When You Want to Make Progress Fast and Feel Impatient

Posted by on January 18, 2020 in Conscious Evolution, Conscious Living with 0 Comments

Image Credit: Tiny Buddha

By Megan Schowalter | Tiny Buddha

“Tortoise was over the line. After that, Hare always reminded himself, ‘Don’t brag about your lightning pace, for Slow and Steady won the race!‘“ ~The Tortoise and the Hare (Aesop’s Fables)

I was sitting in an introduction to calligraphy workshop when a fellow student asked the instructor, “What do I need to become a professional Calligrapher, what would it take?”


We were all on the edge of our seats with that one. It was as if we were about to learn the secret ingredient to Grandma’s cookies.

The answer, to our surprise, was pen and paper.

“The materials are no different than that of a novice calligrapher,” the instructor explained.

The distinction between a novice and professional calligrapher is not in the tools they use, but rather in the professional’s commitment to practice, their pace, and the time they took to learn and do something.

The same goes for any professional at their craft.

I recalled a time when I was on a cruise ship and saw all these tourists with huge camera lenses and gadgets for their cameras. I was incredibly impressed and at times intimidated with their gear as I would hold up my own iPhone to snap a quick picture.

After a while of being on board, you get to know one another well. I realized that despite their top tier lens, basically all of their cameras were set in auto mode.


What good is such an advanced lens when you don’t know how to use it?

They had gone from zero to one hundred with no practice, no skills acquired, just fancier devices.

This lesson on the professional calligrapher has always intrigued me.

When we look up to the expert, we assume that increasing the quality of materials or having access to nicer resources is what makes them great. This assumption overlooks the time it would have taken them to learn something new and to achieve their goal.

Instead, we want to cut corners and are looking for the shortcut. We want to make progress as soon as possible, perhaps because we feel behind in life and think we need to hurry to get ahead, or because we think we’ll be happier when we reach our goal.

Cutting corners is not a strategy that necessarily benefits us. It’s a way for us to be more useful and readily available to others, get more things done, and exhibit productivity.

Our concern for positive feedback and acceptance by others keeps us from taking the time to experience something thoroughly for ourselves, just because we enjoy it or are curious about it.

Just because.

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