A Picture Says 1000 Words: 4 Simple Lessons from 1 Cat and 20 Dogs
The first time I saw this picture I couldn’t stop looking at it. I was getting so much visual feedback that I thought my head was going to explode. Below are a few life lessons that stood out to me. Feel free to add anything that stood out to you that I missed in the comments section.
2 lessons from the Dogs:
Develop Great Habits With A Coach – Imagine what those dogs are thinking. I can only think that all of their instincts are just screaming, “Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!!!!! Get it!” But yet, all of those dogs just remain seated. Its amazing. It also tells me a lot. Those dogs probably have been coached and trained to be disciplined despite their natural urges. I have to admit I like to follow my instincts. Its fun. But its also costly. My instincts like things that are comfortable and provide immediate pleasure. I never smell salad and have my mouth water the way it does when I smell something that my mom makes for dinner. I love sitting on the couch watching sports 20 times more than I love running 5 miles. Actually 100 times more. This is why having someone to hold you accountable to your goals is important. A coach or mentor can help you to stay focused on what’s most important in the long term instead of whats most exciting immediately. By having a coach, I’ve been able to develop few habits around activities that I hate, that have allowed me to be able to do most of the things that I enjoy.
Calculate The Costs – Lets suppose that one of the dogs actually manage to catch the cat. Do you think the other dogs are gonna relax and allow him to enjoy his catch in peace? I doubt it. The dog who wins will have to fight other dogs to get away with his prize. Now the question isn’t about “Can I catch the cat?” Because if I do, my immediate dilemma will be, “Can I win a fight with 20 other dogs?” When we decide to start a business or pursue a “Big Do” we have to ask ourselves is it worth it. I’ve found this to be important because if its not a meaningful goal to me personally, I find it easy to get distracted by things that I think are more important. But if I count the cost and the reward and its worth hit, I definitely think you should get out there and take the first step towards that chasing your dreams.
2 Lessons from Cat
Have The Desire To Succeed – This cat has the desire to succeed even though obvious potential obstacles wait before him. In the picture, I assume that the water isn’t worth risking your life over. But suppose that if the cat didn’t get the water he was going to die of thirst anyway? So what did he have to lose? To an outsider who isn’t thirsty, the water is not worth risking your life over. But the cats reason for getting the water makes it personally valuable to him. Sometimes your reason to be successful has to be more important than the rewards you will obtain once your goal has been achieved. I think that when we tie our goals to those who will benefit from us achieving them, it adds value and emotion to stay the course despite the trial we may face.
Understand Your Strengths – I’ve seen many dogs chase cats, but I have never personally observed a dog actually catch a cat. In any situation it is very important to understand what strengths you bring to the table and focus solely on those things. Too many times I’ve been guilty of listening to others about working on my weaknesses. Even though I spent more time trying to correct my weaknesses, the rate of return on the investment was usually too low and I ended up with a bunch of strong weaknesses. I would’ve been better off focusing on improving skills where I had a unique advantage. Its simple economics and in this case the cat appears to understand that his strength lie in its speed and agility to make an escape. It would be quite silly of the cat to worry about having much smaller teeth, and trying to grow them to the an equal size of those in the dogs mouth.
Unknown Knowledge – This cat may have been raised around those dogs, and the people looking at this picture don’t know. Sometimes we may have knowledge about a situation that others may not know about. This can create an opportunity that is very low risk for you that others may consider too risky due to their limited knowledge.