16

Quick but steady wins the race

The world knows of Aesop’s fables. One of its best and widely popular story talks about how a hare lost to a tortoise, with a moral saying : Slow and steady wins the race. Albeit this has been accepted for a way too long period of time, if we look closely, it wasn’t the “slow” walk of the tortoise that won him the race, but more of its “steadiness” that helped it achieve success. Had the hare been moving with the same pace along with being “steady”, may be we wouldn’t have this fable altogether. So, does being quick along with being steady does the trick?

The world today is all about competition. If we sleep, we loose. If we work slowly and steadily, we have chances of winning. But what if we are quick along with being steady? It is like icing on the cake. So we can say, the speed we always talk about is relative. We may think that the pace we are going with is very good, but somewhere someone is working with a better speed and a better efficiency. The word steady here can have different meanings. It can be efficient work, better implementation of plans, time-bound completion, stable and safe or being balanced throughout the process.

Let’s take different examples to understand better the cogency of the statement. 2 guys Mr. X and Mr. Y are preparing for the boards, 3 months prior. Now Mr. X starts slowly, but is steady in the initial days. He starts with 2 chapters in a week, which with the passage of time increases to 4 chapters a day, and the chapters keeps increasing for each week. On the other hand, Mr. Y, an enthusiast, started off with a vigor, completed 7 chapters in a week, lost the vigor in the 2nd week and couldn’t complete any, the third week he picked up but could complete only 2 chapters.

We we calculate the average :

Mr. X = (2+ 4+ 6) /3 =4 chapters a week.

Mr. Y = (7+0+2) /3 = 3 chapters a week.

Clearly, the chances of Mr. X completing the syllabus in a much better position is high, if the pattern continues. What’s the philosophy behind this? Albeit Mr. X was slow in the beginning, he didn’t realize with his consciousness that he was actually increasing his relative speed. Why on the other hand, Mr. Y, started off with full zest, but at the end of three weeks, was lacking due to his inconsistency.

What we see here is ,in this world with fierce competition, speed counts, but steadiness does too. 

While India got Independence, the 500+ princely states were left with 3 options : Join India, Pakistan or be an independent state. Needless to say, most of them wished for a sovereign state. Now, if Indian administration comprising of Nehru, Menon and Vallabh Bhai wouldn’t have been quick enough to hold talks with those independent princes, and if they weren’t active(steady) enough to keep their conditions in front of them, may br the Indian Map would have had a Pakistan in the heart of South India(then Hyderabad).

Moving on, when we think of business, the one thing that hits the youth is Start Up- a firm of its own. What makes a start up successful? It may happen that many people have the same idea for the start-up. But if they aren’t quick enough to get the idea patented, if they aren’t quick enough to get an angle investor to invest in their idea, the chances of the firm of their dreams because dimmer. But is being fast the only way ahead? What else is required? The whole process of getting the firm set-up, finding investor, getting patented and everything else sometimes becomes so hectic and cumbersome that some people give up. What is required is a more steady approach – The will to NEVER GIVE UP.

When the fight against corruption was started by Anna Hazare, the demand for the Jan Lokpal bill saw a huge pandemonium. People had started to quit their office works, and went on strikes, conducted marches and what not against the Government to bring in pass the LokPal Bill, giving greater transparency to the government functioning. Now, what started off with such an uproar and with lots of exuberance, lost its steadiness after a week or so. Why? People started to realize that albeit too quick to quit, they couldn’t make sure the people remained motivated for the fight against corruption. Maybe the outcome would have been different had the people not given up so early so soon.

India and China became independent much at the same time. According to reports, the condition of India and China was the same in terms of economy uptil 1980’s. But what was different about them, that they grew with a pace of 25% annually to become the fastest growing economy? India’s focus on the socialist principle pushed it to the debt cycle, not able to afford much to the growth of the Public Sector Units, and moreover, much of the amount which was spent for the human capital, went unutilised. Furthermore, the pace with which China bettered their ease of doing business, the amount they spent to increase human capital was far better than India.

The world is moving towards a better, safer and sustainable growth and development. For this, the United Nations came up with the Sustainable Development Goals. Now, while the goals have been majorly derived from Millennium Devlopment Goals which was a “previous birth” of the SDG’s, it(SDG) came into existence more because most of the goals of the MDG’s had a slow snail’s pace to be implemented. The same continues for the SDG’s as well. Wouldn’t a better pace with steady implementation plans transfigure the predicted outcome of the SDG’s?

A stitch in time saves nine. This is basically a synonym of the quote, showing how those moments of high efficiency needs to be capitalized upon.Slow and steady is not a physical attribute of the fable initially. Its the mental stability and patience that will do the trick for you. Steadiness has had a relationship with a calm and composed mind, along with the vigor to achieve,which comes with the determination to fight back. We need not be Mr. Y from the abstract above, but try to inculcate the habits of Mr. X. The more we do this, the better we can expect our results to be.