Are you going to fast to do anything well?

A hare and tortoise ran a race and we all know who won! This Aesop fable is probably familiar to most of the human race. The moral is that slow and steady wins over speed. Of course, this story grew out of a time when things were much slower than they are today. Would the turtle still win today? I am not so sure. What if the answer was no? What if speed were so important today that it did not matter how steady you were? Indeed, there are many areas of our lives where speed today is essential. Target Stores advertise their culture as “Fast, Fun and Friendly.” Notice that fast is the first “virtue” of working at Target that you must embrace. When was the last time your boss told you to take things slower? Times change and today speed has become increasingly important. Drive too slow on the freeway and you can get a ticket. The poor turtle today would probably get run over.

Nevertheless, the Aesop story still has a great deal of merit. Several studies have shown that we are really less intelligent when we attempt to multi-task. When we try to do too many things at the same time, we really do few of them well. Look at the most successful people in the world and you will find that they bring a great deal of focus to what they are doing. Success requires vision but it also requires focus. It is hard to find focus when you are trying to do three or four things at the same time. It is almost always an issue of finding the right balance in our lives. When do we need to multi-task and when do we need to really focus and do only one thing at a time? The Greeks understood the important of balance as it was written on the Temple of Delphi “All things in moderation.”

Can you really drive well and talk on the cell-phone? Are you always in a multi-task mode? When do you allow your life to go slower? Are you the proverbial hare that always loses the race? Where do you need to go faster today? Where do you need to go slower?

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