“Slow and steady wins the race.”
I’ve never liked the moral of the tortoise and the hare. It’s always bugged me. Sure, the turtle plugged away and eventually crossed the finish line. And he beat the hare! Hooray! Here’s the rub – a moral is a theme from a story that can be taken and applied to real life, and when in real life is this even remotely going to happen? When is all of your competition going to lay down and take a nice long break, basking in their lead over you?
The point of this story isn’t to behave like the tortoise – setting a comfortable pace, not pushing yourself too hard. Just as long as you don’t quit, you’ll win it all. Right? What kind of horse shit is that?! The moral is to not behave like that stupid hare! He didn’t stop and rest because he was too tired to go on. He did it because he was so content with the lead he inherited from his talent, that he got lazy and didn’t even begin to push himself.
Here’s the real moral of the tortoise and the hare – don’t rest on your laurels. There is always someone behind you who is plugging along everyday with the hope of overtaking you. The real takeaway is to continually challenge yourself and don’t get lazy, because the people ahead of you aren’t going to lay down for a nap. The tortoise isn’t the hero of this story – he’s the villain. And he wins. So learn from the hare’s mistake. If you want to win this race, keep pushing the limits and don’t give up.
Call to action – What can you do at this moment to get a little farther than you were a moment ago? Why shouldn’t you just get up and do it. Proofread that article now. Start working on that important email now. Make your bed now. Lay out what you’ll need for your morning routine now. Do it. Now.
Taking a well-deserved rest can be the correct answer, too. In an upcoming post, I’d like to explore some ideas for even making your downtime more productive.
What’s your opinion on the “Tortoise and the Hare?” Did I come close, or am I way off base? What did you do when presented with today’s call to action? I’d love to hear it – let me know in the comments.