Slow and Steady

Too often people are derided for not doing their work fast enough. We demand more in less time and often times we push ourselves in the same direction.

Is that always wise?

Not always. Sometime ago, I put up a summary of an article from ESPN the Magazine where they noted how Lindsey Vonn’s husband counseled her that she did not have to race fast from gate to gate, but it is better to be consistent. Obviously, Lyndsey is not skiing “slow” but she has come to appreciate what counts is the time from the start to the finish, and not gate to gate.

We tend to think in terms of gate to gate speed. We want to reach the next milestone as quick as possible and then get started on working to the next one. It is wise for those who engages in long term work or projects to set and maintain a pace. After all, if your pace is so frenetic you do not start out to the next milestone in good form you may do more harm than good.

Obviously, slow and steady is not called for all the time, but that is the difference between a sprint and a marathon. For example, the contest between our Federal Agencies and The Times Square Bomber was a sprint to Dubai, fortunately, the good guys won and Faisal is in the can. In this case, both participants were in full speed hurry up mode. It makes sense in this case, the overall goal is short term, and had only one milestone — the apprehension or escape. I am quite sure a number of the people involved in the investigation got little sleep, not due to worry, but due to the urgency of completing their work.

Still, most of the efforts we engage in are more marathon than sprint.

Good Stuff!

1 Comment

  1. Hi Mark,

    Great food for thought here. I, too often, am heading lickety-split to the next milestone, all the while forgetting that the journey is really the main part of the whole event. Thanks for the reminder.

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