At some point, most of us have heard the old story of the tortoise and the hare. As the story goes, these two very different and uniquely gifted animals set off on a race. The hare, or the rabbit, full of confidence and speed, is the expected winner. But as the story unfolds, we discover the determination of the tortoise, or turtle, results in him becoming the ultimate champion. It’s where we get the phrase, “slow and steady wins the race.” There are several things we can learn from our old friend, the turtle in this classic story of a race well won.
What makes us different, makes us stronger. We ALL have different personalities, gifts, abilities, and learning styles. These characteristics make up the core of who we are and allow us to put our unique stamp on the world.
Comparison is a distraction. The turtle was not born with the natural ability to leap, jump, or take off in a quick sprint the way his competitor could. Had he stopped to weigh his chances of success or compare himself to the rabbit skill for skill, his efforts would have stopped before they even began. As adult learners, we have to see ourselves in the same light. Each of us has a unique story to tell. Comparing ourselves to others does nothing but rob us of joy and confidence. This is your race. Run it as only YOU can.
Power through. In nearly every re-telling of the story, the turtle champion is on a mission! His efforts are slow, and his progress is almost painful to watch. But he just keeps going. His head down. His eyes are on the prize. His perseverance is admirable and, ultimately, what results in victory. The path toward obtaining our goals and dreams can feel the same way. Our progress can, at times, be slow and painful. But our efforts matter, and our steps add up. Determination will always separate those who simply wish for a better life and those who put in the work to achieve success.
Thanks, Mr. Turtle. We see you. You remind us that small, diligent steps DO add up, and winners come in many packages.
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