Why going slow is good even if the others around you going fast?
How going fast can slow you down and how going slow can get you ahead of others?
You need to slow things down to make your journey to your goals smoother.
In this podcast, you will know some of the scientific and historical studies that show that why and when you need to go slow.
By the end, you are going to learn how the top performers don’t manage their time but manage their energy.
Do you know who reached the south pole first?
There were two men who were racing to reach the south pole in Antarctica in 1911. One was Roald Amundsen from Norway and another one was Robert Scott from the UK. They both were leading their teams. In fact, both reached the south pole. But Roald Amundsen reached 34 days before Robert Scott.
But there was a tragedy.
Robert Scott and his 4 teammates died on the return journey. They were only about 18kms from their food depot. They both were equally determined to reach their targets but their strategies were different. Scott took ponies for the journey and because ponies can not sustain cold, he had to wait for the weather to get warmer. He also used 3 motor sledges but they broke down. Also, they did not get enough food and nutrition, and due to the deficiency of Vitamin C, they suffered from scurvy disease.
Amundsen was clever.
He used dogs on the journey because dogs can sustain more cold. Amundsen left 11 days earlier than Scott. Instead of relying on vehicles, he made sure that his team knows how to ski well. On the contrary to Scott’s team, Amundsen’s team gained weight.
What made Amundsen reach faster?
Amundsen was moving 24-30 kms a day at a constant speed. He didn’t move further even if the weather condition is good. On the other hand, Scott was travelling more in a day when the weather was good but he travelled for amount 70 kms a day. As a result, the ponies were getting tired and could not travel more the next day due to tiredness. So, sometimes Scott was covering really long distance and sometimes he could not cover much distance. So, his pace was fast but inconsistent. Amundsen’s pace was slower but consistent.
In this short podcast episode, we are going to find out why should you go at a slower pace.
Not only going slow is smooth. Your smooth pace will eventually get you ahead of others. This is what you can learn from the American Navy Seal, which is one of the best special armies. They never run. They move ahead firmly but slowly and achieve their target a lot quicker. It’s a lot quicker than other army troops who have to sprint around.
There is a piece of complete baseless advice thrown away by some motivational speakers and business coaches.
They ask to grow 5X-10X. Get unlimited leads. Get 100s of clients. We are programmed to believe that we have to grow faster and faster than anyone else. We are always asked to run faster and faster. Eventually, we end up who we talked about like Scott in pursuit of reaching the south pole. We don’t have to set a too high target that drains us.
There is a famous example shared by Jim Collins.
In his book ‘Great By Choice’, Jim Collins shared a good example. In the 1980s, the computer chip maker AMD set a very bold target of achieving growth by 60%. To get that goal, they borrowed heavily. They thought that everything will work well if we keep running around as per the plan.
But many times, the plans go wrong.
They didn’t achieve according to their plan and they had to pay off the debt quickly. The debt was mounting fast too and exponentially. Instead of 60% growth, they were burdened with a lot of liabilities. They nearly got bankrupted. Finally, the firm and steady and slow player in the market called ‘Intel’ took over the company who was going fast but was out of control.
So the question is, should you go faster or slower?
Well, it’s kind of a mix of both. Let’s understand. In the world war, Hitler used the Blitzkrieg strategy. It means, attack in a short time and extremely powerfully. It gave no time to the enemy to respond. Going fast is beneficial but it’s not useful in the longer run. Because it consumes a lot of energy. And as a result, even a smaller mistake can cost you a lot and completely get you off the road.
You can rush but strategically.
Hitler knew it so he used the blitzkrieg technique to get in the enemy zone to destroy them. Along with that, he also had a cauldron battle strategy. It means, covering the smaller group of enemies when they are on backfoot. This cauldron battle strategy is going slow and steady. Now, should you go at a slow pace or fast pace? Let’s find out.
Marathon runners know it well.
In a marathon, the runner needs to learn to pace themselves. They need to keep a constant speed even if they don’t feel tired. They have to control their temptation or urge to go faster.
During the training period, they need to understand their body.
They are told to slow down when they get exhausted. They are supposed to run without huffing and puffing. They have to go slower than their best speed. Their training is interesting and can be applied in our life too. During the training, the new runners are asked to run their first mile as fast as they can. Then, they are asked to run 2 to 3 minutes slower than their fastest pace.
You can apply the same formula.
You need to go slower than your best speed or top-most speed. It means, doing things without struggle and pain. Good team leaders and business people, always plan for more time for their work and project than it requires. It helps them and their team to maintain their energy and don’t get exhausted.
So, let’s summarise in short.
We don’t have to run around faster than we can. It will burn you out. Even a small mistake can put you in big trouble if you are rushing to get to your target. Go ahead like the American navy seals. You will go far with a steady consistent pace. If you rush, rush and rush just because some motivational speaker told you to do so, you will be tired and have no energy left to get you back on track.
You need to know your highest pace.
Then you need to slow down from your highest pace. Know your capabilities and manage your energy. Top performers don’t manage their time but manage their energy.
Read next: What should you do to pay complete attention to your work?
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