So, we all know the old tale of the tortoise and the hare. The moral drawn from it is that a slow and steady pace is better than being fast, cocky, and irresponsible.
But I’m not sure racing is a great analogy for life.
After all, we’re only in a race if we decide to be. If all we want is to get to a certain place, it’s no matter whether someone else got there first (invention of weapons and cancer cures excepted).
A slow and steady approach is completely valid.
In Finding Your Own North Star, one of my favorite authors, Martha Beck, reveals how she wrote her doctoral dissertation at one of the busiest points in her life by working on it for fifteen minutes a day.
On the other hand, a beloved coach friend, Susie deVille of The Innovation and Creativity Institute, has spent years exploring and imparting the value of play in getting to your goals more quickly and with more joy.
So, the hare’s approach of running his tail off and stopping to smell the flowers and take a nap doesn’t seem like such a bad idea in that light.
This year, I did much of my business planning at my favorite Korean spa. A little hot tub, a little P&L, a bit of crystal bathing, a bit of product ideation. It was lovely.
One of the gems that came out of the play approach Susie inspired me to take is that I am writing more to you, dear reader! I love this kind of communication as much as being a career storytelling ghost writer.
But what about that running your tail off bit? If you take that approach, how do you stay focused and get as much done as possible?
I like the Wild Donkey technique, a la Leonie Dawson. Pick the thing you want to do and hold onto it like a dog with a bone until it’s done.
I know, the animal metaphors abound. I’m okay with that.
Most of what holds us back are the same things that make us “civilized.” Hello, that’s why it’s a wild donkey you’re riding!
Pro tip: you can take all of these approaches, according to who you are and what the urgency of the project is. I’ve been working on a novel for a few months now, and I write a little bit every day. It feels good to watch that word count grow. On the other hand, I’m rolling out something BIG for YOU—democratizing career storytelling. It’s been in the works for a while, but now it’s just down to editing the videos so I can share them with you.
It’s wild donkey time for me!
What are you working on? How will you get it done?
From all of me to all of you,
P.S. Be careful riding those wild donkeys. Too many in a row without some rest and play will make you an unhappy rider. Watch here for more on balance and why you deserve rest and nourishment between the big pushes.