How To Live A Slower, More Peaceful Life

Trying to slow down and have a peaceful life in a productivity- and hustle-obsessed world can feel impossible. This is how I’m doing it.

Michele Lian
5 min readMay 15, 2021


If you could put a speed dial on the pace of your life, where would it be?

At my most frantic, I was probably going close to 120 miles per hour: Go, go, go. Hurry up. Hustle, hustle, hustle. The more the better. You can sleep when you’re dead.

The problem with living at warp speed is that you can only keep it up for so long before something starts to give out.

I my case, it was my sanity.

Sure it felt great to earn more from working 3 jobs (one full-time, 2 part-time), but I also felt like a machine operating at maximum output with minimum downtime.

I slept an average of 4–5 hours a night, ate only when I had time to think, which was barely, and the only people I saw were the ones I worked with.

A nervous breakdown in a puddle of tears on the floor after one too many unreasonable deadlines later, I knew things had to change.

So I made a pact with myself to turn the speed dial down several notches.

When the pandemic hit, I was forced to turn it down even more, and the funny thing is, I can’t say it was a bad thing.

In fact, it was a welcome respite from our relentless culture of toxic productivity that still made me feel guilty for wanting to do less.

If the thought of slowing down and how it can help make your life better has ever crossed your mind, I thought I’d share my hard-won how-tos that I’ve learned over the years.


1. Spend some time being close to nature every day. Stand still in a forest and you’ll quickly notice how quiet, soothing and serene everything feels. This is because every creature, plant and atom in it is moving as quickly or slowly as it needs to, not to the speed of some man-made construct whose goal is to always go faster, harder, higher. In the wild, ‘productivity’ simply means being as you are — not more, not less. Being closer to mother nature helps me…



Michele Lian