Slow is the New Fast

Speed isn’t fast. In a world filled, even obsessed with immediacy, we invariably miss the nuances of maturity, growth, and mindful presence — that is often required to fully embrace the experiences we are having.

Rushing through something, doesn’t make it come quicker, but rather you find, that while you may get to the goal post, you got there with half the pieces of the puzzle missing.

For example. I am a jiu-jitsu black belt. I never expected to become one. I got on the mat daily, rain or shine, and practiced. Some days were amazing, many days weren’t. I don’t believe I ever had much talent rolling around with sweaty people on the ground, but I kept at it. In fact, my realisation has been, that on those many ‘slow’ days when I hated jiu-jitsu — were the days where I learned the most. Not so much about my technique, but rather who I was as a person, what I was made off, and what I could become.

As I slowly plodded along, getting the next stripe, or the next belt, wasn’t as important to how I grew each and every day as a person on the mat. The process was slow and painful. Every time I tried to speed up my progress, the more holes appeared in my game. These gaps, were not always technical, but rather inner gaps, that needed time to be worked through.

I write this because, training with me is slow. There’s a reason it’s slow. There’s a reason I want people to take their time. In almost all cases, the outcome is someone who becomes well rounded, not just physically on the mat, but as a person. Time on the mat, allows them to work off, to file away, their edges that have held them back from becoming a success in their life, in their career, and even in their relationships with other people.

As my student, you can go elsewhere, and taking what we gave you, and race through the stripes and belts with someone else as I saw a person did today. We clearly did a good job coaching you. You were only able to do so, because how we trained you. But as soon as you forget that, and step on the gas, you will leave all that deep work behind you. You may get better physically, and tap the people out that you want to tap out, but in the end, you will find that you moved with so much speed, that a little pebble in your path, has the potential to throw a submission on you that you have no counter for.

As Sun Tzu stated,

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”

Or in the words of Tolstoy,

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”

And one more for the road….

“If a warrior is to succeed at anything, the success must come gently, with a great deal of effort but with no stress or obsession.” — Carlos Castaneda

Photo courtesy of Vernon Reed