Great Life Tools

“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast”

Slow is smooth and smooth is fast

The expression “slow is smooth and smooth is fast” represents the importance of putting in effort that is consistent, unrushed but purposeful in order to achieve a desired outcome with much greater efficiency and effectiveness.

The expression originally comes from a military context. The Navy SEALS encourage their soldiers to take their time to do things correctly instead of rushing. By doing so, this reduces the risk of making costly mistakes that can arise from operating in high-stake environents (Eg. Physical injuries).

However, the concept of “slow is smooth and smooth is fast” is also heavily explored and backed in other aspects of literature.

Goal Setting
Jeff Olson’s book ‘The Slight Edge’ explores the importance of slowing down in order to achieve exponential results. In the chapter “Slow down to go fast”, Jeff explains the importance of embracing the small and often boring steps that are needed to achieve a goal. 

The results from these smalls step are never perceptable at first and as such it is important to not rely on them as feedback. Rather, it is important to look beyond and understand that these small actions are in fact already working to help you achieve your goals and it is the factor of ‘time’ that will allow these small actions to magnify into exponentially great results.

As Jeff summarises in his book:

Consistently repeated daily actions + time = inconquerable results

Therefore, it is important to embrace small building blocks instead of looking for the shortcuts and ‘instant wins’ in life in order to achieve our goals.

Learning a new skill
Daniel Coyle’s book ‘The Talent Code’ explores the importance of “deep practice” which involves slowing down in order to apply greater focus and attention when learning or practicing a new skill.

The actual process of making a mistake (while paying close attention) and course-correcting from that mistake is the thing that allows a person to make progress in learning a new skill. Daniel also emphasises the importance of breaking up the learning process into chunks so that a person can spot their mistakes more clearly and fix them. 

It is absolutely necessary to slow down and embrace the process of making a mistake and fixing it in order to master a skill successfully. Appreciate the intricacies of deep learning and enjoy the process!

Succeeding in Business
A research conducted by Harvard Business Review found that businesses that made rushed decisions without slowing down to consider strategy had lower sales and profits. On the flip side, companies that did slow down to carefully consider strategy had on average 40% higher sales and 52% higher profit profits. 

The key takeaway from the research is that we can achieve higher sales if we take the time to plan a business strategy instead of jumping straight into ‘execution mode’. For example, don’t rush to take a product or service to market. Take the time to do proper market research so that you thoroughly understand who are you are targeting. 

“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast” is a concept that we should all be embracing in every part of our lives. By doing so, we become better at getting the things we want in life.  

Scroll to Top