The benefit of being slow. One of the things i learn earlier in life is to keep learning until you master it. This takes discipline and determination. Also, it requires a target. But i find that this is one of the many virtues lacking in our society these days.

We live in a fast-paced society. Everything is about speed and achieving something in fast. Instant gratification (this term is used to express the want for immediate desire. the opposite for this is delayed gratification-which i truly believed in). Doesn’t matter if its nurturing love, making money, progressing in career, learning a new skill, shopping and taking care of our health. Where is the joy if we have sex on the second day of relationship, when we don’t even know our partner? What is the point of having USD 2million in your account when you can’t even budget for USD 2000? If you can’t manage your own work, do u think you can handle managing a team? When you see a new bag advertisement & you immediately buy it, what is the feeling after you get the bag? Well, for all of these scenarios, the feeling is the same. You will experience instant euphoria. Something like a climax, like a drug boost. And you will like it, but the feeling will fade off so quickly, an anti-climax will follow. I know many shoppers getting addicted to such feeling and purchase one item after another to keep getting the climax feeling. I don’t think they understand what is happening to their emotion. To be frank, it is like guys going for prostitute. Instant high and you can get addicted to doing that, yet after a while, if you rationalized, you will feel depressed and know that you are wasting your life away.

Slow & steady wins the race. This phrase can be truly applied in life if you understand the intrinsic meaning to it. We must take it slow but steady. We must always be making progress and we must constantly monitor our progress. I am aware that you believed in this too, W. Many Indonesian too. This is a good value. But please remember, that this is still a race. There are others, you are competing with and you must have an end point. It is easy to blindly follow this and keep doing the same thing without much progress. For example, you can take on a job and keep doing it to learn everything about the job. You see some got promoted to manager but not doing a great job. Because they are not ready to be promoted. So, taking this into account, you try to learn what is required to be a manager, even when you are not the manager yet. Also, you also notice how others have progress in their career. Remember, you are still competing with others. If you have someone joining the company same time as you are, and he is already a senior manager, then something is wrong with you. You should not aim to be higher than him, but you must at least follow up with him (manager maybe?).

This competitive spirit is very important in our society and must never be taken lightly. That is how human progress in a society. If we never compete & progress, we will never have big buildings, aeroplanes and probably still live in cave! Yet, we compete in a way that we are ready. If you have spend your heart & mind to learn something for a couple of years, then you must be willing to accept a bigger responsibility to lead. Even in school we learn this. For example, if a boy is smart in class, he will automatically be ranked high in grades. And if your son join the same class as this boy, yet your son is only number 24 while the boy is number 5, what do you say to your son? You must motivate him to compete with the boy. You have to let him understand that if the boy can do it, so can he. Also, if the boy keeps getting good ranking, and your son keeps getting bad ranking, then you know your son is not focus & not learning well. I use to get good ranking in class from 7 years old to 15 years old. I am pretty smart and I being ranked high, I must do my best to maintain my ranking. It’s an ego thing. I thought it is cool to be known as the smart kid πŸ™‚

Yet, during 16 years old, my grades degraded. From being the top ten in class, I was ranked 25+ that year. I was so embarrassed. I know I was not studying very hard but it is really embarrassing for me because I was always known to be the smart kid. Nobody was expecting that I can fall so many ranks. Also, that year, many surpassed me in the ranking. Even those I was felt not as smart as I am. I was humiliated. And so, I worked really hard after and got back what I truly deserved. I top my whole school graduating at 17 years old. Then I got into uni.

You see, its important to compete. In those days, I was studying in normal public school. In Malaysia, the Chinese tend to do better in school than the Malay. For some reason, they lack the competitive spirit and don’t really see the need to have a good education to advanced in society. Their parents also don’t really push their kid to excel in school. This, I really cannot accept. I understand that we must take it easy in life but to be honest, I don’t think any religion or culture teaches anyone to be lazy and relax in life. While we are still active and have the energy, we must contribute to the society. And to do that, we must create something or prove our worth to the world. For example, if you are really good at football, you must trained very hard and show the world how good you are. By doing that, you inspire others to live a more fulfilling life.

What does a race really mean? A race also means that there will be a finishing line. Bearing that in mind, we must put our targets along the way. In my school case, my finishing line is at 17 years old, when I top my class to graduate. Same in a career. We must put an achievable target in our career race. I plan to be a senior manager in my current company by 35 years old. We must also put a target in everything we do. We cannot just blindly do something without an aim. If so, we will be just like a zombie, doing the same thing over & over again without aim or progress. Achievable targets such as, I plan to have USD 10,000 in my account by 35 years old or I plan to send all my kids to university or I plan to be able to help my husband by handling every family matters by myself.

Remember, be discipline (keep repeating the same thing), be persistent (never give up), be competitive (use others as benchmark) and set achievable targets. This is what a life race is about.

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