Speed of Turtle

Progress toward goals are not input / output equations. At times, it’s breakneck speeds and at other times, it’s a dead stop. Think about moving at the Speed of Turtle next time you feel things are moving too quickly or not quickly enough.


On a morning run, I came across a turtle. As I circled around for another lap, I saw it had moved farther along the path than I had anticipated. It moved with purpose and steady dedication. In a day and age where instant gratification reigns supreme, patience can be hard to develop.

Prime Form

Socrates emphasized looking at things in their ideal form. What qualities would make a solution perfect. What form would make the best team members? What form makes the best career? What form makes the best client? Turtles are the ideal form of persistence. 

A box turtle is approximately 4 - 8 inches long, 11.5x smaller than humans. They cover up to 100 yards each day. The humans equivalent is crawling 0.65 miles per day. Less than a mile does not sound like a lot, but box turtles on average live 50+ years. That means if you walked 0.65 miles per day, every single day, in a year you would have traveled close to 240 miles (the distance from DC to NYC). Over 50 years you will have traveled nearly 12,000 miles (almost the distance from the North Pole to the South Pole. 

This long winded example is meant to emphasize how persistence reigns supreme. Walking a mile is easy, walking the Earth seems impossible. Turtles are creatures that persist over time, living longer than humans and understanding that progress is made with every step. Every step may not always translate into immediate results, but it does count.

So as you come close to finishing off the week, think about moving at the Speed of Turtle, persistent, focused, and unwavering. If thinking about the Speed of Turtle is not enough, here are some cute photos of turtles.