The late Chinn Ho, the wealthy Hawaiian who was commonly referred to as “the Chinese Rockefeller,” once said in an interview that the cornerstone of his success philosophy was, “Wait long, then move fast.” Ho said that young people tend to think in terms of one or two years, whereas he focused on periods of ten-to-twenty years.
At the time he purportedly made these statements, he was in his eighties. So, on its face, it seems like a strange philosophy for someone his age to embrace. After all, how can you afford to “wait long” if you’re in your in your eighties?
The answer, I believe, is that it’s a philosophy of life. And your philosophy of life should not change just because you’re growing older. Important announcement: You’re always growing older!
As the years have passed, I find myself understanding and practicing Chinn Ho’s philosophy more and more. Patience really is a virtue — and so is the ability and willingness to move fast when the Great Opportunity Door suddenly swings open.
It has been said that most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can accomplish in five to ten years. The person who understands and believes in the philosophy of “wait long, then move fast” is most likely to possess the self-control to ignore ads that scream such headlines as: HOW I MADE $341,287.18 IN 28 DAYS WHILE LYING IN BED, EATING CHEESE-COVERED NACHOS, AND WATCHING TELEVISION!
Though I want to believe that a headline such as this is true, my intellect assures me that it isn’t. You, too, may want to believe that such a headline is true, but I’m confident that your intellect also knows full well that it isn’t. And, trust me, though the guy who wrote the headline wishes it were true, he also knows that it isn’t — even if he has no intellect at all!
So, why do headlines like this still succeed in getting so many people to part with their money? Though P.T. Barnum answered this question for us a long time ago, I’ll take a stab at answering it in a more gentle way.
The living organisms that read these ads are human beings, and human beings despise long-term thinking and love the idea of quick money. My advice to anyone who is not able to suppress such a damaging mind-set is that he become a bank robber. He may end up in jail — or even get killed — but at least he would be zeroing in on a source of money that actually exists.
On the other hand, if you aspire to lead the dull life of an honest, ethical human being, take Chinn Ho’s advice and develop the self-discipline to wait long, then move fast. If you stay focused on your goals and continue to trudge forward, I can almost guarantee that, sooner or later, fabulous opportunities will open up for you.
And when they do, you have to be ready and be willing to move fast. There are millions of long-term thinkers who wait long, then move slow. Which is fine, but they don’t die rich. And since you do have to die, why not die rich instead of poor?
I mean … after all … we just assume that you can’t take it with you. But wouldn’t it be a bummer to find out, when you arrive at the pearly gates, that the gatekeepers really do allow people to bring it with them after all?