The Three Squirrels
Did you ever hear the story of three squirrels crossing the road? This has nothing to do with the chicken, though this might be more of a Canadian phenomenon.
Toronto has one of the greatest populations of squirrels in the world. Still, we all have a lot to learn from them.
The first squirrel came to the edge of the forest, stood straight on her hind legs and sniffed in all directions. She saw the traffic and ran back into the forest: the conservative. That squirrel did an evaluation of the risk and concluded that its life was more precious than the treasures it might find in the forest on the other side of the road.
The second went through the same procedure, saw the traffic, waited for a gap and darted to the other side: the risk taker. That squirrel made an evaluation and concluded it was worth taking the risk. That the obstacles and risks it had to face to take on the new opportunity were worth it. She bolted and succeeded.
The third made the analysis, ventured out with tepid enthusiasm into the road and froze. You can guess how that worked out, but I can affirm that the streets of Toronto are littered with those poor critters.
These squirrels suffer the worst of all fates all triggered by their inability to make a decision. A paralysis that keeps them from moving ahead with their lives. That kills them.
If you’re frozen by your indecision you will suffer the fate of the squished squirrel. Better to make the decision and move on. Decide on a direction and plow forward.
Accept that you might be wrong but try. Experience. Learn.
I’m not suggesting you cross the freeway on foot, but I am saying that when faced with decisions that feel oppressive, that have you retreating into indecision, that you understand that not making a decision, is itself a decision.
But remaining in your status quo because you are afraid of crossing the street is entirely different than assessing the risk of crossing, and making a conscious decision to stay where you are.
The voice you need to listen to is the one in the back of your head, whispering your desires and telling you that the risk you are looking at is a risk you can manage.
That if you fail at least you tried. That out of the failure will come an eventual success. More on that subject in my next post.