Slow and Steady Wins the Race – Post from Nabila

Hi all – This is a post from Nabila who is currently on the road so she asked me to post this for her. It gives a perspective of how we really should slow down in life and sometimes rushing through things only causes more and more frustration. It’s a great read, be sure to like or comment on the post if you agree!

So, currently, I’m adjusting to my Fall semester after a grueling Summer II, and, while I’m excited about the new start, I’m a little frustrated with how little time I have to myself. It’s just rush rush rush all the time! The added stress is causing me to notice little things about myself that I didn’t see before though.

Let me paint you this picture.

I’m taking this Ceramics course for an elective, and I’m having a bit of trouble. This is me we’re talking about! Artsy, Type-A personality, creative as heck. Last week, when I was trying to throw this cylinder, I wasted about 10 lbs of clay in one day. NO SUCCESS WHATSOEVER. I can’t seem to pull that clay open without it falling apart! My professor is standing there at the front of the classroom watching me get more and more frustrated with every ball of clay I attempt with. He finally walks over and stands behind me while I’m on my 9th attempt. Patiently, he waits until that one breaks, too, and says “stop,” in the calmest voice imaginable. Here I am, irritated, about to start cursing, and this guy is completely composed and complacent. Seriously, I’m about to have a fit at this point. He tells me to do it again, to go through all the steps, so I do, and once again, it breaks. He’s still standing over my shoulder, as quiet as can be. He gives me the simplest bit of advice then. “slow down,” and walks away. Sure, at that moment, I was annoyed and frustrated and it was the last thing I wanted to hear. But, after I was done with class for the day and I was driving home, I took some time to think about what he said and the way he acted to my exasperation at my failed attempts.

Looking at my life, I’ve always been a pretty high-strung person with very little free time. I always take on more than I can chew and power through it anyway. I never stop to take a breather, and I, definitely, never slow down. Honestly, that bit of advice from my professor was a huge eye opener for me. I realized that slowing down was something I needed to do in every aspect of my life. I need to learn the importance of discipline in that respect. Patience is definitely not my strongest quality, and it’s about time I learn it.

Although, I still haven’t learned to throw a cylinder, I have learned that I need to stop, breath, and find my composure from time to time. I feel like we’re all so busy in our lives that we never stop or slow down for anything. We always justify it by saying we don’t have the time. Really, I don’t think that’s true. Sure, we all have expectations to uphold and quotas to fulfill, but isn’t it completely possible that if we stopped and took some time to rationally plot it all out, that our lives would be less stressful? Sure, a fast pace may allow us to finish things in a more immediate fashion, but if there’s not a deadline, why not just be slow and steady? Burning yourself out is not productivity; it’s undoubtedly detrimental to your mental state. It’ll only cause problems in the long run, some associated with stress levels and health, and other problems associated with the quality of the work. Working too fast leaves too much room for mistake.

So, here’s my simple advice for the day, slow down. Slow and steady always wins the race.

The Lermz

Michael Lerma graduated the University of Notre Dame in 2009 with an Information Technology Management degree. He is currently a senior Project Manager with the Nielsen Company.

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