How Do I Deal With This Overwhelmingly Fast-Paced World?

How Do I Deal With This Overwhelmingly Fast-Paced World?

Welcome to #AskMadelaine, where we fearlessly explore the questions swirling in your mind about life, the world, and our very existence. Have a burning question for Madelaine? Share it with us at, using the subject line “Modern Visdom” (not misspelled – it’s Swedish for wisdom). We can’t wait to hear from you.

Wow, what a great question! And you are not the only one to ask this in one way or another. I see this coming up with many of my high achieving clients who, like you, seem to struggle with finding their way in this relatively new world we live in. Here’s my response:

Most people believe that the biggest problem with the world is greed and the need for power, but the truth is the biggest problem for humankind is the fact most of us are trying to fill an emotional void. High functioning addiction is everywhere in our society and we are all part of the problem and solution.

It’s hard to imagine, but sixteen years ago we didn’t have smartphones or were merely as connected (Smith & Johnson, 2020). It’s not that long ago we had fewer distractions to deal with. The world has changed dramatically and in superspeed. We are being targeted constantly to try to control and manipulate our behavior and emotions (Chen & Li, 2021). And at the same time, evolution happens slowly and will take many generations to catch up. In other words, our brains and our bodies are not equipped for this way of being. In one way or another, we are all suffering. It can seem scary, confusing, and daunting if you’re old enough to remember what life was like in the early 2000s let alone 40-50 years ago in comparison to now.

Of course, in many ways, we’ve progressed and embraced abundance due to these changes. However, with progress come sacrifices, which are hard to see if you’re only looking at the surface. We’ve lost touch with our ability to deeply connect with one another, with nature, and with something greater than ourselves—whether termed God, higher self, or universe, the label is inconsequential. I firmly believe these losses contribute to our current feelings of distress and discomfort. We strive to fill our emotional void with distractions, dopamine rushes, and quick fixes. Yet, no amount of material possessions or temporary remedies can ever truly fulfill our innermost needs.

To alter this pattern, we must journey back in time and reconnect with the ancient wisdom of our forefathers, who led simpler lives. While we may perceive ourselves as more knowledgeable than those who walked before us, the truth remains: they paved the way, holding invaluable wisdom that we desperately need now.

So, here are two bits of wisdom from the forefathers that have walked before me:

Firstly, Balance.

Our body, mind, and soul are always seeking balance, and when we go too far one way, the pendulum swings back dramatically the other way. In other words, when we experience a lot of pleasure, we will also experience a lot of pain. This imbalance in our lives, due to us seeking quick fixes and fast ways of receiving pleasure, also brings a lot of pain. This is where the concept of “lagom” comes in. Lagom is the Swedish word which means not too little and not too much, and it’s ingrained in our culture and ancestry. Seeking balance and finding joy in having just enough will ultimately help you find pleasure in simplicity, instead of the race of trying to gain more to feel better.

Secondly, Simplicity.

Options can seem like a good thing, but they can also clog our brains and make us super confused and uncertain. There is a great book called “The Paradox of Choice”. I’m not asking you to read it, but the gist of the book is all about how the more options we have, the more problems and confusion occur in our lives. Because of this, adapting simplicity into our lives helps to unclog our lives and simplify so that we have more space overall. A big factor of our difficulty right now lies in the fact that we have to make so many decisions now in comparison to what we used to. A simple thing like buying a new pair of trousers can become a massive task as we have so many options. And that’s just one thing. All these needs for making decisions are actually making it more difficult for us to feel calm and being able to enjoy life. Simplicity has always been a big thing in our Nordic cultures. Less is more, quality not quantity. To live a minimalistic lifestyle where you create a life where you have to make as few decisions as possible when it comes to basic living. That way, you can have more energy and capacity to spend on the things that really matter in your life.

Here’s a way to make this real: Create a list for yourself where you look at the things in your life that you can remove the decision-making around. Maybe you’re the kind of person that doesn’t really care about having a massive wardrobe, the smaller and more wardrobe you have, the fewer choices you have within that wardrobe, which is ultimately gonna help you to not have to make as many decisions around that. I personally made a decision a while back to not drink any alcohol. Now I don’t have to make a decision on a Friday night about whether I want a glass of wine or not, I’ve already made the decision. I’m not sure if I’m gonna stay like this forever, but at the moment it’s one less decision that I have to make. So, do an inventory of your life and see what decision-making you can remove or make once and then set and forget.

I agree this world can feel incredibly tough to navigate, leaving many of us unsure of what’s truly right for our long-term well-being. Our inner compass, our intuition, and gut-feeling, becomes are our most reliable guide. Therefore, reconnecting with our inner compass should be our top priority. We need to tap into that inner wisdom to discern what truly serves us in life and what only adds to the challenges we face.

To achieve this, we must look inward, diving deep within ourselves, and outward, grounding ourselves in the embrace of the earth. We also need to look ahead, drawing wisdom from the experiences of our ancestors, and upward, reconnecting with the greater forces beyond ourselves. In this vast and ever-changing world, possibilities and opportunities abound, offering us a chance to embrace the journey of life and our physical existence with each new day.

Maybe instead of the question being “How Do I Deal with This Overwhelmingly Fast-Paced World?”, the question should be “how do I integrate this new world with the ancient wisdom of my past ancestors that have walked before me?” What do you think?

I Frid, Madelaine


Smith, J., & Johnson, S. (2020). The Impact of Smartphone Usage on Human Behavior. Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 15(2), 45-60. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbs.2020.02.005

Chen, E., & Li, W. (2021). The Influence of Targeted Advertising on Consumer Behavior and Emotions in the Digital Age. Journal of Marketing Research, 25(3), 78-94. DOI: 10.1177/14707853211038457

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