"The Tortoise and the Hare" is one of the most memorable fables by Aesop from my childhood that sparked this week's blog idea about the overlooked importance of slow growth. No matter what it is you are trying to achieve whether it is within your career, school, dreams, and/or relationships I am learning everyday that slow and steady wins the race. By human nature we would all love to reach our goals sooner rather than later. Especially in this day and age instant gratification has become the norm. The end result is glorified and we want nothing more than to bask in that glory. But wait a minute? Do you see something wrong with this picture? We are letting the end result define and validate who we are with absolutely zero regard for the process. The struggles and mini successes along the way to get to the end result should be what validates us. The struggles and the determination to rise above them are what defines who we are. A frightening reality that I am seeing is the sense of entitlement and no need to work hard for the result. This temperament is extremely dangerous. You may have also heard the saying where if you rise too quickly, you will also fall quickly. The process is where we will find our true character, build, strength and be that much more resilient when we fall - but only through slow growth! Here's my take on the slow and steady philosophy!
1) Believing in Yourself Through Mini Wins
Too cliche? I don't think so. In fact this is probably one of the most primitive mind set that we all need in order to achieve our goals. Proving to ourselves in small wins over and over again will develop that sense of pride ownership (in the most humbling way). Even if the wins are the same, that proves to ourselves that we are consistent and with consistency comes guaranteed improvement the next time around. We start to know our limitations and create our identity through believing in our ourselves.
2) Passion over Stress
Working hard for something we believe in is passion. I can attest to this. For those who are new to my story, I was a full time pharmacist manager working up to at times 50 hours a week. Recently I made a huge change in my life to let me fulfill my purpose through music. I was miserable, unhappy and empty. Although it appeared that I was left with no time for my music, the opposite was true. I was exhausted but I wanted to work hard for my music. I was excited thinking about my next steps and projects in my music world. I wanted to keep writing, performing, creating content and learning even running on average 4 hours of sleep. But I never felt this way about pharmacy. I was losing sleep over unnecessary and petty things and I told myself I'm done. Why am I doing this to myself?
Having passion for something will inspire and encourage us even in the face of challenges. It is NOT the end result that creates passion. It is the journey along the way that creates curiosity that turns into small and most valuable moments of enjoyment, learning and happiness that evolves into passion over time. Allow yourself to go through the ups and downs of the process. Celebrate the small successes, rise up from the small failures and give yourself permission to enjoy and take the whole journey in on your road to success!
3) Allows Time for Self Reflection/Evaluation/Re-direction
When we get too focused on the end goal we begin to get tunnel vision. We begin to limit ourselves and the risk of making careless and quick decisions will lead to our quicker downfall. Slow growth is realizing that the process and the approach are more important than whether or not you achieve your goals. The value of the slow and steady approach is that it gives us "down time" to self reflect and evaluate the following: what has been accomplished, what hasn't been done yet, what are our current strengths and weaknesses, is the path that we are currently on the best one to reaching our goals? What smaller goals do we need to take to re-direct our path? What could have been done differently if a similar situation arises? This will allow us make better smaller decisions along the way. Does it take more time? OF COURSE! But we become adaptable to change and challenges. If we're on the fast track, we miss red flags, judgement becomes impaired and reaction time decreases.
4) Introducing You to You
Cheesy? Perhaps but very true! It teaches you the truth about you! Points number 1,2 and 3 culminates to this last point of why slow growth is so important. The process to achieving your goal is simultaneously the journey and evolution of you as a person. You will be met with challenges and you will feel like the whole world is against you. How you rise back up is no doubt a defining moment for you but it's also how you celebrate the wins that also contributes to your character. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your accomplishments especially after working so hard for it, but there is a difference between celebrating humbly vs bragging. During the slow growth process you start to know who you really are. You are often put into uncomfortable situations that pushes your boundaries (it could be both good and bad) and also defines your limit. You begin to live up to standards that lead you to becoming the person you want and have potential to become! The "famous" people we put on a pedestal tend, we tend to forget and forego the amount of work and years behind their success. They didn't become successes overnight - it takes hardships, daily practice, repetition and humbling failure.
"Just because you don't share it on social media, doesn't mean you're not up to big things. Live it and stay low key. Privacy is everything." - Denzel Washington
Yes I've mentioned a few times that I was quite late starting my journey but looking back, I understand why I chose my specific path and try not to beat myself up for not taking the risk with music earlier. I will continue to push hard and have no intention of slowing down. I know that I have a greater destiny to fulfill than just to be working in a pharmacy. I know I am meant for something bigger and greater to spread positivity, compassion and inspiration to the world. I've been the tortoise for as long as a I can remember and I hope that you will too!