The story about the tiny frogs and the pole climbing contest
There once was a bunch of tiny frogs who arranged a pole climbing competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high pole that was erected in the middle of the town square.
A big crowd had gathered around the pole to watch the race and cheer on the contestants. The race began, and honestly . . . there wasn’t a soul in the crowd who really believed any of these tiny frogs would reach the top of the pole.
But the whistle blew and the climbing began. From the audience you could hear: "Oh, way too difficult! No way they'll ever make it to the top." "Not a chance they're gonna get there."
Soon enough, a bunch of the tiny frogs started falling off the pole. But some kept climbing. Higher and higher.
The crowd continued to yell: "It’s too difficult! No one will make it!" “They’re too small, they can’t climb that high!”
And sure enough, more tiny frogs got tired and gave up.
And then there was one. One frog who continued to climb higher and higher and higher...
This one just wouldn't give up! He looked exhausted, and yet he continued to climb.
But . . . he made it! He won! Once back down from the top of the pole, all the tiny frogs gathered around him to ask him how he did it.
It turns out that this tiny little winning frog was deaf.
Of course the wisdom of this story is to never, ever listen to other people’s opinions and tendencies to be negative and pessimistic. People have their own opinions on what can and can’t be done. What can and can’t be accomplished. And, if you listen, if you allow those individuals to penetrate your thoughts, they will crush your dreams, they will suck the sunshine right out of you.
Being positive on a daily basis takes time, patience and practice, practice, practice.
Think about when you were just one year old and were starting to take your first steps. No one taught you how to walk. There were no guide books, no “How To Walk For Dummies” to take you step by step (no pun intended…but it’s pretty funny, right?) through the process.
There was just you with your sheer determination and a gaggle of loved ones cheering you on!
You got to a standing position, took one wobbly, drunken step and wham, fell on your face. You either cried, or you laughed but you got right back up and tried it again. Why? Determination! Persistence!
And because you didn’t think you couldn’t do it. There was not one negative thought in your head – not one! You didn’t mind failing, you didn’t mind the fact that you had to keep trying and trying and trying until you were successful.
As adults, we don’t have a cheering crowd continually telling us we can do it. Picture yourself at work faced with a presentation that seems overwhelming. You most likely don’t have a cheerleading section in the corner of your office cheering: “You can do it! This will be perfect, the clients are going to love this!”
Or, maybe you’re toying with the idea of going the entrepreneurial route and opening up your own business. You probably don’t have that same cheerleading squad cheering, “You’ll get the loan, this business makes great, practical sense!” “This business will grow and thrive, it’s a fantastic business model and will be successful!”
The fact is, we all do. We have the power of positive thinking. We can drown out any outside negative thoughts if we practice positive thinking on a continual basis. Wikipedia tells us (and if it’s in Wiki, it must be true) that the average human has 60,000 thoughts per day.
Don’t you start to wonder how many of those 60,000 are negative and how many are positive?
Positive thoughts came naturally as a child, but as an adult, the opposite seems to be true. Learning to identify negative thoughts and turning them into a positive takes time and effort but it can be done. Here are a few simple steps that can get you on the path to a more positive way of thinking:
1.Cultivate gratitude – keep a journal next to your bed and before you fall asleep at night, write down 10 things for that day that you’re grateful for. This can be as simple as ‘I found the best parking spot at the post office’ or as complex as ‘I am so grateful to have a partner who loves and appreciates me.’
2.Foster forgiveness – this one is tough! There are 5 steps to forgiveness. (a) Recall the hurt. (b) Empathize and try to understand the act from the other person’s point of view (you may be surprised at what you find) (c) Be altruistic, you may find a time in your life when you’ve done the same to someone else and you were forgiven (d) Commit to putting your forgiveness into words and (e) Try with all you have to hold on to that forgiveness.
3.Wake every morning saying to yourself, “I feel terrific, I feel terrific, I feel terrific”. My husband and I do this out loud and we end up in laughter every single morning before getting out of bed. I say this mantra in the car, I say it standing in line at the grocery store, I say it before making a phone call that I’ve been dreading to make. It just puts you in a better frame of mind.
The bottom line is that life is full of choices. You can decide whether you’re going to have a crappy day or whether you’re going to embrace whatever happens in that day and make the best of it.
I commit to having a fantastic day today, no matter what comes my way. How about you?