A friend who works in Singapore sent me the following little story which has a couple good lessons in it:
There once was a bunch of tiny frogs,
…who arranged a running competition.
The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower.
A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants…
The race began…
Honestly…no one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower.
You heard statements such as:
“Oh, WAY too difficult!!”
“They will NEVER make it to the top!!”
“Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!!”
The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one…except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher…
The crowd continued to yell, “It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!!”
More tiny frogs got tired and gave up…but ONE continued higher and higher and higher…
This one would not give up!
At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower, except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top!
All of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it?
A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal?
It turned out…that the winner was DEAF!!!
Never listen to other people’s tendencies to be negative or pessimistic. All they accomplish is taking away your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you…the ones you have in your heart!!!
Always think of the power words have, because everything you hear and read will affect your actions!!!
And above all:
Be DEAF when people tell YOU that you can not fulfill your dreams!!!
So, yes, there are some things you should take away from this little tale.
First, ignore people who tell you that you should not have the dreams you have, or who try to convince you that you cannot do something without giving you a pretty good reason why not.
Second, as a leader, remember the power that your words have. If you discourage your employees from pushing boundaries there is a good chance they will fail. Something I learned as a professor was that if I set high expectations my students would meet them, but if I set low expectations, they would meet those just as easily.
The final lesson is, do not learn the wrong lesson from tales like this. My friend’s boss told him, “this means, if you are not willing to learn and improve, you should commit suicide.” He might be reading a bit much into this.