The second in my excerpts from Zen Lessons: The Art of Leadership. The essential lesson in this passage is quite clear: don't rush anything you would like to last. This is a recurring theme throughout the text, and in fact echoes (though from a different angle) the previous excerpt, Being in the World Without Misery.
51. Don't Rush
Ying Shaowu said to Master Zhenjing Wen:
Whatever is rushed to maturity will surely break down early. Whatever is accomplished in a hurry will surely be easily destroyed. What is done without making consideration for the long run, and is hastily finished, is not of a far-reaching and great character.
Now sky and earth are most miraculous, but still it is only after three years and two intercalary months that they complete their accomplishment and fulfil their transformations. How much the more so for the miracle of the Great Way — how could it be easily mastered? It is essential to build up achievement and accumulate virtue. Therefore it is said, "When you want to be quick, you don't succeed; act carefully and you won't miss."
A beautiful accomplishment takes a long time, ultimately involving lifelong consideration. A sage said, "Keep it with faith, practice it with keenness, perfect it with faithfulness — then though the task be great, you will surely succeed."