Abe Lincoln claims he would never moonwalk

Okay okay, here’s what Honest Abe actually said:

“I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.”

Close enough, no?

Well anyway, this quote reminds me of another – “Slow and steady wins the race.”

Both of which are WAY outside of my reality, and that’s not good!

This has always been a challenge for me, ever since I can remember actually. I was the daredevil kid who never declined a dare. At last count (about 10 years ago) I had over 300 scars on my body…war wounds of a kid with something to prove. Now they just look bad. I was not walking slowly, I was sprinting.

I started 5 businesses in 5 years, putting everything I had and everything I could borrow into each one of them. After the first few failed I figured I should probably learn a little more about running a business, so I got an MBA while staring a new business and trying to keep another afloat. I accumulated over $100,000 in debt. I was not walking slowly, I was sprinting.

At the present moment I work 3 jobs plus the occasional side jobs when I can get them so that I can pay off my debt and start anew. I’ve been working 6-7 days a week since the beginning of the year. I have no social life. I have not been walking slowly, I have been sprinting.

I sprint full speed ahead, then I fall. Then I get up and sprint full speed ahead, then fall again. Get up, full speed ahead, fall. Up, Speed, Fall. Abraham Lincoln might even say that I’m actually walking backward, and I’d have to agree. I’ve been walking backward for a long time.

I don’t know how to just walk forward. It seems so boring to me, so tedious. Why cover all the bases when I can sprint and pick up the pieces along the way? Oh yeah, I’m too busy to pick up the pieces and they end up on the sidelines, building on top of one another until they reach a tipping point and all fall down on my head! I think it might be a good idea to try walking for a while :-)

Do you have any suggestions for me? Are you the same way or are you a natural walker? Please let me know in the comments below.

  • http://socialhospitality.com Debbie

    Great post, Jeff. I’m not sure if I fall into the “too fast” or “too slow” category, I think maybe both depending on the specific circumstances, but I really liked the distinction you made about going fast then falling vs just going at a steady pace continuously.

    I think, to a degree, everyone has a natural inkling to move quickly and get to wherever it is they’re headed. There’s things all humans, or at least most, crave, like success, happiness, financial stability, etc., and “running” toward the means of attaining those goals (along with reaching them sooner rather than later) is part of human nature. That said, as you pointed out, moving too fast can actually lead to greater setbacks than had someone been moving at a more steady pace.

    You’ve already taken the first major step to making the transition in your life — you’ve acknowledged the “problem” (moving too fast) and admitted you have it. The next step, then, I believe, as was emphasized in some book I read (Art of Power, or some such? :)) would be to be MINDFUL of decisions, of major life choices, rather than to jumping into things quickly. Spontaneity is great in many regard, but when it comes to major shifts, forethought is necessary and valuable.

    Once you’ve developed the habit of being mindful whenever brainstorming a major decision, it should effortless to do that for future ones, and you should be able to ease your hectic pace through life.

    • http://www.kaizenways.com Jeff Friend

      Wow Debbie, thank you for this wonderful comment! You’re so right about mindfulness. I will be sure to bring myself back to being mindful when making larger decisions. When I think of being mindful, I think of being in the present moment (and not in the clouds, where my 2nd home is!). I appreciate your time Debbie.

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