"SLOW DOWN" - A MUST READ - An excellent piece to read and enjoy.

It's been 18 years since I joined Volvo, a Swedish company. Working for them has 
proven to be an interesting experience. Any project here takes 2 years to be 
finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It's a rule.

Globalized processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of 
searching for immediate results.. Therefore, we have come to posses a need to 
see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the slow movements of the 
Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold x quantity of 
meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. At the end, this always yields better 

1. Sweden has 2 million inhabitants. .
2. Stockholm has 500,000 people.
3. Volvo, Escania, Ericsson, Electrolux, are some of its renowned companies. 
Volvo even supplies NASA.
The first time I was in Sweden, one of my colleagues picked me up at the hotel 
every morning. It was September, bit cold and snowy. We would arrive early at 
the company and he would park far away from the entrance (2000 employees arrive 
in their car to work). The first day, I didn't say anything, neither the second 
or third days. One morning I asked him, "Do you have a fixed parking space? I've 
noticed we park far from the entrance even when there are no other cars in the 
lot." To which he replied, "Since we're here early we'll have time to walk, 
don't you think that whoever gets in late will need a place closer to the door?" 
Imagine my face.

Nowadays, there's a movement in Europe named Slow Food. This movement 
establishes that people should eat and drink slowly, with enough time to taste 
their food, spend time with the family, friends, without rushing. Slow Food is 
against its counterpart, Fast Food and what it stands for as a lifestyle. Slow 
Food is the basis for a bigger movement called Slow Europe, as mentioned by 
Business Week.

Basically, the movement questions the sense of "hurry" and "craziness" generated 
by globalization, fuelled by the desire of "having in quantity" (life status) 
versus "having with quality", "life quality" or the "quality of being".

French people, even though they work 35 hours per week, are more productive than 
Americans or British. Germans have established 28.8 hour workweeks and have seen 
their productivity driven up by 20%.

This slow attitude has come to the notice of USA, the pupils of the fast and "do 
it now" brigade.

This no-rush attitude doesn't represent doing less or having a lower 
productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, 
productivity, perfection, with attention to detail and less stress. It means 
re-establishing family values, friends, free and leisure time.. Taking the 
"now", present and concrete, versus the "global", undefined and anonymous. It 
means taking humans' essential values, the simplicity of living. It stands for a 
less coercive work environment, more happy, lighter and more productive work 
place where humans enjoy doing what they know best how to do.

It's time to stop and think on how companies need to develop serious quality 
with no-rush that will increase productivity and the quality of products and 
services, without losing the essence.

In the movie, '
Scent of a Woman', there's a scene where Al Pacino asks a girl to 
dance and she replies, "I can't, my boyfriend will be here any minute now". To 
which Al Pacino responds, "A life is lived in an instant". Then they dance the 

Many of us live our lives running behind time, but we only reach it when we die 
of a heart attack or in a car accident rushing to be on time. Others are so 
anxious to live for the future that they forget to live the present, which is 
the only time that truly exists. We all have equal time throughout the 
world. No one has more or less. The difference lies in how each one of us does 
with our time. We need to live each moment. As 
John Lennon said, "Life is what 
happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

Congratulations for reading this email till the end of this message. There are 
many who will have stopped in the middle so as not to waste time in this 
"Globalized" world..

Life Is, yes, Short,
Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly,
Kiss Slowly, Love Truly,
Laugh Uncontrollably,
And Never Regret Anything That Made You Smile.
Life May Not Be The Party We Hoped For,
But While We're Here, We Should Dance...





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