Are you a turtle?
After all, slow and steady wins the race.
The parable is timeless. We’ve all heard the cautionary tale of the tortoise and the hare and how slow and steady will always win the race.
So – if we all know this to be true – why don’t we embrace this advice?
The “Happy” Hare
In the parable, the hare is depicted as balancing on the line between confident and arrogant, constantly darting off the path of the race to explore distractions which ultimately lead to his downfall.
Today, we see hares all around us – in both our physical and digital worlds.
These are the people whose Instagram feeds include perfectly posed, green juice selfies, pensive gazes into the distance against a brick wall, and artful landscape photography from the newest country to stamp their passport.
From the outside looking in, they seem to have it all. But, most of these “hares” that I know don’t post about the fact that their $10 fresh-pressed green juice just brought their checking account to below $100 or that they travel the world racking up credit card debt instead of racking up a 401k balance.
Instead of focusing on the not-so-glamorous daily grinds of life, the hares distract themselves and only put up a veneer of success and happiness.
To be clear, I do not aim to shame anyone here. To each their own! I myself enjoy a $5 latte from Starbucks from time to time and do my fair share of travelling and selfie-taking. Hell, I push my opinions on a podcast, weekly. I do not claim to be perfect here. My goal is only to get you to question the intention behind these types of actions.
The Tenacious Turtle
If hares are haphazard, the turtles of the world are methodical, confident, and relentless on their paths to the finish line. Turtles do not let jeering from outsiders steal their focus and do not compare the distance they have traveled against the ground covered by competitors. In many ways, they are only competing against themselves.
Being a turtle is hard. The FOMO from social media can be real. When a quick glance at your phone grants you a glimpse into what looks to be the perfect life of someone else, it’s perfectly normal to find yourself tempted to stray from the race and give a distraction some attention.
Ultimately, we must decide what we’re more afraid of missing out on: short-term happiness or long-term fulfillment.
How can we become the turtle?
The life of a turtle is not always sexy or Instagram-worthy. It’s a lot of consistent effort that is not glamorous. It’s a 1% change every day.
Turtles sleep more and work less.
They exercise to maintain their physical strength, and they meditate to maintain their mental prowess.
They consistently eat well, instead of pursuing the latest diet trend.
They reach for water more than they reach for alcohol.
They relish in habit stacking and in architecting their days versus allowing life to happen to them.
Strap on your metaphorical shells and channel the turtle mindset. Realize that you will transform into the hare from time to time, and that’s OK. But, learn to love the methodical pace and quiet confidence that comes from running your own race.
Email me your thoughts – I would love to hear them! Myles@rtjmedia.com