Learning from the Tortoise and the Hare
Luciana Jury | Learning from the Tortoise and the Hare | Surely you’ve heard the fable about the tortoise and the hare, right? One is fast and confident, while the other is slow and deliberate. They decided to hold a race, and the hare immediately jumped ahead of the tortoise and was within sight of the finish line before the latter made any significant progress. The confident hare, however, was perhaps a tad too confident, and so he chose to nap before crossing the finish line. He slept so long and so soundly, in fact, that the tortoise finished the race while he was still asleep. It was the turtle that triumphed despite the odds.
There is some validity to the adage “slow and steady wins the race.” What’s fascinating about this narrative is that both the tortoise and the hare put their innate abilities to good use. From the perspective of self-improvement, perhaps we should examine this event more closely.
The tortoise joined the marathon with the greatest of intentions but was clearly not going to win because of his slow speed. Though he anticipated a loss, he nonetheless entered the competition. Without a question, he went all out and gave 110% to the cause. He wasn’t just out for a stroll on a beautiful day. As a result of employing all of his skills to their maximum potential, he was victorious. He was more startled than anyone to learn that he had actually won.
Although the hare also gave the race everything he had, he came in last. He had not yet realized the lesson of not placing an excessive amount of reliance on his own capabilities. Because he was overconfident in himself, he let his arrogance get the better of him, and this led to his defeat in a race that should have been one of the simplest to win.
The comparison between the tortoise and the hare may teach us valuable lessons that may help us succeed in our own undertakings. The tortoise was efficient in his specialty. Instead of letting his problems get the best of him, he performed what was expected of him and succeeded. The hare also tried his hardest, but he gave up too easily when things became tough. Instead of pushing himself to the limit, he decided to sit it out and didn’t end up winning.
It’s interesting to ponder if we’re more like the tortoise and succeed because of our patience and perseverance, or the hare and fail because we place too much stock on our capabilities.