Slow Progress

Why start small? Isn’t it ‘go big or go home’? Weirdly enough, that phrase is incredibly difficult to place in a real life context; I dare you to give it a go. Usually, this applies to bravado and you trying to impress a bunch of people. Down that bottle of vodka, push all your chips in at the poker game etc. All these things are very much decisions you are likely to regret the morning after (but probably make great stories in the long-term). When you’re saying ‘go all in with that investment’ it isn’t a ‘go big or go home’, it is simply a calculated risk and ultimately a decision that takes intellect. The simple conclusion I came to was that the phrase is a really stupid one better left to reality TV because it has the strength to edge on really stupid decisions. It’s funny if someone does something stupid on TV, not so much if you’re the one who falls victim to it.

So I started thinking about the importance of the opposite; slow progression. In our heads, the word ‘slow’ is always synonymous with something negative and boring. When I was a kid, I remember hearing the story of the turtle and rabbit race ‘slow and steady wins the race’ and still identifying more willingly with the hyperactive rabbit. Simply because ‘slow’ is a trait that no one wants to be attached to and it’s all about the fast and the furious (a franchise I do love). Unless you have a Dodge Charger R/T, real life doesn’t involve a nitrous button to reach a goal in two seconds flat.

It’s very much like University. A degree seems like such a great thing especially during your fresher’s week where you see the fat textbooks, the long list of readings and the assignments in your modules yet to be assigned. You simply see a really long stairway which lasts a good 3 or 4 years before you can hopefully reap the benefits. You see, if it were possible, you’d digest all the knowledge you need to pass those exams in a second and be smiling on your graduation a day after. Just like how every single assignment, presentation and dissertation prepares you for the coming finals, these are made up of even smaller building blocks; pages, paragraphs, words. It is sometimes a painstakingly slow process but it is a progression. The slow speed is one of the main components to make sure that the lessons sink in and encourages you to mull the lesson over in your mind as well. Find your own opinions on it and question the validity by your own criteria.

So when you start your diet plan and start by cutting out one of your 5 crisps packet a day, you should see value in it. You don’t start with the Insanity workout when you haven’t worked on your cardio in a decade. Neither can you apply for a PhD if you haven’t completed your undergraduate and your Master’s degree. Consider any success stories at all; Mike Tyson had to pick up his boxing gloves up at some point for the first time in his life to be considered one of the best today.

In essence, don’t be put off when things seem to be moving at a slower pace than you expected life to be going because it is still moving somewhere. You are still putting in the coal and you are shuffling it as hard as you can. As long as you are working as hard as you can on your end, don’t let external factors that you have no control over weigh you down. More than anything, more than going big or going home, more than being fast and furious, slow and steady does wins the race.

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