Monday, October 7, 2013

The Turtle, the Rabbit, and You

The story goes that the turtle was slow and steady, but he won the race. The rabbit was faster from the start line, but he thought he had a big enough lead to be able to take a nap when tired. While he was napping, the turtle won.

The turtle was slow and steady and the rabbit was fast but lazy. This story brings up an interesting dilemma. How do you want to approach things?

The fear of being too slow and behind everyone else can rear its head in life. It tells you forcefully that you haven't reached where you need to be. You should be somewhere else. This somewhere else is in line with where everyone else is. The punch line is always that you're not good enough.

You might feel the opposite and more like the rabbit. You're so fast that you've reached the end, the destination---without actually crossing the finish line. You can just stop where you're at and nap without looking further. Do either of these feelings sound familiar?

The pace you're at in life is unique to you, but it can be easy to judge where you're at. Very often the judgement is unfair and not helpful toward where you want to go next.

How fast or slow can you go and still reach your goal? Does it matter what other people think about your decisions?

Life isn't a race. Ultimately, you are on your own path. Ideally, you don't want to be so slow so that you can't imagine the possibility of reaching your goal. In that case, fears and anxieties are most likely blocking your path. However, the steadiness of the turtle is helpful to emulate so that you don't give up.

You also don't want to be so fast and hurried that you prematurely run out of energy and feel tired before you near the finish line. In that case, you're probably running toward goals forcefully and somewhat blindly without a realistic pace. The strong potential of the rabbit, however, is helpful to see in your own life.

Most likely, you're somewhere in between the turtle and the rabbit and going at your own speed. Don't worry what others say, but look honestly at whether you feel too slow or too hurried in your efforts. It's not all about the finish line, it's about how you want to run your journey.

This week, take realistic steps to get where you want to go, and focus on running at a steady and confident pace.

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