The Race is not Always Given to the Swift

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

A Hare was making fun of the Tortoise one day for being so slow.

"Do you ever get anywhere?" he asked with a mocking laugh.

"Yes," replied the Tortoise, "and I get there sooner than you think. I'll run you a race and prove it."

The Hare was much amused at the idea of running a race with the Tortoise, but for the fun of the thing he agreed. So the Fox, who had consented to act as judge, marked the distance and started the runners off.

The Hare was soon far out of sight, and to make the Tortoise feel very deeply how ridiculous it was for him to try a race with a Hare, he lay down beside the course to take a nap until the Tortoise should catch up.

The Tortoise meanwhile kept going slowly but steadily, and, after a time, passed the place where the Hare was sleeping. But the Hare slept on very peacefully; and when at last he did wake up, the Tortoise was near the goal. The Hare now ran his swiftest, but he could not overtake the Tortoise in time.

The Hare Mindset vs Tortoise Mindset

The story of the Tortoise and the Hare from Aesop's fable has many interpretations. What I interpret from this fable is the race is not always given to the swift but to the slow and steady. If you work slowly but consistently, and endure all that comes with it, you will eventually succeed.

We live in a world where immediate gratification, immediate and quick results, and shortcuts are constantly sold and ingrained in us, everywhere we go. Think about it, get rich quick in the form of lottery tickets or pyramid schemes to fad diets that promise weight loss in 21 days. We also have fast food restaurants, microwaveable food done in secs, emails and texts that reach us in seconds from anywhere in the world, We have gotten so use to quick results, we fail to realize that anything worth having, takes time and lasting change and transformation doesn't happen overnight. We have gotten so use to this mindset, that if something we want takes longer than we think it should, we give up on it. While, this approach may be convenient and easy, it may not be the best approach to the most important things in your life.

Majority of the results we are seeking will not come quickly. They don't have to take forever either, but definitely longer than what most are comfortable waiting on. The Universal Law of Gestation states that everything has a developing period when transitioning or planting a seed, just as a baby gestates during pregnancy. During this period, skills, mindsets, and foundations are being rooted to ensure quality results. What if we adopted the tortoise mindset and embraced the slow and steady approach rather than the hare's quick results mindset? What if instead of obsessing over the short term results, we focus on each step towards the goal for long term results?

Two Girls and the corn seeds

There's a story of two girls who stumbled over corn seeds in an open field one day. One girl, planted her seeds one day and expected a harvest the next day, when it didn't come, she dug up the seed to plant it again, she did this a few times until the seed eventually died. The second girl visualized the outcome of planting her seed, then planted the seed. However, instead of expecting results right away, she watered and nurtured the seed, until a small sprout broke through the ground towards the sun weeks later.

When you shift your focus away from the results and focus on the small steps is when the results start showing up. When you are consistent, this in turn builds up momentum, momentum causes massive action from you that causes progression. Progression builds up your confidence which builds you up to continue taking massive actions that get results. By the time you realize, you are making lasting changes in your life.

Taking small steps that move the needle towards the goal eventually will get you to the finish line. Each step strengthens your character, your mindset and brings on growth that will be needed for the finished product. The Chinese Bamboo tree takes up to 4 years after the seed is planted before it finally breaks through the ground and grows up to 90 feet in the air. During the gestation period of this tree, the roots are being firmly planted in the ground to withstand storms that will come but will have little effect on the strong foundation.

The race is not given to the swift, but to those who endure it.

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