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SHADOWS & LIGHTS

STAY PERSISTENT

We sometimes need to hear things or remember some stories like “A lesson in achieving success from an unlikely teacher.”

3 August 2014 Sunday 00:32
by ÖZNUR ÇEVİK

We sometimes need to hear things or remember some stories like “A lesson in achieving success from an unlikely teacher.”

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can get close to completing a project or achieving a goal, and run out of steam just before the finish line. It might be that I lose energy or interest, or because I start to question my decision.

Sometimes old, familiar voices challenge me to give up the project by saying things like…

Who do you think you are?

This is a foolish idea – no one will appreciate it.

You’re crazy to even think such a thing.

Trust me, you’ll regret this.  Do something else instead.

No one will be interested.

You’ll make a fool out of yourself.

Sneaky little voices…

So, when I read this story about the squirrel, I always find a second wind. 

I hope you do, too!

A lesson in achieving success
from an unlikely teacher.

Outside my office window I have two bird feeders that attract all kinds of birds. One is designed for small birds like yellow finches and wrens, and the other is for larger birds like cardinals and blue jays.

The feeders also attract squirrels.

In the past, before I discovered squirrel-proof cages, I had an interesting time trying to keep them from cleaning us out of birdseed.

The first time I saw a squirrel climb the pole to the feeder and eat to its heart's content, I knocked on the window to scare him away, only to find him back two minutes later having a feast. Then, I came up with what I thought was a brilliant solution. I greased the bird feeder pole with olive oil and the next time a squirrel tried to climb the pole, I smiled as he gently slid to the ground.  After three or four attempts, he scampered away, but of course, came back with a vengeance and quickly figured out how to climb the pole!

Squirrels are very persistent little creatures. They do whatever it takes to achieve their goal. When I finally discovered squirrel-proof cages, I was sure this new device would do the trick.  And it did for a couple of weeks.

Time and again I'd watch the squirrel climb up to the feeder, try every which way to get at the food, and when he couldn't succeed, run off to a new yard.

Then, one morning, as I sat in my office watching the birds, a squirrel ran to the pole, climbed to the top of the protected feeder, hung upside down above it, and gingerly shook the feeder until birdseed fell to the ground. Once he served himself enough food, he ran back down the pole and sat below the feeder to enjoy his meal. That's when I decided that if he was that persistent (and clever), he deserved the darn food!

There are times in life when we set our sights on something that's deeply important to our soul. Yet, when we hit a roadblock (like the sneaky, little voices), we make a premature decision to give up rather than stick with the plan.

That day, while watching the clever, little squirrel, I learned an important lesson – if I knew that a goal was right, I needed to hang in there.

Reading the story of the squirrel from time to time, I know that one of the most effective ways to stay persistent is to reach out to others for support.  When I’ve known in my heart that I’m making the right choice (like finishing a creative project, for example) and I get stuck or scared, I know it’s time to find someone who can hold the space for my fearful thoughts to be released.

We humans need each other.

Until next week keep cool and healthy!


Tags: STAY PERSISTENT, STAY, PERSISTENT
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