Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast

Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast

If you’re like most Americans, you hit the floor each morning running. And why shouldn’t you? 

The work culture in America is often characterized as fast-paced, competitive, and driven by productivity. Compared to other countries, such as those in Europe, America usually has longer work hours, fewer vacation days, and a more individualistic approach to work. In some countries, such as France, workers have a legal right to disconnect from work-related communication outside of working hours, while in America, it is common for employees to check emails and respond to work-related messages even during their time off. Additionally, some countries prioritize a better work-life balance, with shorter workdays and more paid time off, while in America, there is often a culture of "working hard" and "hustling" to achieve success. 

In the Special Operations community, this maxim is “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.”  Emphasis is places on accuracy, consistency, and a controlled pace for getting things done. Contrary to popular belief, the fastest route to success isn’t about rushing headlong into something and getting it done as quickly as possible. This is more about maintaining a smooth rhythm that naturally increases speed and efficiency.

"Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast" isn't just popular with groups like the Navy SEALs, law enforcement circles use it too. These days it has moved beyond these traditional boundaries and has been applied to business, sports, and even personal development. 

According to research, taking things slow and steady can lead to greater efficiency in the long run. When we rush, our prefrontal cortex, the part of our brain responsible for decision-making and problem-solving, can become overwhelmed. This can cause stress, mistakes, and even burnout, ultimately hindering our creativity and productivity.

A slow and steady learning approach can be more effective than rushing through the material. By allowing ourselves to fully engage with the task at hand, our brains can form stronger neural connections, leading to better retention of information and greater mastery of the subject matter. In fact, a study conducted by Stanford University found that students who focused on understanding concepts deeply, even if it meant learning at a slower pace, ultimately outperformed their peers in the long run. So, instead of racing through the material, taking the time to truly digest and comprehend it can lead to greater success.

When it comes to launching a product in the business world, it's essential to avoid the temptation of rushing the development process, which can lead to overlooked details and mistakes. Instead, taking the time to understand consumer needs, fine-tune the product, and ensure a smooth production process can result in a superior product that reaches the market faster. Apple's success can be attributed to their slow and steady approach to product development, which has paid off in the long run.

Similarly, when it comes to customer service, businesses should prioritize effectively resolving customer issues, even if it takes a bit longer initially. This approach can lead to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty in the long run. In summary, taking the time to do things right in business can lead to better outcomes and long-term success.

When we venture into personal development to acquire a new skill or habit, it's important to remember that mastery requires perseverance and commitment. While it may seem daunting at first, as we navigate through the initial stages of learning and absorb new concepts and techniques, we gradually begin to feel more comfortable. Our movements become more fluid, and we start to perform the task with greater ease and efficiency. With patience and consistency, we can achieve our goals and become masters of our craft.

When it comes to tackling a task, it's important to consider the speed of execution. Although it may seem counterintuitive, taking a slower approach can actually lead to faster and more efficient results. By taking the time to thoroughly understand and plan out a task, you can ensure that it is executed smoothly, without any major issues. On the other hand, rushing through a task may result in a superficial understanding, haphazard execution, and ultimately inefficient results. 

Whether we are trying to learn a new skill, launch a new product, or address customer complaints, this principle can help us improve our performance and productivity. When we slow down and approach tasks thoughtfully and deliberately, we give ourselves the space to gain a deeper understanding of what we're doing. This allows us to act more smoothly and efficiently, which can ultimately help us move faster and achieve greater success.

Photo by madeleine ragsdale on Unsplash