“Direction is more important than speed. It doesn’t matter how fast you’re going if you are headed off a cliff”. - Darren Hardy
Do you know where you are heading for?
In other words, do you have clear goals, a clear picture of what you want out of your life?
Or, do you live your life hoping that all of a sudden it changes for the better by itself?
We live in a world where everything goes quickly - the pace of life is getting faster and faster - and too many people end up going nowhere.
How often do you feel busy or in a hurry?
How often do you feel you have done a lot, yet, not reaping the rewards you wished?
Often, I guess.
In today’s society, most people run through their days without achieving anything.
They are swamped with so many commitments that they don’t know or they forget what they want out of their lives.
They carry out so many activities and get so many tasks done.
But, are those activities and tasks giving them the life they want?
Are they going in the right direction?
The more I speak to people, the more I realize that most of them are not satisfied with their lives.
It follows that they are not heading in the right direction.
Despite that, they continue undeterred taking the same line of actions.
They try to get even more things done in a short period of time.
What a shame! They don’t realize that by taking this approach they get farther away from the life they dream about.
“The first step toward change is awareness. If you want to get from where you are to where you want to be, you have to start by becoming aware of the choices that lead you away from your desired destination”. - Darren Hardy, The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success
So the first thing you must be aware of is the direction you are going.
Once you have figured it out, you must be honest and ask yourself a few questions:
“Am I willing to pay the price to achieve my goals”?
“Am I going to be patient and put in the work no matter how long it’s going to take to achieve my goals”?
“Am I willing to invest months or even years to achieve my goals”?
You see, in a world of instant gratification, we have been brainwashed into believing that everything happens straightaway.
Yet, it’s not the case with success!
The most important things in life require an awful lot of time to achieve.
Whether it is a strong and positive relationship, a successful business, or the physical shape you are dreaming to achieve, it takes time.
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years”. - Bill Gates
Bottom line: no matter what you want in your life, it takes time to achieve it. Furthermore, no matter what speed you go, if you head in the wrong direction, you get nowhere.
How can you hit your target if you cannot see it?
Let me put it this way:
Let’s imagine you were to compete with the number one archer in the world. Who is going to hit the bullseye? You or “Robinhood”?
Certainly not you!
But, what happens if we blindfolded him and then spun him around so that he would not know what direction he was facing?
You would beat him! Why? Because you could see the target, while he wouldn’t.
Can you see how important knowing the direction you are heading for is?
Let me stress another time how direction wins over speed through a story.
I guess you have already come across the following Aesop's famous fable.
Anyway, here is my own version of it.
LESSON FROM A TORTOISE: SLOW AND STEADY YOU WIN THE RACE
Once upon a time, in a forest, there lived a hare who boasted about how fast he was.
He used to make fun of his mate, the tortoise.
“You are the slowest animal in the wood, you are not even able to complete a race, let alone win it”, said the conceited hare.
“How full of yourself! Be careful, you might meet a sticky end!”, the tortoise replied.
“How silly! Let’s compete and see who wins, the fastest or slowest animal in the forest”, said the cocky hare.
The tortoise accepted the challenge. All the animals in the forest gathered to watch the extraordinary event.
The old wise owl was the judge of the race.
“Ready, steady, go!”, shouted the owl and the race started.
The hare was soon far out of sight, and it didn't take him long to reach a fork in the road.
The hare was running at maximum speed, so he didn’t notice the signs.
He took the left road and kept running as fast as he could.
Meanwhile, the tortoise reached the fork proceeding slowly but steadily.
At the fork, he stopped and read the sign saying: “keep right to get to the finish line”.
At sunset, the tortoise crossed the finish line and won the race.
The fast hare, who had ended up in the wrong direction, got lost and never crossed the finish line.
It doesn’t matter how fast you are, if you are going in the wrong direction you’ll never end up anywhere.
Just because you are moving at a high rate of speed, it doesn’t mean you are moving toward your intended destination.
What are you going to do?
Are you going to figure out the right direction and go slowly, but steadily like the tortoise?
Or, are you going to keep heading in the wrong direction, speeding up your pace and getting lost like the hare?
Don’t start your day in a hurry. Take the time to set your daily goals.
Start every day knowing what action will make the difference to get you a tiny bit closer to the life you want.
Be intentional in everything you do!
Ask yourself: “What is the most important thing that, once done, will propel me closer to my goal”?
Remember: If you're going in the right direction and you don't stop you'll eventually achieve your goals.
You’ll realize that slowly, but steadily, you have won the race.
It's as simple as that, yet, a few people put it into practice.
Make sure you are heading towards your goals by evaluating every week both the mistakes and the progress you have made.
Look at what actions you have taken and the choices you have made, and make the necessary adjustments for the following week.
Do the same at the end of each month.
Reset your GPS continuously so that you don’t get lost, and you can get to your destination instead.
“Fixing your objective is like identifying the North Star: you sight your compass on it and then use it as the means of getting back on track when you stray”. - Marshall Dimock
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6 thoughts on “WHY YOUR DIRECTION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR SPEED”
Wonderful post Christian, and a great reminder for me right now as I am trying build up my classes , It can be frustrating as we want big results or huge success overnight based on the work and effort and passion we put in..
However this expectation of ourselves and I guess others is wrong.
Things take time and as long as we keep putting in the work with the same passion and determination then we will win.
If you are heading in the right direction and you take one small step every day, it’s only a matter of time, sooner or later you’ll get where you want to be.
Keep up the good work Christine and keep put into it your passion and determination and then as you said you’ll win the race of life, you’ll achieve your goals 😉
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Thanks, Mikolaj for sharing it! It’s a beautiful way to express the concept illustrates in the post:)
“If you do not know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere”. – Henry Kissinger
I like the way you write, Christian! It is very clear and direct.
Thanks, Claire! I hope this post also lets you think of the direction you have taken to make sure you are on the right one.
As I stressed in the post, it doesn’t matter how fast you are going if you are heading in the wrong direction. So, let’s make sure we are heading towards our goal, and let’s have a check-in with ourselves regularly to keep moving towards the life we dream about.