I’m certain that 98% of my Western-born readers know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. If not, you can certainly find it on Google. But do that after you read my take on it. I think it’s much cooler than the one we heard as kids. The point I want to make here today is that the tortoise was never supposed to come close to winning.
The hare had it all. I imagine the scene something like this: The hare walks (or rather hops) up to the starting line real cool. Takes his shades off and hands them to his cute lady bunny friend, tightens the laces on his Asics, stretches and steps up alongside the tortoise.
Now, the tortoise has been walking up to the starting line from 10 feet away for the past 30 minutes. It would seem like a cool, slow groovy walk if we weren’t so certain that his oversized, awkwardly shaped body couldn’t move any faster. He’s there alone because no one believes in him. He doesn’t have the tools or the skills to win this race so no one supports him because, why should they? If the tortoise is going to waste his time, that’s fine but there’s no use in his family of slowpokes to waste theirs as well.
The race starts. The hare takes off. He is dusting the tortoise. And that’s great because, the hare i… You know the story. The hare is so far ahead that he decides to fall alseep. The tortoise catches up, passes the hare, and, just as the hare is waking up, the tortoise is about to pass the finish line. The hare just isn’t fast enough. Slow and steady wins the race, right? Wrong.
Work ethic wins the race every time. The hare got ahead and got complacent. He knew he was going to win. Guaranteed. But in this life, there are no guarantees. And heart will beat skill out 8 days a week. But if you pair heart with skill, you’ve got a lethal concoction right there.
When you get ahead, don’t stop. Don’t slow. Don’t look back. Keep moving. Because you could be racing a hare. Or you could be racing another hare who has more heart than you. Either way, you could lose if you don’t focus on your primary goal.
The tortoise never should’ve won. The hare was lazy and his ego got in the way of his drive. Don’t let that happen to you.
Make professional development a priority.