We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise got tired of hearing the hare brag about how fast he was and challenged him to a race. But there was no way to expect the tortoise to have any kind of chance. After all, he was a turtle and the hare was the fastest rabbit!!
So the day of the big race came and off they went. You know the rest of the story. The hare got way ahead, got overconfident, stopped every 50 yards to talk to the other animals, took a nap, showed off playing tennis against himself in front of the lady bunnies and took naps. The moral of the story is ‘slow and steady wins the race’.
The hare lost the race because of the hare . . . not because of the tortoise. We lose races because of the person in the mirror not because of the forces against us. Sure, sometimes things don’t work out but all that does is give us more knowledge and experience about our own performances and behaviors.
Let me explain.
If you have traveled on this website, you know I authored the book Above The Fray. The book has 284 pages. When I decided to write the book, I told myself that I would write 10 ten pages a day and be done with it in 30 days or so. I am certain that this will not be problematic because I have ALL the notes and vignette titles jotted down and I am pretty sure about how I’m going to put it all together. Wrong! The first day I could not get through a page– could not write a single page. Frustration turned into anger and I threw away or shredded 17 half pages. Finally, I got one page finished.
Then it hit me. Why am I fighting myself? Why am I racing against me? What difference does it make if I write, or don’t write 10 pages a day? I was fighting myself.
Then came the solution to the problem.
I GOT OUT OF MY OWN WAY.
Just like the hare was his own entire problem so was I. I decided to write one really good page a day and if it took a lot longer, so be it.
Then a funny thing happened when I got out of my own way. Each day I wrote at least one page. One day I wrote 5. One day I wrote 3. One day I wrote 27. I had eliminated the roadblock to my creativity—-ME. I finished the book in about 5 weeks.
The hare was his competition, not the tortoise. I was my competition. Business and careers are tough enough without fighting yourself.
The tortoise and the hare is a great story but the tortoise should have won by a mile. The race doesn’t have to be won in slow and steady fashion.