Slow and Deliberate

Curtis Blackwell β€’ 2021.10.30

professional pace

In The Hatchet1, the protagonist uses a makeshift spear to catch fish. First, he tries holding the spear above water and stabbing desperately at every fish he sees. He runs out of energy and is forced to stop. That's when he discovers refraction is a thing. He sees that the spear appears bent where it meets the water and realizes he was stabbing where he thought the fish were, not where they actually were. After recovering stamina, he adjusts his strategy and aims lower. Then he finds success.


Throughout my career, I've spent more time than I care to admit basing decisions on feelings of desperation. Sometimes I really was desperate and had to do things I wouldn't have otherwise, because I needed money to pay for the usual things (rent, food, etc.). But now that my base needs are beyond met, I recognize I don't need to act out of desperation anymore.

I want to slow down and make deliberate decisions about how I spend my time and energy from now on.


  1. I haven't read it in almost 30 years, so I don't know for sure this is from The Hatchet or an accurate retelling, but the point stands. Don't @ me. Thanks either way, Gary Paulsen. RIP. ↩︎