We often underestimate the power of slow, precise movement. Turtles, for example, reach their destinations safely not with speed, but with caution and patience. So why shouldn’t we do the same?
There is an old Chinese proverb that states, “It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.”
And, as Gandhi once wisely said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”
Because sometimes life seems set to “fast forward” – we dash from one activity to the next with no chance to stop and breathe. Fortunately, we can stop the cycle whenever we want to.
As John De Paola writes, “Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.”
We just need to give it all a moment to circle back to us, and then we’ll see how effortless life can truly be.
In fact, patience can reward us in more ways than one. Another famous Chinese proverb says, “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape one hundred days of sorrow.”
Teachers as wise as Lao Tzu have extolled the virtues of patience – “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”
And inspiring people like Helen Keller have told us how patience in difficult times positively shapes one’s life – “We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.”
And ultimately, patience can be the answer to all the riddles our brain tries to solve each and every day of our lives. Says William Burroughs, “Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.”
So the formula is simple: go slow, go with the flow, and be like a tiny turtle – with lots of small steps in the right direction.