Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Tortoise, the Hare, and a Fish

In high school I thought I was busy,
then I went to college.
In college I thought I was busy,
then I got married.
As a husband I thought I was busy,
then we had children.
And now, years later, after our last child moved out leaving my wife and me alone,
I realized something.
When the children were home I thought I was busy,
and I really was busy then.
Keith Newman

I love the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. You have the naturally gifted, full of himself, over-confident Hare racing the diligent, plodding, focused Tortoise.

I've often wondered why the Tortoise gets all the attention. Perhaps it's because we like winners? Or because we, as a culture, cheer for the underdog and relish when the big, bad, tough-guy gets his due.

I think the Hare deserves some attention too, because if he learned his lesson he'd win the next race, and the next, and the next. It's not that the Hare wasn't used to running. He ran all the time--blazing fast. The Hare wasn't used to the distance, and he didn't know how to ignore distractions.

If we look at ourselves closely, I think we're the Hare. I'd be willing to bet that there's something you are passionate about. You were drawn to this because you have it in you to run fast.

Going slow won't win the race. The key is to keep going. Sure, that may mean slowing your pace, but it also means you'll have to push yourself to do things you've never done before. If you're motivated to do something, do it as fast and as good as you can.

I'm reminded of another story animal--a fish who was "built for speed". She was sleek and fast and gave great and memorable advice, "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim." (Now, you're gonna have that song stuck in your head all day.)

* Tortoise and Hare picture is in the public domain. I found it through wikipedia.


Donna K. Weaver said...

Great post! Keep at it.

Betsy Love said...

John, I love your analogies. So many times I get going on a story and I'm gung-ho until I get stuck on a plot point or the middle part gets kind of fuddled and I tend to go onto something else. This summer I tried something I haven't done for a long time. I just pushed forward, even though I had no idea how I was going to get to the end. Thanks for your great post.

Natalie said...

"You have it in you to run fast." I like that.

I love the little poem at the beginning of your post too. I can totally relate. :)

Stacy Henrie said...

That poem is so true! And you're right - the key to winning in the race is to steadily keep going.

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