Slow down, you move too fast. You’ve got to make the morning last.
–Simon and Garfunkel
One of my favorite comedians, Brian Regan, makes this fastening observation about Pop-tarts, those delicious pastries that disguise themselves as breakfast. If you look at the back of the Pop-tarts box, it provides instructions for making Pop-tarts in the microwave. Specifically, it instructs the reader to place the Pop-tart in the microwave for 3 seconds. Yes that’s right, 3 seconds! As Regan notes, “if you need to zapfry your Pop-tarts…you need to loosen up your schedule.”
We are living in a microwave world. We must have the must have thing right now. We expect there to be an app for everything, to make all tasks easier, more comfortable, and more fun. And yet with all of our advances we seem to be less comfortable, more bored, and more unsettled.
We’ve become bored and less settled because we’ve forgotten how to appreciate the journey. Take a moment to reflect back on your most prized achievements. Did they occur overnight, or did your achievements only come from great effort, full of trials and tribulations? I’m guessing it was the latter.
Dave Ramsey, a Christian Financial Advisor, says it best: “it took me 15 years to become an overnight success.” How true that is.
We need to move a bit away from the microwave world, and move closer to the slow-cooker world. I’ve never heard these words come out of a person’s mouth: “Well, the reason that meat was so tender and tasty was because I cooked it in the microwave for 5 minutes.” I have, however, heard these words, “after slow-cooking that pork shoulder all day, the meat just fell off the bone. It was tender and delicious.”
In very practical terms, reflect on a long-term goal or value that you have. And then, figure out how you can methodically pursue that goal. That’s right, I used the word methodical. Make a commitment to spend a small amount of time, every day, on the goal. And as each day passes, you will be amazed by how much cumulative progress you’ve made.
Remember, microwaves have their purpose, but slow-cooked tastes better! True greatness is only achieved through consistent effort.
Hopeful Hint: Value the journey of a goal you’re pursuing. It will make the end result that much sweeter.