For quite several years, children have been told the story of the tortoise and the hare from Aesop’s fables. For some reason, I reckon, it kept coming to my mind when I started my business. The way the hare gets a big lead on the tortoise, grows overconfident and takes a nap. The tortoise wins the race because it keeps trudging along. The more I think about it, newer moral dimensions I get out of it. It helped me a lot; I guess it helps you too.
In real life, hares survive only if they can outrun the animals that eat them, which are also very fast. Sprinting means survival. Naps are suicidal. Hares do not take naps in races.
Why do we tell that story to our children? To comfort slow learners, which most children are? I think the story misleads children. It assumes the race is between a hare and a tortoise. It isn’t. It is a three-way race: Hares that pay attention to the race, hares that don’t, and tortoises.
The winners in life are the hares that pay attention to the race. Tortoises lose. They rarely get eaten, but they get played with a lot. The story of the tortoise and the hare is misleading. It leaves out any consideration of steady hares. In a long race, the hare who can pace himself wins. Most hares do not pace themselves well. They get a fast start, but they become sidetracked. Don’t let kids think it’s good to be a slow tortoise. It’s good to be a steady, eyes-on-the-goal, focused hare.
There is nothing wrong with being a tortoise. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. This is an affirmation of the tortoise’s worldview. But it is adopted by the hares that plan to win the race, not just finish it.
If you are a tortoise, you rely on a thick shell. A thick shell slows you down. This is the price of safety. It is a very high price for not taking enough risks. As young hares, tell your children to keep hammering away what interests them most. That should keep them in good stead.
What seems to be random fates play an important factor in the lives of hares that get ahead in life … I believe we create our own luck, primarily by showing up for the race in life. By running the paces and putting in the bursts of energy, you’re there when amazing things happen.