You know the story, but they didn’t tell you what you really need to know.
They say the story is about speed. The hare was fast, they say it could have won the race. They say it should have won the race.
Instead, it gets caught up ridiculing the tortoise, until it falls asleep waiting for the tortoise.
And so the tortoise wins because it just kept going despite the ridicule.
Slow and Steady Wins The Race
That’s what they say is the moral of this tale. But that’s wrong, because it’s not true.
Slow and steady doesn’t win the race.
Usain Bolt wins because he is the fastest, so let’s forget that nonsense, and let’s look at the deeper allegory instead:
The hare’s objective was not to win the race.
The hare thought his objective was to beat the tortoise.
The hare loses the race because he simply did not play the game right: He thought the game was the tortoise.
But the tortoise’s objective was to cross the finish line.
The tortoise won because he was playing the game correctly. To the tortoise, the game was to cross the finish line, and the hare was just something that danced around him as he did so.
There’s a big difference between playing for your opponent and playing for the goal.
Sometimes we get tangled up, fall asleep, or grow frustrated because the tortoise is so slow. But the tortoise is another way of saying "this is the way the race is played."
Process focused toward the finish line.
Distraction and energy mis-directed at the process.
You can be like the hare and mock the steps it takes, keep your back turned to the goal while jumping all around the process, taunting it until you have forgotten it completely.
Or, you can be more like the tortoise by respecting the race itself, knowing your goal, and moving one step in front of the next. The quicker the better.
The hare can never win the race, because the hare wants to beat the tortoise, not win the race.
The tortoise can never lose the race, because the tortoise wants to cross the finish line.
The Journey Continues