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“Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb
When we want something so bad, we want to get it quick, like virtually everything in this hi-tech era. Unfortunately, this concept of achieving things fast is often the reason why we fail. When it comes to changing ourselves for the better, or taking on a long-term goal, going slowly is often times the only way to reach a destination.
Any therapists would tell you that change is a process, not a magic pill. One great example is overcoming a psychological disorder. Numerous research studies have shown that an effective way of treating conditions ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder to obsessive compulsive is through exposure therapy. And when we say exposure therapy, it involves following a program of steadily escalating steps or challenges. The exposure should be applied in an incremental manner, or else it would defeat the whole purpose.
Shaping a behavior involves a step-by-step process. If we expect ourselves to instantly break a habit or form a habit, we’d most likely end up disappointed or frustrated. The intention of following a system or process is to encourage us to work slowly and steadily until we reach our ultimate goal.
Perseverance and persistence sound like penitence but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Martin Luther King Jr. put it emphatically in one of his memorable speech to incite change: “If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”