Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid of standing still.
Perseverance is arguably the defining trait of a hard-working, driven individual. He does not put in the hard yards and then relax, hoping for the results to sustain themselves; he keeps at it, adopting a proactive approach even as most others prefer to let things take care of themselves.
You see, the fear of failing or of our success not being on a par with our expectations is often more overwhelming than the drive to put in consistent efforts. This is especially true of those who want quick, unrealistic results. Most of us tend to give up or lose hope when our efforts do not yield immediate results, dismissing them as a failed attempt. For many, this translates as a series of multiple attempts, none of which is given ample time to bear fruit. Such lackadaisical approach inevitably saps them of all incentive to try.
Ideally, one should aim to keep moving forward at their own pace. This is not to say that one should deliberately slacken off and start taking things for granted. That would be tantamount to fooling oneself. What this actually means is to do things at a pace that suits your schedule and lifestyle. For example, it would be ridiculous to expect the CEO of a major company to put in five hours a day learning a new skill. However, thirty minutes or an hour a day might be a more realistic goal; it may take him a while to get where he wishes to, but with persistence and hard work, he will get there.
To sum up, it is not the speed at which you walk, but the determination with which you take those steps that counts. Even when your hard work does not seem to be producing the desired results – even when the progress seems too slow for your liking – just keep at it. Remember, good things always come in unexpected ways and at unexpected times. After all, all great inventions were made as a result of human doggedness.
The wisdom from ancient China has enriched mankind’s reservoir of knowledge for centuries. One such gem of wisdom is especially relevant to the topic in hand: “Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid of standing still.”