Everyone knows the story of the tortoise and the hare. And everyone knows the moral of that story is “slow and steady wins the race”. It’s something we’ve lived with for so long that we never stop to question whether it’s really true.
I recently read something in a book called “the slight edge” that made me stop and think about that story for the first time, and realize that the real moral of that story may not be quite what I thought it was.
The Hare Should Have Won
“Slow and steady wins the race” implies that there’s something inherently good about being slow. But being slow didn’t have anything to do with why the tortoise won the race. The hare should have won easily, and would have if he’d just kept running.
The moral of this story should be changed to simply “steady wins the race”, because then it actually makes sense and teaches you real world value. The key to the one’s success and the other’s failure was consistency.
Steady does win the race, every time. Performing a small action everyday for a month is far more valuable than performing a massive effort for a couple of days. The compounding effect of time multiplies those small actions into a much larger impact.
This is also how you develop a habit. Once something becomes a habit, it becomes automatic. No further effort is needed on your part to continue the process. And what does and doesn’t become automatic in your life will determine where you end up.
Success Loves Speed
So if consistency is really the moral of the story, should you go fast or slow? Well in most cases, and especially when trying to start a home business, success loves speed. Let’s face it, if that rabbit hadn’t been so lazy and overconfident, he would have demolished that turtle.
But going fast and really giving it your all for a day or a week, is just doing it for a day or a week. Like the hare, if you only sprint your way to the first shade tree and then stop to take a nap, you aren’t going to be winning any races any time soon.
Again, the key is consistency. Be in it for the long haul and committed to doing whatever it takes for as long as it takes to get to the finish line. The thing is, it’s always worth paying the price for success because it pales in comparison to the price for failure.
Sure, the price for success will require some hard work for a while, but the price for failure is a lifetime of disappointment. The choice is always ours, moment to moment and decision to decision, what kind of life we are going to build for ourselves and the people who depend on us.
It’s in those consistent little day to day choices that we find the power to change our lives and circumstances. And with each choice you make, you are either taking your life up the success curve, or down the failure curve. There is no standing still.
The good news is that even if you find yourself on the failure curve, each moment… even this one right now… presents a fresh opportunity to turn around and decide to do something different and empowering. The past does not determine the future. What determines the future is what you decide to do right now in the present moment…
“Greatness is always in the moment of the decision.” (Jeff Olson)
🙂 Shawn Smith