The Lion and the Gazelle
“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or they will kill it.
Every morning, a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
This African proverb is a metaphor for how we should live our lives.
When we focus on what we can do instead of what we can’t, a world of possibility opens unto us.
Every day you make mistakes.
You say the wrong thing at the wrong time and make the wrong impression on someone.
You are having a bad day and take it out on someone who doesn’t deserve it.
You cut someone off on the freeway and ignore the fact that you did.
Maybe you lied or stretched the truth or conveniently left something out of the conversation.
Maybe you were rude to someone and didn’t apologize.
As humans, we are fallible because, well, who wants to be perfect, right? We go through life trying to figure this thing we call life out. The problem with life is they put us in charge of it. We are our own boss. We decide what we will or will not do or tolerate. Or what we choose to overlook.
Most of us, if we are honest with ourselves, are not honest with ourselves. Honest with ourselves. It’s actually not our nature. We cut someone off and say “my bad” yet we blast our horns, shout profanities, and blast our horn when someone else does the same to us.
Every day, we have a meeting with the most important person we have in our lives. This person we can’t lie to because they know when we do. We can’t fool them because they know the truth. We can’t pretend we didn’t do something because they saw us do it. Because we see that person every morning in the mirror, it is impossible to fool them.
Every evening we take an inventory of the day with them before we slip off to sleep. We relive the events of the day with them, and they remind us of what was good and what was bad. Or we used to.
As we get older, though, we skip out on the evening meeting. We stop taking inventory of our actions. As humans, we take inventory on the actions of external sources. What others did or did to us rather on what really matters, how we reacted to life.
It’s my opinion that we actually have no control over life. Anything we do has no direct effect on the outcome. We can take actions that have a strong possibility of influencing the results, but there are no guarantees.
Life is in charge of us, not the opposite. Now we can take responsibility for our lives and do what we must in order to help influence its outcome positively. Notice I didn’t say what we “can”?
The parable teaches us that every day we must do our best in order to help influence a positive outcome. But we also must realize that all it takes is a simple slip, and all is in vain. You either eat, or you are eaten. The choice is up to you.
So here is the challenge.
- Every day you strive to a little better than your worst moment from the day before. Small strides. Little steps. To be a better human.
- Every day, hold yourself as accountable as you do others. Remember, we are not perfect; we are human. Warts, flaws and all. Just like the other person.
- Take a breath first. Before you act, do, or say, take a breath first and think about it and ask yourself how you would want someone to react if the situation was reversed.
- Give people, and yourself, a break. I’ll make a deal with you. The first day you walk on water, you can expect everyone else to. Until then, give them, and yourself, a break.
Success is liking yourself. Liking what you do and liking how you do it.
You can see the video version of this post here: You Tube: The Lion and the Gazelle
You might also like this: IN ORDER TO LOVE SOMEONE WELL, YOU MUST LOVE YOURSELF, FIRST * 12 EASY STEPS TO LEARN HOW
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Remember: Happiness is a choice, so be happy.