Most of us don’t enjoy “quick fix” techniques. We don’t like it when self-proclaimed gurus tell us to buy their “super secret systems” that will make us richer, smarter and happier overnight.
If you’re reading this course, I’m betting you’re sick of those superficial tactics too, because you know they don’t work. The danger of quick fixes is that they’re not really a fix it all. They’re a temporary solution that fails to get to the root of the problem.
It’s a lot like the famous fable about the tortoise and the hare. In this story, the hare is over-confident that he will win. He takes a nap and doesn’t focus on doing the work. The tortoise, on the other hand, takes one step at a time and is focused on the finish line. And who wins? That’s right – the tortoise!
The hare (i.e. “quick fix”) has its place in one situation: when you have to sprint. For example, your project is due tomorrow morning and it’s already 11:59 PM. You only have 6 hours to write 2,500 words! Then a quick fix solution on how to write more in less time might be very useful. (You could for example use voice-recording software).
But what about the next project? When you have to sprint all the time, are you really producing top-quality work?
Let’s be honest here: you’re not. Either you burn out, or you fail to deliver on your promise. This is a viscous cycle because it hurts your emotional bank account a lot.
Building your character will help you win the race. It saves you precious energy because you don’t exhaust yourself every single time. Here are some growth tips to help you focus on the long-run.
The Danger of Sprinting Too Much
Yes, it is possible to sprint too much. Often, we’re so busy in our lives we run from one thing to another. We don’t take the time to slow down and reflect on what’s most important. Who has the time?
Being busy doesn’t mean you’re being productive. Doing activities that you don’t have to do is dumb. Stop doing that. You’ll get stuck in a hamster wheel, running around, feeling frustrated. As Stephen Coey points out:
“If your ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take gets you to the wrong place faster.”
We see this happen all the time. Consider people who climb the corporate ladder to reach the top. Many use questionable means to get where they want to go. They burn relationships, and step on people’s toes to get what they want. All they can think about is the carrot right in front of them, but they’re missing the corn fields around the corner. These quick fixes might work for a while. They get the fancy car and a fat paycheck by the end of the month. But what do you think happens to their character?
Our character communicates more than anything else. We become what we repeatedly do. If we’re only thinking about the sprint, we’re robbing ourselves from the full picture. We’re actually missing out on some of the most rewarding aspects of life, namely, that of building a legacy and helping others grow.
What’s the Right Balance between the Tortoise and the Hare?
The answer depends somewhat on your situation. Some of us prefer sprinting to walking and that’s totally okay. It’s a good idea to know if you’re more like the hare or the tortoise. Both styles are useful, but you can achieve more if you can find a balance between the two.
Sometimes we have to sprint. And sometimes we have to walk. The key here is to take action and make sure you’re taking part of a race where you’re crystal clear about where you want to go. A useful way to look at it can be by looking at your short-term and long-term goals. The short-term goals are more suitable to the hare – they are the short sprints, where you must move forward fast to get the results you’re after.
But for personal growth, we often have long-term goals, too. Then we can’t make the mistake of using our inner hare, because we will exhaust ourselves and we won’t have enough energy to finish the race.
For most people, it’s useful to apply the tortoise to our long-term goals, and the hare to our short-term goals.
Go back to your list of goals. Do yourself a favour and think on paper. Take a look at them and figure out if they’re short-term goals, i.e. they must be done in a few days or weeks, or if they’re long-term goals, i.e. they must be done within a year or a couple of years.
By finding a balance between the hare and the tortoise, you move forward more efficiently because you know what kind of race you’re running, and you’re using your resources accordingly.
The Growth Formula for the Long-Run
Personal growth works on a very basic formula. Get the ingredients right going into the equation, and then you’ll get the results you want out of the equation.
Goals + Efforts → Results → Growth
You must determine what goals you want to set in your life. What’s the most important thing for you right now and in the future? Make sure you establish clear goals before you take action.
Once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to take action. If you fail to move forward towards your goal, you will not get any results. This is where most people get stuck. Either they don’t know what step they need to take, or they’re standing still because Resistance kicks in. Make sure this isn’t you.
These two pieces lead to results. And people who get results can re-evaluate their goals and learn from them. This is what helps them grow. We don’t always get the result we want, or even expect. Life is funny that way. But we’re still learning something valuable we can use next time around.
The quickest growth is the slowest. There are no shortcuts to this formula, but we can get better at setting our priorities straight, and learn how to act on them.
Plan. Do. Evalute. And remember: Goals + Efforts → Results → Growth
Get this formula right and you don’t have to worry about the “quick fix” techniques that the self-help gurus want to sell you. Your goal-and-action-orieted approach to life will you give the foundation to run a race you actually enjoy.
So, What Stops You from Taking the Next Step?
The most difficult thing about personal growth is that it’s… well, personal. We’re often competing against our own inner gremlins and we’re not moving forward.
Sometimes, you’re struggling to sorting out your goals. Like the hare, you’re chasing goals that don’t actually give you the results you’d hoped for. Other times, you’re absolutely crystal clear about your goals, but you’re just clueless about what to do next. You’re feeling overwhelmed and you don’t know what your next step will be.
During those times, it can be nice to have a coach – someone who can bring clarity to your vision, and help you achieve your dreams. It can be lifechanging to have someone who believes in you and gives you the tools and training to get you past the obstacles that’s standing in your way.
If you’ve got feedback, concerns, questions, worries, suggestions or anything else on your mind, just get in touch! I always love to hear from readers. And who knows, if you’re looking for a coach, I might be able to help you, too.
Your next lesson is going to get into a lot more detail about just what goes into planting your seed. Knowing how to do this will change your life dramatically in the long-run.
See you next time!
All the best,
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