Jun 21, 2011

Is This The Story Of Your (Working) Life? Do You Feel Like A Little Rabbit?

Let The Rabbits Run


Imagine there was a medow. In that medow there is a duck, a fish, an eagle, an owl, a squirrel, and a rabbit. They decide they want to have a school so they can be smart, just like people.

With the help of some grown up-animals, they come up with a curriculum they believe will make a well-rounded animal:

  • Running,
  • Swimming,
  • Tree climbing,
  • Jumping,
  • Flying.

On the first day of school, little br'er rabbit combed his ears, and he went hopping off to his running class.

There he was a star. He ran to the top of the hill and back as fast as he could go, and oh, did it feel good. He said to himself: ''I can't believe it. At school, I get to do what I do best.''

The instructor said: ''Rabbit you really have talent for running. You have great muscles in your rear legs. With some training, you will get more out of every hop.''

The rabbit said: ''I love school. I get to do what I like to do and get to learn to do it better. ''

The next class was swimming. When the rabbit smelled the chlorin, he said: ''Wait, wait! Rabbits don’t like to swim.''

The instructor said: ''Well, you may not like it now, but five years from now you’ll know it was a good thing for you.''

In the tree climbing class, a tree trunk was set at a 30 degree angle so all the animals had a chance to succeed. The little rabbit tried so hard he hurt his leg.

In jumping class, the rabbit got along just fine; in flying class he had a problem. So the teacher gave him a psychological test and discovered he belonged in remedial flying.

In remedial flying class, the rabbit had to practice jumping off a cliff. They told him if he'd just work hard enough he could succeed.

The next morning he went on to swimming class. The instructor said: ''Today we jump in the water.''

''Wait, wait. I talked to my parents about swimming. They didn't learn to swim. We don't like to get wet. I’d like to drop this course.''

The instructor said: ''You can’t drop it. The drop-and-add period is over. At this point you have a choice: Either you jump in or you flunk.''

The rabbit jumped in. He panicked! He went down once. He went down twice. Bubbles came up. The instructor saw he was drowning and pulled him out.

The other animals had never seen anything quite as funny as this wet rabbit who looked more like a rat without a tail, and so they chirped, and jumped, and barked, and laughed at the rabbit.

The rabbit was more humiliated than he had ever been in his life. He wanted desperately to get out of class that day. He was glad when it was over.

He thought that he would head home, that his parents would understand and help him. When he arrived, he said to his parents ''I don’t like school. I just want to be free.''

''If the rabbits are going to get ahead, you have to get a diploma.'', replied his parents.

The rabbit said: ''I don’t want a diploma.''

The parents said : ''You are going to get a diploma whether you want one or not.''

They argued, and finally the parents made the rabbit go to bed.

In the morning the rabbit headed off to school with a slow hop. Then he remembered that the principal had said that any time he had a problem to remember that the counselor’s door is always open.

When he arrived at school, he hopped up in the chair by the counselor and said ''I don’t like school.''

And the counselor said :''Mmmmm, tell me about it.''

And the rabbit did.

The counselor said. ''Rabbit I hear you. I hear you saying you don't like school because you don't like swimming. I think I have diagnosed that correctly.

Rabbit, I tell you what we'll do. You're doing just fine in running. I don't know why you need to work on running. What you need to work on is swimming. I'll arrange it so you don't have to go running any more, and you can have two periods of swimming.''

When the rabbit heard that, he just threw up!

As the rabbit hopped out of the counselor's office, he looked up and and saw his old friend, the Wise Old Owl, who cocked his head and said:

''Br'er rabbit, life doesn't have to be that way. We could have schools and businesses where people are allowed to concentrate on what they do well.''

Br'er rabbit was inspired. He thought when he graduated he would start a business where the rabbits would do nothing but run, the squirrels could just climb trees, and the fish could just swim.

As he disappeared into the meadow, he sighed softly to himself and said: ''Oh what a great place that would be.''

This is one of my favorite stories, as seen in Soar with Your Strengths: A Simple Yet Revolutionary Philosophy of Business and ManagementBusiness & Investing Books)

For the good part of my life and career I felt it is just the destiny to feel like this little rabbit. I know some of you are feeling the same way, like all you do well is taken for granted and you are made just to constantly improve weaknesses.

This applies to family life, schools and institutions, even the whole society.

But did you take steps to identify what it is what you can do well, where you can make big difference and what steps did you take to steer your life and/or career in that direction?

I did. And I am happier and more successful than ever before. If you, or someone from your team needs help to define what roles are the best for them, where they can do most in the least time - let me know.

There is no reason we should live our lives like this little rabbit.

To get more articles, updates, free or special offers, to download my e-book''Productive Executive/Manager - Manage Interruptions at Work'', or get new video course ''How to Present Better Than Ever & Anyone'' join the mailing list if you haven't done so already.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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