Spending more time with friends and family costs nothing. Nor does walking, cooking, meditating, making love, reading or eating dinner at the table instead of in front of the television. Simply resisting the urge to hurry is free.
Out of the Slow Food movement has grown something called the Slow Cities movement, which has started in Italy but has spread right across Europe and beyond. And in this, towns begin to rethink how they organize the urban landscape so that people are encouraged to slow down and smell the roses and connect with one another.
Slow travel now rivals the fly-to-Barcelona-for-lunch culture. Advocates savour the journey, travelling by train or boat or bicycle, or even on foot, rather than crammed into an airplane. They take time to plug into the local culture instead of racing through a list of tourist traps.
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.
The greatest thinkers in history certainly knew the value of shifting the mind into low gear. Charles Darwin described himself as a slow thinker. Einstein was famous for spending ages staring into space in his office at Princeton University.
I never wanted to be a public figure. I feel that I always have to dampen down people's expectations. They expect me to be an oracle, wave a magic wand, sprinkle some slow, sparkly dust on them, to make everything all right.