Tortoise or Hare?

 

Have you read the fable of ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’?

The speedy Hare is always bragging about how fast he can run, so the slow and steady Tortoise challenges him to a race. All the other animals gather in the forest to watch.

The Hare runs for a while and then pauses to rest. Looking back at the Tortoise who is way behind, he yells out “How can you win the race when you are walking at such a slow pace?” Being so far ahead, he decides to take a nap believing there is plenty of time to win.

Meanwhile the slow and steady Tortoise walks and walks never stopping until he reaches the finish line. All the animals cheer so loudly that they wake up the Hare who realises too late that the Tortoise has won.

It’s where the saying “slow and steady wins the race” comes from.

The other day, I listed everything I’ve done since 2001, the year I got divorced and left the corporate world to start my own business. These two major events were a turning point that set me on a whole new path of discovery. I listed the towns and houses I’ve lived in, the countless communities I’ve started and joined, the numerous business partnerships, the books I’ve written, jobs and clients I’ve worked with, the many projects (abandoned and completed), the courses I’ve undertaken, the places I’ve travelled, my numerous romantic partners and anything else significant I could think of.

It was a most revealing exercise and one I would highly recommend if you have the heart for it. In one way, it was thrilling to reminisce on these experiences and see how much I’ve learnt and grown. On the other hand, it was exhausting.

What it revealed most, was that for almost 20 years I’ve been a go, go, go woman, always looking for the next big race to run. Like the Hare, I’d often fall asleep along the way, only to find I’d never make it to the finishing line. I feel pretty emotional admitting that publicly.

This interminable COVID lock-down in Melbourne has offered me an opportunity to really slow down to examine, and hopefully excoriate, the Hare within. That’s meant becoming very clear on the very few races I really want to run for the next 20 years (if indeed they even need to be a race) and going slow and steady with the wisdom of the Tortoise.

What about you? Are you more like the Tortoise or the Hare?


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With love

About me: I’m a Purpose Educator and author of The Purpose Project. I help leaders attract and retain the best people by harnessing the power of deep purpose and storytelling. I do this through keynote speaking, a customised consultative process for co-creating a new purpose statement, the purpose storytelling course and The Purpose Project Coursea 7-step online course to help employees bring their own why to work.

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