Slow Down and You’ll Get There Faster

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a great start.

For those of us here in the US, it was a long weekend – one that traditionally marks the beginning of summer. Vacations, beaches, and backyard cookouts. And sunburns. Lots of sunburns. I used to think you had to get through the first sunburn of the year in order to tan. But if you live where I do, suntans only last a year. Then you have to do it all over again. I think I need to find a better tan.

But a tan is like a lot of other things. The faster you build it, the quicker it goes away. The quickest, and safest way is a like spray painting your car with watercolors. It never looks great to begin with, and it generally lasts until the first good rain (or shower). Then it’s gone, with just a blotched reminder that you tried to do something the easy way. Sure, you can spray it on again. But it’ll never look quite right.

Then there’s the strategy of burning once so you can “get it out of the way.” You can also get some of that old skin out of the way as well. In fact, you and a friend can peel off an entire layer in a single afternoon. If you’re lucky, the layer underneath is a little tanned and you can start building on top of that. The process is both painful and non-attractive. Not the ideal way to get what you want.

Or you could just take a 15-minute walk every day or so some work in the yard. It may take a while, but sooner or later that bronze glow will start to take hold. No spray, no burns, no peeling skin – just a gradual transformation that will stand the test of time. It may fade a little during the winter, but next summer you’ll have that foundation, and the next tan will be a whole lot easier to build.

In our microwave society, instant gratification is the name of the game. I remember dial-up internet, where it took twenty seconds for a page to load and you could spend upwards of a whole minute downloading a file. Now, I’m tapping my fingers and complaining if that hourglass spins for five seconds. “Come on, slowpoke!” Five more seconds and I pull the plug for a “hard reboot.” Sound familiar?

I’m that way with a lot of things. If something needs to be done, I want it done now! Unless, of course, I’m the one doing it. Then there are special dispensations for slow starts and excessive breaks. Or, in the case of my weight loss, abrupt halts. And it’s all because I want instant results. If the starter spins for three seconds, I’m pumping the gas. And don’t even get me started on slow-brewing coffee.

I think a lot of us are much the same in that regard. We’ve become so accustomed to two-day delivery that we’re on the phone to customer service if it takes three days. Almost nobody plants a garden anymore, because you do the work today and don’t see any results for at least a few weeks. Unless, you’re me. Then, the weeds start popping up in a matter of hours.

But sometimes, the slow and methodical approach is the best. It’s like the fable of the tortoise and the hare. The bunny ran far ahead and then took a nap as the tortoise kept up a slow but steady pace and ended up winning the race. It’s like that slow tan, or repeatedly losing a single pound. I’ve done that. Only problem is, it’s the same pound. Maybe I need to lose a different one.

Nobody likes to wait for good things to happen. But sometimes, that’s the best way to achieve long-lasting results. You can infuse money into a business with a single visit to the bank or a weekend inventory reduction sale. Or you can do it the old-fashioned way. One is a temporary fix that requires repayment with interest. The other lays a solid foundation for continued success.

It’s okay to want things now, but sometimes slower is better. Don’t be so focused on the results that you short-change the effort. Do the right things consistently, and the results will come. It may take a little longer, and you may have to make some corrections along the way. But when winter inevitably comes, that strong foundation will still be there, waiting to be rebuilt even better than before.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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