We all have deep desires to achieve — to strive for meaning. Whether we have personal goals we make for ourselves or altruistic goals that benefit others, most of us come to realize that the bigger the goal, the more challenging and longer it takes to reach it.
Excruciatingly slow progress can cause almost anyone to lose motivation. This may feel especially true as the excitement of the New Year wears off and the dreary winter days tend make every day feel sort of mundane and uneventful as we try to work toward what we set out to do on the 1st.
But slow progress is far more beneficial than instant results in a multitude of ways. Though it may be difficult to feel it right now despite knowing it on an intellectual level, if we keep reminding ourselves of why it’s better to go slow, our subconscious minds will begin to embrace this truth and make it a part of our reality.
Slow Progress Means Presence
“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast — you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” — Eddie Cantor
We can’t be fully here in this moment when we’re constantly obsessing over the progress we wish we could’ve made by now and possibly dabbling in negative self-talk for not getting there yet. We are all where we are supposed to be right now, and slowing things down to focus on the present allows us to ground ourselves back where we belong.
Slow and Steady Makes Habits Stick
“Those that are most slow in making a promise are the most faithful in the performance of it.” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Long-term goal achievement is often the result of many, many days of doing the same thing over and over while becoming incrementally better at it. If we were rewarded with the achievement of our goal too soon, we likely wouldn’t know how to sustain it or even top that goal because we wouldn’t have developed the habits we need to ultimately keep it going.
Going Slow Offers Greater Opportunity for Growth
“Progress of the best kind, is comparatively slow. Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.” — Samuel Smiles
The reason why slow progress is often the best progress is because it puts the focus on learning. As we embrace learning by taking things slow, we improve our chances of being able to handle potential obstacles and setbacks, which in turn helps us grow to become more resilient.
Greater Awareness Comes from Taking Things Slow
“Let thy step be slow and steady, that thou stumble not.” — Ieyasu Tokugawa
Though obstacles and setbacks are pretty much guaranteed in almost anyone’s journey toward a long-term goal, going slowly at least allows us to minimize them by giving us the time we need to expand our awareness and understand what’s really going on. If we rush through things too fast, we may end up missing something important that could cost us.
There’s no shame in progressing toward your big goals slowly. Embrace the journey, because you will undoubtedly gain invaluable inner strength by pressing on.