A story is told of a prophet and his disciple traveling through a countryside. They came across a poor family of five – a couple and their three children. They lived in a pitiful hut and had only one malnourished cow for livelihood. The family partook of the milk from the cow and barely got by day by. They were poor but content and grateful that at least they were surviving.
The prophet did an unimaginable thing however. He secretly ordered the disciple to lead the cow away when the family was unaware and push it off a cliff. The disciple never forgave himself and returned to visit the family years after, to apologize for his wrongdoing.
However, in the place of the hut, there stood a mansion and cars owned by the same family. When the disciple asked them how they had made the drastic change, they told him that the disappearance of their only source of survival forced them to look for other ways to survive. They acquired and enhanced skills and used them to keep growing financially. The absence of their one comfort zone spurred them to think beyond their circumstances.
Drawing from the moral of this story, complacency and mediocrity are not things we should get familiar with. We need to want more and aspire to more. Sometimes we hold on to comfort zones that are like that cow. We feel safe because “at least we have something” and we argue that the little something is better than nothing. We forget though that being grateful for what one has does not equate to complacency. Complacency sets in as a result of a deep-seated laziness or premature settling, and loss of hope for more than the prevailing circumstances.
We need to eliminate those unhealthy comfort zones which are holding us back from achieving more. For some, the comfort zones may not be as bad as the malnourished cow. They may even be attractive medals and achievements which have given the false impression that one has made it and therefore has nothing more to work towards. Whatever your comfort zone, you need to acknowledge it and recognize that it is keeping you from something greater.
There is a need to “kill” those cows that are limiting you. Killing them may simply be a mental process that requires a change in perception and attitude. However, killing them may also involve a physical and more tangible expression such as moving to another city, ending some friendships, stopping some habits, learning a new skill, etcetera. The basic point is you must rise above and beyond those limitations.
One of my favourite quotes is by Marianne Williamson. It says,
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
After such profound words, not much more needs be said. My prayer and hope for you is that as you travel through 2018, you will think and act big, and develop habits that lead you to succeed in your plans. Wipe out excuses and mediocrity, and push for the manifestation of the greatness in you.
Last year, my personal themes were boldness and gratitude, the boldness to seek out new opportunities and an attitude of gratitude at all times.
This year, my themes are discipline, execution and excellence, the discipline to stick to the main plan and execute things I have set out to do so that I will achieve excellence in all the goals I have set.
Reading my themes scares me, and that is a good sign, because it shows I have set a high bar that is worthy of my pursuit. I am challenging myself.
Positive growth is something we should always pursue. A healthy identity and knowledge of yourself is key to your growth. You are more than what you previously told yourself you are.
So BE MORE!
NOTE: Most of the images used on this blog currently, are downloaded from the internet through random searches. Where an image source is not acknowledged, this blog DOES NOT claim ownership of it and we therefore acknowledge alternative ownership. Thank you.