So when you watch this video, you will see four things occur.
Some penguins stumble over the rope and continue.
One penguin steps just right and seems actually surprised as to how easy it was to get across.
One penguin gets caught in the rope, struggles a while and then turns back.
By the end of the video, there is a small group of penguins that we don't even see try.
So the question is, which penguin are you?
Do you see an obstacle and plunge forward? Do you stand around and imagine how challenging that obstacle will be? Do you attack the obstacle and turn back when the resistance is greater than you imagined? Have you ever plunged into a project ready for resistance, only to find the obstacle was not as difficult as you imagined, or, even not there at all.
For years, my mantra has been "Only fight once". Many people fight a battle in their minds before the actual battle occurs. Many times the battle in their minds is much worse than the actual battle. In a few instances, the actual battle might never occur and then you have expended a lot of energy and emotional turmoil in the "head" battle. Use all of your energy for the real battles at hand. Be in the moment. It is the only thing we have the power to shape.
The lesson to be learned from this video is - Penguins are fun to watch.
No, that's not it.
The lesson is that whenever we decide to take on a transformational experience, we know there are going to be obstacles and opportunities. Every obstacle is an opportunity. I call transformational experiences "The Ordeal" or "The Initiation", because those terms imply a journey with obstacles and opportunities. It has been sociologically documented that there are four key moments in a life journey when "drop out" can occur on any project or new undertaking. (My workshop, "Keeping the Dream Alive", explores these "drop out" points). I consider them exit ramps on your journey. It is all right to exit if you rest and choose to get back on the road. Not good, if you exit to turn around and go back. Not good if you exit and decide to spend the rest of your journey at McDonalds.
So are you one of the penguins on the right side of the rope, who haven't confronted or mastered the obstacle (opportunity); or are you on the left side of the rope, on your way to the herring? If you are on the right side of the rope and have yet to cross over (sounds so ominous), refocus on what is waiting for you at the end of your journey and focus on it in emotional terms. Your goal is not a new job, a new identity, a new degree or certification. Those are your strategies to get to your goals. Your goals are happiness, contentment, pride, comfort, self-realization, self-esteem - the way you will feel when you get to the other side of the rope.
OK, I have almost gone over the limit of metaphors allowed in one blog, so I will wrap up.
Remember, each of you is a unique and powerful penguin. Connect to your Higher Penguin and keep you eye on your emotional goals and no rope will be uncrossable.
May there be a herring in all of your futures.