The tortoise or the Hare?

There is no such thing as “maintain” when you are working on improving yourself. Everyone else, too are working on improving themselves.

In life’s race against the clock, you either are improving or declining. I was involved in competitive swimming as a parent of an athlete swimmer. I used to hear competitive swimmers say after a race, “they maintained their times”. If taken rightly, they use that as a “dig their heels in there for a moment”, as a new minimum standard and move forward from there. Then, good.

But, many of the swimmers use their “times maintained” to be construed as they did well, at least they did not drop in times. The danger of becoming complacent, too relaxed or make excuses; can set in. Now, if they are racing only against their personal time clock, they may be able to give themselves some takeaway from there.

In competition there are two races that really go on in each race. One, you race against your personal best time clock, always. This competitor – the clock; will always race you.

The second is you race against other athlete competitors.

So, the moment you “feel comfortable” about having “maintained your time” in a race; your competitors are working hard at beating their times and beating you, their competitor. The goal for most real competitors is to race at the Olympics and World Championships.

They have to have “Kaizen” in them. Kaizen is a Japanese word for continuous improvement.

Michael Schumacher, 7 times Formula 1 World Champion, is arguably the best of all times. At his peak, he accomplished many records – having won 7 world championship titles, winning 91 races (the most number of races at that time), getting the most number of pole starts, amassing the most number of points, amongst many others. When asked at a press conference what it felt like having chalked up so many firsts, Schumacher said, “Records are meant to be broken”.

These two races can basically be applied to anyone – one, is we continue to improve ourselves. The second is we race against others in our workplace, our profession, etc. This is good as it continues to raise the bar or the new record to break. I think mankind has always been competitive by nature.

When you break that record, don’t forget to spend some time celebrating the achievement. This is “living in the present”. Don’t spend too much of time there. Otherwise, it may turn out to be “The tortise and the Hare”.

Then, back on the racetrack to start a new race to beat the latest record. We should always ask, “How can we make the best, better?”

In order for your life to be great, you must first learn to appreciate it. Don’t forget to add “having fun” in all you do. Fun helps people to relax. It is sometimes regarded as a “social lubricant”, important in adding “to one’s pleasure in life”. Fun can help reduce stress. . For children, fun is strongly related to play. Somehow, they have spontaneity and an inventive way in extracting fun from it.

Are you the tortoise or the hare?

JP

In the meantime, I am going to have Tou Foo Fah (Chinese for soymilk custard) with liquid brown sugar. A little while later…Oops! forgot to take a picture of it. “Walloped it one shot” (local way of saying, “whacked it” or “start eating and finished straight away”).

Tou Foo Fah – yummy!


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