywhere are always plugged-in, and with this expectation that we should be that way, when and how are we supposed to slow down?

I’ve written before about the bad word “busy”, and Carl Honoré (Canadian journalist and guy genius), has written a series of books on the subject of the “slow” revolution. He practices this whole psychology that slowing down allows us to savour more of life – applying the art of slowness to relationships, food, and even medicine. Both of Honoré’s books, In Praise of Slow and The Slow Fix should be mandatory reading if you frequently feel “stressed” or like you never have enough time to finish everything that needs to be done. (Note to self)

With this notion of “slowness” in mind, here are five practices that I find help me slow down and live more fully. Easy enough to write, these are areas that I actively have to keep in check.

  1. Shut down screen time. In the spirit of being always connected, it can be a real struggle to shut down technology in the evenings. Nights when I’m at home, the hours between 6pm and 10pm are crucial for unwinding.
  2. Sleep. I frequently hear “sleep is over-rated” and “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” from people who want to make the most of out life and enjoy every moment. One of the keys to enjoying every moment to its fullest is being properly rested. Do some research on sleep stages for more on this.
  3. Cook. It’s no secret that I love food, and experimenting in the kitchen (or at the ‘Q) is something I’ve really grown fond of the past few years. Ever heard the saying “it tastes better when it’s made with love”? It’s true! When you’re relaxed, the process of preparing a meal somehow makes the food more flavour-filled.
  4. Face-to-face communication. Whether it’s taking a walk with a loved one, or making a “no phones at the table” rule during dinnertime, actually having a conversation with someone is not only meaningful, but can help combat stress as well.
  5. Decompress. I refer to this in #1 as “unwinding”. For me, decompressing involves reading, exercise, writing, or watching PBS (although I limit direct screen time right before bed).

I’ll leave you with a quote from Carl Honoré: “Much better to do fewer things and have time to make the most of them.” What are you doing in your life to promote the practice of more fulfilled living?

Robertson, Hope. “In Praise of Slowness.” Minto Express 9 April 2014: 5. Print.