Sometimes things don’t appear as they really are…..
A friend of mine moved, into a new apartment, after living in the same house for 18 years. If you have ever moved can empathize with me when I say that, this can be a pretty traumatic experience for anyone, but it was especially traumatic for, her companion, an 8 year old little house cat, named “Fred”.
You see Fred grew up in that house, in fact it was the only home he ever knew. So you couldn’t really call him a “worldly” cat.
And you couldn’t blame Fred when he became a little concerned when he noticed all of his family’s things were slowly disappearing and being replaced by boxes. Now Fred got even more concerned, when they carried him into the car for a drive, because that usually meant a trip to the vet.
But it wasn’t until his owner carried him into the lobby of their new apartment building that the real trouble started.
You see, the walls on the lobby were covered with mirrors, and Fred being a naïve little cat, who had very little exposure to other cats, and who was also used to being the king of his household, looked into the mirrored walls, saw another cat.
Well immediately his instincts took over, and he went into attack mode.
He dug his claws into his owner, who felt the searing pain and who dropped him and then Fred proceeded to attack the first cat he saw, who to his surprise was attacking him back with equal show of force.
Well Fred, who was not experienced in the art of cat fighting, decided that retreat would be his best course of action.
But when he turned to run what do you think he saw? You guessed it another attacking cat. Well this went back and forth, back and forth for several minutes until Fred decided to run down the hall and let his owner catch him up and help him out of the situation…
Now you may think that this is just a story about a crazy cat, but it more than just that.
Poor Fred is not that much different than you or me……….
When we are put into situations that are foreign to us, situations that take us out of our comfort zones, like Fred’s house, it is easy to be overcome by our fear of the unknown, just like Fred did.
And it is at those times when our minds like to play games with us and turn a normally safe situation into one that we believe is dangerous.
It has been said that the word fear is really an acronym, which stands for False Evidence Appearing Real and wasn’t that the case with Fred in that lobby.
In reality, there was no danger at all, but in Fred’s mind, the pain of being attacked by other cats everywhere he turned, certainly looked and felt real. And that shows that awesome power that our mind has, to deceive and embellish situations in order to validate our fears.
but I’m sure to Fred the Fear meant, Forget Evidence And Run.
Now what would have happened if Fred took another approach to that very same situation and viewed the changes in his life as an adventure?
He would have discovered the joy of playing on boxes, the excitement of riding in a car and possibly the friendship of another cat that was always there to greet him, every time he walks through that lobby.
You see when we experience life and its many changes, we step outside of our comfort zones and we expand, just like a balloon that is filled with air.
And the result is that once we expand ourselves, our comfort zones never quite go back to the same size as it was before the experience. And we have the capacity to do more, be more and enjoy more of the wonderful experiences life has to offer.
So next time you are in a similar situation, feel the fear, and push through the pain, because as Dolly Parton put it, “If you want to see the rainbow, you have to put up with a little rain.”
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Disadvantages Can Improve Your Chance of Success from the book “David and Goliath” by one of my favorite authors Malcolm Gladwell