Right after I wrote the last post on No Year’s Resolutions, I read this timely article in which Brad Isaac compares goal seeking to the tortoise and the hare.
You know the story: there’s a race between a tortoise and a hare. The hare runs like a bat outta hell but tuckers out before the finish line. The slow but steady tortoise shows the hare who’s boss. The end.
When it comes to goals like losing weight, learning to play guitar, or reading Ulysses, there’s a major cost to being a hare:
You never get into a groove. You make more mistakes. Since hares constantly put down and pick up projects, they have to relearn what they are doing each time. It’s also easier to quit.
I know I spread myself to thin – I want to be a master vegan chef, pro-blogger, food photographer, mac guru. So I do a little bit of everything, all the time. But if I’m cooking, I’m thinking about writing, and if I’m writing, I’m thinking about taking pictures. In effect, I feel somewhat mediocre at all of the above. The hare might be sexy, but it’s not getting me closer to actually mastering any of those projects.
Rabbit food for thought:
You’ll have to do some soul searching to find out which is more important. But to me, finishing one important goal completely and on time is better than 10 large goals finished “whenever” and in a haphazard, frantic pace.
Becoming a tortoise in this day is a difficult maneuver. Companies want speed – no matter what the cost. So to be as steady and as wise as a tortoise takes guts. You have to stand by your principals. You have to take your time and do things right. That’s where real value comes from.