How many of us have been taught stick-to-itiveness is such a wonderful virtue? My father went a trifle overboard on that one.
I once as a child thought I would count to a million. My grasp of anything over a thousand was fairly vague, so I celebrated reaching a million when I got to ten thousand.
My father then explained to me how far short of a million that measly number was. Deeply chagrinned, I said I was still going to count to a million. My father, bless his foolishness, told me that was excellent because it would teach me how to stick to my goals.
Never mind that a young child is most likely not going to count to a million ever. Never mind that it would ingrain a strong sense of futility. Never mind that my energy would be better spent on a more suitable goal, perhaps even one I might succeed in achieving.
For a few years at random intervals I dutifully whacked away at the counting, but I never did reach a million. I did get a clear understanding of the difference between ten thousand and one million. I also got a deep sense of disappointment in myself.
Well, perhaps I got off lightly. Diligent pursuit of the wrong goal can lead to even more drastic consequences. A local rabbit belatedly discovered that fact.
A woman who lives nearby keeps wolves. She noticed the six wolves in one pen were behaving oddly. She looked more closely out her second story window and saw a rabbit determinedly trying to climb through the mesh fence INTO the pen of wolves. The wolves were exchanging looks among themselves as if to say, “Can you believe what we are seeing?”
Rabbits are pretty determined when they are trying to bore through fences, but this one was a particularly tight squeeze. The rabbit finally made it into the pen, shook himself off as though to say, “Whew, I made it!” and then looked around.
My friend said the bunny looked totally horrified when it saw the wolves. Then, of course, the wolves immediately ate the foolish creature.
All of this suggests we might question our assumptions when we decide to commit our lives to a particular goal. The goal might look good, other people may be cheering us on, but will it really be good when we get there? And will the effort trying to get there be a journey worth traveling? Or will we end up simply consumed by the whole project?
How will you feel in your old age about your choices? Personally, I want to look back and be glad of my roads taken. I would hate to arrive at the end of my life and wish I had been more willing to take risks for the goals that truly fired up my blood.
I don’t want to drill through an obstacle just because it got in front of me. I don’t want to blindly persist in useless efforts. I just want to be awake enough to choose goals that resonate with life and vitality and that are worthy of applying the resources of the gift of life in full measure. That is what makes a life worth living, at least as far as I am concerned.
This post appears in Personal Development Carnival, along with an interesting collection of articles you may really enjoy reading.
This article also was included in Made to be Great Personal Development Carnival, and this carnival has a lengthy and enticing collection of articles for your perusal.
Copyright © Lexi Sundell 2007. All Rights Reserved.