This week I want to share with you a post I originally wrote a couple of years ago about changing your lifestyle, but it applies equally well to your approach to your home business. It is an alternative view of a children’s story we have all heard before, just from a different viewpoint, as I believe you can take a lot more from this story than we originally thought…
The hare and the tortoise (or how confidence can become arrogance!)
Once upon a time there was a hare who was always boasting how he could run faster than anyone else and was always teasing others for their slowness, in particular the tortoise.
Whilst the hare was wrong for boasting and teasing, it does show that he had both the knowledge and ability to run fast, which equates to him having the confidence to win the race.
One day, the tortoise became so annoyed at this teasing he answered back, saying that despite being undeniable that the hare was fast, even he could be beaten.
The tortoise had the perception that all boastful people actually have no ability. Since perception is reality and the tortoise knew how to run (albeit slow), he therefore believed he could actually beat the hare, as to him he was clearly just boasting.
This of course made the hare squeal with laughter. In his mind this was physically not possible and essentially a laughable idea.
Since the hare was full of confidence, even the idea of failure was laughable as he didn’t even recognise it as a possibility.
Then the tortoise explained that he meant ‘HE’ could beat the hare in a race!
This displayed the ‘confidence’ that the tortoise had which was based on his reality and this was based on his perception of the hare.
Amazed by this, the hare boldly exclaimed that there’s nobody in the world that could win against him and to prove his point, the tortoise should try.
Once again, the hare’s confidence was unshakable, so he was happy for the challenge.
Naturally the tortoise was annoyed by such bragging and so happily accepted the challenge.
Due to his ‘confidence’ in being able to beat the hare, the tortoise was also happy for the challenge.
The next morning they stood at the starting line of the pre-planned course. Since to the hare, this would be a simple task, he hadn’t paid much thought to the whole idea and therefore just yawned sleepily as the race started and the tortoise slowly set off.
In his head, the hare already ‘knew’ the outcome of the race and so was not concerned that the tortoise had started and was well on his way. To him the actual race was more of a formality and so had no urgency to start. Since the hare didn’t feel challenged, he became complacent.
When the hare saw how slow his rival was, he decided to have a quick nap. After all, there was no initial rush and so he shouted to the tortoise to take his time and he’ll see him at the finish.
This was the first mistake. The decision to have a sleep showed pure complacency. Whilst he may have been confident of the outcome, this was definitely a wrong move. There is no place for complacency in life.
A short while later, the hare woke suddenly from a deep sleep and looked around for the tortoise. To his surprise he was only a short distance away, having barely covered a third of the course.
The fact that the hare woke suddenly, indicated that his subconscious was trying to tell him to get on with it and stop being complacent!
Sighing with relief, the hare decided he might as well have breakfast too and so went to munch on some lettuces he had noticed nearby.
Big mistake number two! This was a clear example of how complacency leads to arrogance. Despite the internal warnings, the hare continued with his existing belief that he would always win.
However the huge amount of lettuce he ate and the warm weather made him very sleepy. With no more than a careless glance in the direction of the tortoise (now just halfway along the course), he decided to have another sleep. After all, he could easily wake up in a while and then get to the finish ahead of the tortoise in a blaze of glory. Confident of this, he immediately fell asleep.
The hare was now on a roll of bad decisions. If the initial sleep and eating weren’t bad enough, this second sleep was just ridiculous. Arrogance had now completely taken over his decision process, which led him to make his worst error.
The evening started to set in and finally, the tortoise who had been plodding slowly towards the finish since the morning, was almost at the finish.
Whilst the hare’s attitude had changed from confident, through complacent and then to arrogant, ironically so had the tortoise. This was because he was also certain that he would win and now he actually was winning. This confirmed his original belief that he was right all along and so the tortoise actually went from confident directly to arrogant, bypassing complacent.
At that very point, the hare suddenly woke up and he could see the tortoise as a tiny speck in the in the distance. He quickly leapt up and hurried at super-fast speed towards the finish line, with no thought at all that he would not make it in time and win. He was breathing hard and gasping for breath and knew that with just a little more effort he would be the first to the finish.
Once again, the hare’s subconscious kicked him awake, but this time it was too late. He still knew he would win, as after all that was a fact wasn’t it? However, knowing this and looking at the situation ahead of him, he knew exactly what he needed to do and so finally stopped messing around and with a laser like focus, he raced towards the finish.
However, despite the hare’s last efforts, he was just too late, as the tortoise had beaten him to the finish line.
This increased the arrogance and smugness of the tortoise as he was definitely right all along and introduced an unknown feeling to the hare; the feeling of defeat. Despite not being the real reason that he won this now confirmed to the tortoise that being slow and steady was the best way and so there would never be any need to ever change.
The hare was devastated at the loss of such an easy race. He was tired and in disgrace slumped down next to the tortoise who started to smile. It was now his turn to look smug as he said to the hare; ‘slowly does it every time’.
The devastation of the hare only fueled the arrogance and smugness of the tortoise, enough to say as much to the hare. However whilst feeling so deflated, the hare had learnt a valuable lesson on humility. The errors the hare made in his complacency (and later arrogance), would lead him to re-consider this approach and act differently next time. The tortoise however continued with his unchallenging approach to life, where he never broke free of mediocrity and just settled for life as it is.
The original moral of the story was that slow and steady will always win. However by examining the story in a different way, we have seen that by having the confidence in ourselves that we can accomplish something, it will actually serve us better in life, by removing any stress over whether or not we will succeed. By removing the possibility of not succeeding, we can achieve great things. However (and this is a massive however), we have to be extremely careful not to overshoot confidence into complacency and worse still, arrogance. As we saw, this was the downfall of the hare and led to his failure to win a race that he knew he could easily win. Confidence can become arrogance and this line is often blurred by complacency, so be VERY careful.
In summary we can take something very important from this story. Slow and steady is certainly a valid way to move through life as many people do. However if want to achieve great things and live life without the worry or stress of failure, we should embrace our abilities and realise that we do have confidence in many areas of our lives and we can easily build on this to make the changes we need to achieve the goals we desire.
So are you the tortoise, or the hare?
I hope that you have got some value out of this post and if so, please share with your team or anybody else that you feel may find it useful.
Making your success my goal!
All the best
Home Business Leader
Paddock Wood, UK