A Cautionary Tale
Mencius (a Chinese philosopher) once told the following story:
Once there was a man from Song who, concerned that his seedlings weren’t growing, decided to pull them upward.
Worn out, he returned home and said to his family: “Today I’m exhausted — I’ve been helping the seedlings to grow!”
His son hurried out to have a look, and of course the seedlings had withered.
The Folly of Forced Deadlines
Inexperienced people often set deadlines they can never achieve. They say:
“I’m going to pack on 10kg of muscle this year.”
“I’m going to finish writing a novel in 3 months.”
“I’m going to make half a million dollars by December.”
Is it possible to accomplish all these things? Yes.
Are you likely to complete them, in good order and on schedule, if you’ve never done so before? No.
Because you can’t set reasonable deadlines until you’ve gained enough experience to know how long, under your own unique circumstances, you will take to achieve your goals.