Make Haste Slowly
There is a phrase from antiquity that is making its rounds this month. It is “make haste slowly” and is often attributed to the Roman Emperor Augustus (who may have borrowed it from someone else). He disliked rash behavior and favored a patient, focused approach in his subordinates.
The idea is that what is valued is not reactive, short-term work but diligent, disciplined work that is committed to quality.
It seems that this phrase is especially popular today, in part, because most of us in the developed world are being bombarded by stimuli that requires a response. If your iPhone has a notification on the screen, you do have to respond, somehow. You can swipe it away, take action or put off that choice by ignoring it. One thing you cannot do is focus. And that is where “making haste slowly” comes in as an attractional alternative.
Perhaps you have considered beginning a blog.
Maybe you have always wanted to build a saltwater aquarium in your home.
Is there a particular author whose books you desire to read?
Maybe you have always wanted your own garden.
There may be a particular need in your community that you know you can meet if you just make the time.
All of these things are worthy goals and will probably be worth talking about in the future. Yet, the bombardment of stimuli makes this a very challenging proposition. Recovery of focus is essential if you are to accomplish these worthy goals.
I am working on a new podcast. I have found that it is virtually impossible to build a new podcast by simply making a checklist and then giving that checklist the crumbs of my leftover time. I have to block off restricted space in my schedule to think, reflect, plan, make mistakes and build the blocks of what I hope will be a successful podcast. It is slow and I cannot allow discouragement to talk me out of the steps in front of me. I have to have a long-term view, understanding that it may take longer than I want to accomplish something well worth my time. I must “make haste slowly.”
The call to “make haste slowly” also has some touchpoints in the Christian Proverbs, King Solomon’s guidance to one of his sons. In Proverbs 12:1a, it reads “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge.” In Proverbs 28:19a, we see that “whoever works his land will have plenty of bread.” Of course, the Christian commandment of Sabbath, a day of rest in God and His gifts, epitomizes the concept of “slowly.” It can be easy to believe that it all depends on you. I know, firsthand, that it doesn’t. Consider “making haste slowly” the rest of this month and see how it goes. You may find that you are much happier with the results that you expect.