Slow and Steady: How we got it all wrong!

My dad and I were having a discussion while we working out today and something just popped up during our discussion. He was ruing about the huge difference in his physical form since his young days, but my point was that he would have the form if he would stick to a regimen regularly. Only if he could dedicate an hour daily working out doing some basic workout he would definitely get back to better physical levels.

And just then I had my Eureka moment! How much as a society do we underrate consistency!!! I can only hark back to the roots in ‘slow and steady wins the race’ proverb, from that fable of the hare and the tortoise. Sadly, then and now the lesson has been lost on all of us – even the teachers that taught us I guess. I don’t think as young students we ever considered that the tortoise won the race because it had a steady pace towards reaching its destination; it was always the fact that the hare slept in the middle and that is why it lost the race. Had the loser hare not slept it would definitely have won the race. And this is precisely where the whole of our life got screwed up splendidly. The significance of the tortoise winning the race because of its slow and steady pace always lost out in the grand scheme of things.

It just doesn’t make sense – that such a significant lesson was never repeated over and over again to us during our years. The fact that we would be much better students, persons and even physical bodies because of this simple fact screws all of us even now. We could have been so much better had this been drilled into us more rigorously.

Our exams would not have consisted of having to study in the last one day prior to the exam. Bills paid in the last minute. Tax planning would not have consisted of losing almost all of the last month’s salary.

Warren Buffet isn’t him because he had one big hit all his life and then just slept through it. It was just a measly 20% year on year for the last few decades. Had this been the case of 1 hit wonders all this wealth would never have been made. The significance of compound interest is just lost. In fact, the point of regimen is about compound interest. The skills, work and all benefits are just amassed on top of the assets already made. Its about working through inch by inch.

This just means that to achieve all the goals that we ever wanted to achieve – it all boils down to a single mantra – Inch by Inch, Day by Day – that is all it takes – a simple disciplined regimen. And the biggest lesson of all it just works. The grand canyons or the valleys – never happened over our lifetime – so that lesson never existed in the first place. But the other lessons need not be lost on us – smoking and nicotine accumulating in lungs over the years – systematically – that’s how rust happens; systematically, slow and steady, precisely what we as humans with limited memory and power of recall should be very worried about.

My last 1 week of experimenting on my ‘Do nothing’ vacation has yielded significant results for me personally. That a simple regimen of working out daily, reading for an hour, having an hour of silence, indulging in conversations with all I hold dear – all this seem to make significant impact in the quality of my everyday life. Every day is a lesson in understanding the impact of Regimen.

Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours really seems to be true.


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