Over dinner on Tuesday, I said, “I worry that we’re trying to go too quickly for us to actually go fast.”
A few weeks ago one of my co-workers replied to email asking when something was going to be done with a saying from his wilderness first aid instructor: “Slow is steady. Steady is fast.”
Which meant that when I ran across the Latin adage festina lente — “make haste slowly” — I was ready to hear it. I had encountered it before, but this time I was listening.
When I get frustrated at the apparently slow pace of my progress on various things, I remind myself that I’m trying to be the Tortoise, not the Hare. Sure, I could write the code faster if I didn’t have to write the tests first, but it would take me longer to get that code working. Of course, I could skip the editing pass on some piece of my writing, but that would mean missing opportunities to make both the piece and myself better. Yes, I could move on to reading the next book in my professional development queue sooner if I didn’t have to go back and take notes on the current one, but then the ideas wouldn’t get as implanted in my head. It comes down to the notion that if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
And in the end, that’s where the real speed is.