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The Way of the Tortoise: The Value of Preparation

The Way of the Tortoise

Firstly, for some readers, isolation, social distancing and working from home have resulted in the compensatory consumption of junk food like; biscuits, chocolate, bread and cakes.

A Glance in the Mirror

For many, it has just taken a glance in the mirror to trigger a desire to get active again. Shed excess poundage and regain fitness levels.

For other readers, the economic implications resulting from Covid have included; redundancy, changing conditions of employment or a desire to try something different. Such as self-employment.

In The Way of the Tortoise, Matt Little guides the reader through achieving goals in a thought-provoking, motivational, and challenging book. He bases his philosophy of “Why You Have to Take the Slow Lane to Get Ahead” on the Aesop Fable of the race between the tortoise and hare.

He correlates his experiences of fitness training and elite sports performers with the personal skills, strategies and core principles necessary to take on the challenges in personal life and employment. Moreover, his hypothesis, or basis of reasoning, is that promoting a solid foundation of resilience, patience and persistence (the tortoise) is preferable to taking the fast lane to achieve short term, immediate results (the hare).

The Way of the Tortoise

A Winning Tortoise

The author discusses the strategies for developing critical personal skills and becoming a winning tortoise. Matt discusses the four key characteristics that he considers give the tortoise a competitive edge and make them formidable opponents; loyalty, passion and drive, positive outlook, and also generosity of spirit to create rapport.

Readers may well reflect on the loyalty of footballers such as; Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Paolo Maldini (Milan), Lionel Messi (Barcelona) or even Bobby Charlton (Man Utd) and the skill set of managers such as Klopp, Tuchel, Guardiola and also Potter. Creating that rapport and the ability to deal with difficult situations.

They are individuals who display an inner strength through a calm air of assurance with an emphasis on progression.


Eight Values

Readers of all ages will learn from the eight values that Matt Little considers are frequently latent. Ie existing but not adequately developed.

The values include:

  1. Patience not instant gratification.
  2. Persistence and mental toughness.
  3. Having faith in yourself and a sense of perspective.
  4. Resilience or fortitude.
  5. Commitment in pursuit of your goals.
  6. Pushing yourself to exceed or extend your current performance levels.
  7. Ability to work under pressure.
  8. Dependability and humility when making mistakes or supporting others. (Readers may well recall Paolo Di Canio’s actions in the West Ham v Everton game of 2000).

Moreover, it may well be that family, social issues or a poor education have failed to stimulate and develop these attributes into powerful features that enable individuals to achieve their goals.

How to Spot a Hare

In contrast with the tortoise, the admittedly charismatic short-burst talents and desire for success at all costs frequently displayed by “hare” characters in terms of ambition, impatience and taking risks can sometimes backfire. Moreover, Matt points out that the personal desire to take a chance without planning, experience, or a firm knowledge base can lead to burnout or crashing.

I am sure readers can identify from their own experiences socially, within work, education or sport. With characters fitting the description of a “hare”.

In addition to a tortoise’s characteristics, the author gives sound and potent advice on developing and enhancing soft skills like communication, building a team, maintaining strong cohesion, and dealing with pressure, failure, and success.


Wrexham’s Great Victories

The drills in each section are excellent stimulants for reader reflection and self-analysis on how to react to or handle a situation. The emphasis is on ”how can you, a tortoise, outwit the more outwardly confident and flamboyant “hare”? That’s why football enthusiasts always recall Wrexham’s great victories in the FA Cup or celebrate when an underdog triumphs.

This book is undoubtedly an excellent tool for self-improvement in facing difficult situations or developing a training programme to promote physical fitness. It is also an outstanding guide for understanding and applying the soft skills necessary to make your journey through work, sport, or social situations.

The Way of the Tortoise will enable the reader to identify themselves as a tortoise or a hare. They will learn how to push themselves forward in the right way. As the author emphasises, “the goal is not only success but longevity”.

Finally, thank you for reading ‘The Way of the Tortoise: The Value of Preparation’. For more book reviews, click here.

Check out ‘A Quintillion Words’ website for another review for this book here.

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