In Aesop’s fable, The Tortoise and the Hare, we are given a moral lesson about being consistent and humble. The hare in the story is overconfident in how fast they are compared to the tortoise. The hare ends up losing the race to the slower tortoise, who methodically continues along while the hare takes a nap.
As a kid this story frustrated me to no end. Why didnt the hare just run the entire course, win, and then take a nap? In many of the cartoon depictions of the fable the tortoise is portrayed as smug and that drove me even more crazy. The lesson I learned was to be fast and confident and only take a nap once your task was done.
Now I am older and still the real lesson eludes me: I ride my bike too hard trying to compare my times to other people on Strava. I rush through my work sometimes thinking that accomplishing my tasks as fast as possible is best. I cut off conversations that I think I have heard before.
My lack of understanding the lesson of slow and steady leads to overuse injuries, mistakes in workmanship, and bitter relationships. So I am trying to focus on slowing down in most aspects of my life. This week has been a recovery week for my bike riding. At work I am taking time to review my processes and document them as much as possible. In my relationships I am focused on the interactions as they happen.
This is not to say that I should always be slow. When a car is approaching me head on in my lane I need to be quick about moving out of the way. Those instances should be the exception though. If I am in constant danger then I need to reconsider my environment.
In the end slow and steady wins the race matches the idea that life is a journey, enjoy the ride. What do you think?
Got in a nice easy ride to town for a coffee this morning: