Let me tell you a story about life in the jungles of Africa. There was this young and gorgeous cow named Eli the Elephant. Eli just in prime years of her life had the best time in the jungle. It was start of monsoon and life was easy. Eli had many friends but out of all, Rene the mice seems to be the best to hang out with. They had many things in common. They were in the prime years of their life. Eli and Rene would spend hours chatting once their stomach was full; all the girl talk that naturally flows.
As life goes on in the jungle, both Eli and Rene got pregnant. Now the topic of their daily chats was just common. Their world seemed to revolve around their babies which were to come in this world. Both of them just worked toward preparation and arrangements for new ones.
Few weeks later, Rene stopped coming to their hangout spot and out of curiosity Eli visited Rene and found four little pinkies with Rene. What a sight it was. Eli was glad and visited again with gifts.
Weeks passed on and the climate began to change. Rain had left the plains of Africa and Wind was raging though bring chills to rattle the bones. Eli’s life now seemed different. She had to walk for longer hours for food and water. On the other hand, Rene seemed to enjoy motherhood and since her needs where less, food was easy to find. Things had changed for both Eli and Rene. They didn’t have the time they had earlier, just few passing by remarks and short chats to inquire about health and family.
Time passed by and things were getting tougher for Eli. Now it was summer time in the plains and heat was terrible. Finding food became even more difficult, and water was available scarcely. With a baby calf in her womb, nature was being harsh on Eli.
Amidst all this, Eli thought of visiting her hangout spot for a change. What she found is not what she was prepared to see. Rene was there with her little pinkies. They had all grown up and Rene was proud to introduce them to Eli. Rene even reveled with shyness that her pinkies will soon start a family of their own. Rene even inquired with genuine concern about Eli’s calf, to which Eli had no idea. That day, the walk back home was a long one for Eli. Eli’s life seemed covered with clouds of doubt and summer blue skies seemed of no help. Doubt crawled in bring with it storms of pessimistic thoughts. Thoughts haunted Eli, they made her worried. She wondered if the baby calf was really there or was she just bubbling up with excitement all these months. Comparison was making Eli’s life miserable and outside circumstances although conducive with monsoon setting in did seem to bring back the joy and excitement.
Time went on… Soon Rene again caught up with Eli with news about she being a granny. As age was catching up with Rene, she had become more interrogative, authoritative and judgmental. Rene even jokingly asked Eli if she really was pregnant. By this time Eli had enough and finally decided to talk to her mother about her concern. Eli sheepishly approached her mother and discussed her dilemma. Although the concern was kiddish but with experience Eli’s mother knew how it feels the first time. Been there done that. She said, “My dear child, we are elephants and we give birth to a calf and not twig size rodent pinkies, sure we need a long time for that.” This new perspective changed Eli’s life! All the storms of self doubt cleared away, bringing in rays of hope and excitement. Eli began to live a life again with the same excitement. After almost twenty two months, she gave birth to a pretty calf and Eli as well as the animals of African plains lived happily ever after.
Whether Startup or a CEO of a multinational, be a great parent/spouse/child or follow your own path to significance. We may all start from a common ground but we all have our own destination, never let comparison take wind out of your sail. Remember?! Dr. Stephan Covey’s Seven habits of highly effective people, habit number two – begin with end in mind. Your own definition of success can never be same as of your batch mate or colleague.
Simple yet profound take away from the above tale.
- Comparison kills your dreams. Never Compare.
- Everyone is on their path to different destinations. Be Patient.
- If success for you is to create an ‘Elephant’, one needs to understand and be prepared for long hours and years of toil before one checks their bellies to see if there is any movement. Mice can move swiftly but speed can never match the grace with which an elephant moves.
- It’s advisable to have a mentor to seek advice. Helps in long run, mentor can be a beacon for your ship and avoid crashing in to the port.
- Begin with end in mind, this is not new but in our daily battles, we forget what are we fighting for and above all never forget the feeling you started with. Excitement is tail wind and doubt is head wind. Let the force be with you. (Does it ring bells … sounds like Star Wars right!!!).
- Passion, Patience and Persistence are three Ps to be remembered. It starts with passion but slowly it fades away if there is no vision or clarity backed by patience and persistence, because giving up may become a tempting option.
- Finally remember your deliverance. If it’s an elephant that’s going to liberate you, one must hang out with elephants, so ups and downs of your journey don’t burn you out.
Easy Reading by Vohoomaanaah
Constructive criticism and feedback appreciated!!! I don’t take credit for the above simple and kiddies tale, I must have read it in full somewhere which I don’t recollect to give the author its credit or a single line may have inspired me to come up with the state currently it is written in. But surely it has a few important lessons for every one of us in our endeavor.