Things that are worthwhile require investment. Investment means devoting time, money, energy and effort to achieve something. Things like gardening, playing an instrument, learning a language, having a relationship, having a healthy body, being a good parent, building a successful business, saving for retirement, changing a habit, fine wine, or sharp cheese all require investment.
With our society focused on short-term results, investment seems rather old-fashioned. Who has time these days to spend energy and effort to do something when you can google a result or pay someone to do it for you. We see on reality TV, competitions where people can win a career in music, a million dollars, a fashion design house. All you need to do is spend a few weeks beating out 15 other contestants. There are so many schemes that guarantee quick results: Be wine connoisseur in three easy lessons, a 2 hour workshop to get rich flipping houses, the video to become a tea master in a day
A seminar or workshop does not substitute for experience and knowledge gained from time and effort. Without the time spent learning and making mistakes, when you get to a rough patch or in over your head, it is even more difficult to figure it out, problem solve and keep going.
How fast you go does not directly impact how far you make it. In truth, it is a myth of overnight success because there are no shortcuts. If something comes easily its value isn’t fully appreciated. The length of time it takes for you to succeed is generally a good measure of how long you will be able to sustain—and enjoy—something.
When we rush, we also risk missing integral parts of the process. Going too fast sometimes risks doing more harm than good, skipping steps and getting sloppy along the way. Great things take time. Don’t think your endeavor is any less great because it took longer than anticipated to get there. And don’t think it is any less great because it took longer than someone else did to get there.
Investment over the long term will get you to your goals. It’s the small steps that matter most. It is those small daily improvements that, over time, lead to results that last. They build confidence and competence from which you can launch into the next phase.
So where you are with your tea studies is where you can invest in doing the small things right, deepening your knowledge, and keeping your eye on your goal. The way of tea is worthwhile, I guarantee it.