Do you write slowly? Read slowly? Take forever to flesh out an idea? Do you enjoy the satisfaction of deep rather than fast exploration? Do you take pleasure in having the time to revisit and revise? While many gifted and creative people have lightning quick minds, other equally brilliant thinkers make connections at a much slower, more deliberate pace. Consider Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win mathematics’ highest honor, the coveted Fields Medal:
“Mirzakhani likes to describe herself as slow. Unlike some mathematicians who solve problems with quicksilver brilliance, she gravitates toward deep problems that she can chew on for years. ‘Months or years later, you see very different aspects’ of a problem, she said. There are problems she has been thinking about for more than a decade. ‘And still there’s not much I can do about them,’ she said.
Mirzakhani doesn’t feel intimidated by mathematicians who knock down one problem after another. ‘I don’t get easily disappointed,’ she said. ‘I’m quite confident, in some sense.'” Read More
There is that word that has popped up so often in my posts recently: confident. The point isn’t that fast or slow is better, but that we give ourselves permission to be confident in our authentic approach, regardless of whether it is in vogue or understood or even appreciated by others.
- “Is There a Place for the Slow Writer in the Digital Age?“
- “Slow Intelligence: Ways to slow down and think better“