Welcome to another Fresh Start Mondays, where we change the narrative. As we continue on our purpose journey, I take this opportunity to remind us all to stay focused. With all that is screaming for our attention and energy, it is my hope that we are able to withstand the distractions and the unnecessary battles, that many times drains us. Rendering us weak and tired when real issues come our way.
I once thought that in order to avoid unnecessary challenges I should operate below the radar, consequently, I tried my very best to stay low keyed. There was a significant problem however, and it is that the more I tried to stay low keyed, the more I tried to stay in my own little corner, the more I found myself in positions or situations of influence within my circle and those around me. Then one day I heard a story that changed my thinking, and it follows the story line below.
A father was teaching his son to fly an aeroplane, when they got in, the son saw a snake on the wheels of the aeroplane. He panicked and asked his father what to do, who responded increase your altitude. The son was still worried, because the wheels could not be pulled up by the aeroplane due to the presence of the snake. His father assured him again, stay calm and increase your altitude. The son trusting his father, did as he was told then he realized something… the snake fell from the wheels. Relieved and curious he asked his father how did he stay so calm and knew what to do. The father shared that he has had similar experiences before which taught him that as altitude increases, the oxygen needed by the snake for breathing becomes less, so inevitably the snake becomes unable to breathe and falls.
That story was life-changing for me, I learnt many lessons from this story, the most relevant of which is that it is more beneficial to go above the radar that below. See, below the radar, the snake would still have enough oxygen to breathe constantly and below the radar is the snake’s “tuff” or territory, the snake knows the environment along with all its variables. So, the snake would always have advantages, I would be constantly attacked by a snake or possibly multiple snakes on their territory.
On the other hand, when I prepare myself and take the road to go higher, then I change the battleground. I take the snake out of his comfort zone to a place where I have advantages. And without effort against the snake, it falls to the ground, to its territory.
I would liken the snake to the challenges we face in life, many of which, in my opinion are unnecessary. Have you ever seen some headlines and thought to yourself “this never had to happen” or have you ever had some experiences you thought never had to happen? They were just unnecessary. I have had some of those, I call them unnecessary battles.
Unnecessary battles can present with great urgency, if we don’t act immediately, we could be bitten by the snake and depending on the type of snake, it could be life threatening. Unnecessary battles also induce the fight or flight response, they cause a significant emotional reaction. Unnecessary battles have the ability to consume our entire being. How we respond is of paramount importance. Will we stay on the snake’s territory and keep fighting or will we increase our altitude? Will we get caught in an emotional world wind or will we with calmness do what we know should be done? Will we stay on the snake’s territory or will we prepare ourselves and go the heights we know we should?
Let us continue on our purpose journey. Let us avoid unnecessary battles by increasing our altitude and change our narrative…