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  • Writer's pictureBetsy Kent


We all have heard of Aesop’s fable of the race between the tortoise and the hare.

The hare is very confident of winning, so it stops during the race and falls asleep.

The tortoise continues to move very slowly but without stopping and finally it wins the race.

The moral lesson of the story is that you can be more successful by doing things slowly and steadily than by acting quickly and carelessly.

I think that there is an additional, deeper lesson to be learned here.

It is that you can be more successful by being DILIGENT and making sure things don’t take longer than they need to take than by trying to RUSH and make something happen more quickly than what is reasonable.

We forget that there is a natural process that takes a certain amount of time to get to every goal.

Rushing is when we try to override and speed up that natural process.

Rushing it is like trying to rush crops to grow. It is not possible to hurry crops!

When we RUSH to a goal, we are giving ourselves an impossible task!

When we choose a goal, we are excited, motivated and maybe a little impatient and so we often try to get to that goal as quickly as possible.

We are sure we can achieve it faster if we just take all the steps quickly or even at the same time.

Not only is it impossible to achieve, but when we spend an enormous effort doing all the things simultaneously, we often then use that result as evidence that we will never get there.

So we feel exhausted and disappointed AND we stop trying.

In fact, we probably are hesitant to set any new goals.

Notice that the hare, who thought he could win the race by going as quickly as he could right at the beginning without considering his energy and the distance of the race, ended up needing a rest and never got to the finish line!

He didn’t pace himself so that the natural process of his winning a race against a tortoise could work its magic.

My guess is that he never agrees to a race again anytime soon!

Now DILIGENCE is acknowledging that there is a natural process that takes a certain amount of time and then doing everything to be sure that it doesn’t take any longer that it needs to take.

This is when we make sure that the crops flourish in their natural cycle by watering them, pulling the weeds, and protecting them from harmful environmental conditions.

We can’t rush their growth but we can be sure they have all they need so that their growth is not stunted.

This is what the tortoise did. He just kept going at his own natural pace. He didn’t try to go faster than a tortoise could naturally go BUT he also didn’t take a nap, or stop to eat or do anything else to delay his eventual arrival at the finish line.

For us, when we set a goal of expanding our professional network, for example, we can’t just run up to everyone we see and ask for a meeting or a job. For sure people will avoid us at all costs! Our goal will become impossible!

Building relationships takes time and we need to take steps to cultivate new connections and establish trust and commonality before we can expect anyone to provide us with opportunities.

On the other hand, we don’t just wait for someone to reach out to us. That would allow our goal to take much longer than it needs to take.

We want to be DILIGENT.

We want to make sure that we take the steps that would surely create that larger network in its own natural time.

We do this through consistent, meaningful action that builds upon itself.

Perhaps we start by attending industry functions and then comment on the social media posts of the people we met there. We might first read thought leaders’ books and then write a review of the book and then reach out to the author personally to ask a question about their ideas.

The tortoise’s DILIGENCE made his success at reaching the goal INEVITABLE!

The hare’s RUSHING made his success at crossing the finish line IMPOSSIBLE!

What goal are you rushing toward that makes your success impossible?

How can you slow down and be diligent by taking intentional, considered, and measured steps so that your success is inevitable?

If you need support in how to be a tortoise and not a hare, and make your goals inevitable, sign up for a free consultation with me and learn how to slow down toward success!

Sign up HERE for a free start! I will see you to the finish line!

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