ZI Xia, a disciple of Confucius, was going to his post as a county magistrate in the state of Lu. Before his departure, he came to Confucius and asked him how the affairs of the government should be run.
Confucius knew that the trouble with Zi Xia was that he tended to focus his attention only on the immediate interests and was impetuous. He therefore said to him, “Whatever you do, do it step by step instead of pursuing mere speed. Don’t focus your attention only on the immediate interests. The more haste, the less speed. Attention to minor and immediate interests prevent one from accomplishing great things.”