S4-EP9: Carl Honoré on Being [B]older, Slowing Down, and Aging Better

Jan 28, 2022


Debbie talks to bestselling author Carl Honoré from his home in London about two related topics: slowing down and aging better.



Debbie brings Carl Honoré on the show for a conversation about the slow movement and about aging and ageism.

Carl has a book titled BOLDER: Making the Most of Our Longer Lives so Debbie’s first question is whether he minds if she uses the word as the new name for the podcast.

Carl says It’s absolutely fine to use [B]OLDER. (Book titles can’t be copyrighted.) As he puts it, the more fire power we can aim at the “ageist industrial complex,” the better. We’ll continue doing our part on this podcast.

Carl is a bestselling author and speaker and is considered the voice of the Slow Movement as well as a spokesman for anti-ageism. His two TED Talks, on the Power of Slow and the Power of Aging have racked up millions of views.

His first book, In Praise of Slowness, makes the point that slowing down is a better way to approach life. As he puts it: “to connect more, create more, focus more and achieve more.” He’s also written a book about slow parenting.

Bolder, his more recent book, was inspired by an incident on the ice hockey rink when he realized, after scoring the winning goal, that he was the oldest member of the team. That struck a chord with him (he was in his 40s at the time) and he realized he needed to reexamine his ageist assumptions about himself, as well as society’s assumptions about aging.

They talk about:

– How Carl moved from slowness to aging as a focus of his work. The connection is “drilling down to the stuff that really matters and focussing on that,” as he puts it.  

– Whether the Slow Movement has really caught on in the past two decades. Carl says it has; Debbie is a bit more skeptical.

– Why ageism is still difficult to root out. 

They discuss how changing our language around aging is hard (but we should keep trying!). And why we should consider the practice of contemplating death… lightly, as a way to remember to enjoy the here and now. 

This is a wonderful conversation with a highly articulate author and thinker on the topics of slowness and aging.


Mentioned in this episode or useful:

Note: The subtitle of the American edition of Carl Honoré’s book is: How to Age Better and Feel Better About Aging.


Note from Debbie

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Thanks to our media partners

Encore.org, our newest media partner, is an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good. Founder and CEO Marc Freedman is an award-winning social entrepreneur and author, most recently, of How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations. Looking for a great gap-year transition program? Check out Encore Fellowships, which match skilled, seasoned professionals with social-sector organizations in high-impact, paid assignments.


Modern Elder Academy is a program dedicated to navigating mid-life transitions. MEA, based in Baja California, Mexico, provides the place and the tools to start reframing your lifetime of experience. Grow whole, not old. Founder Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning hospitality entrepreneur and a rock star of the mid-life transition movement. His newest book is Wisdom @ Work: the Making of a Modern Elder.


Next For Me is an important new resource for the 50+ crowd focused on rewriting life. Taking a gap year or timeout may be the best way to figure out "what's next" when you're in this stage of life. Founder Jeff Tidwell explains, Next For Me "connects and inspires our generation to evolve our post-50 lives through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution."