Thinking that I was taking an easy course in University, I enrolled into a year-long study of children’s literature. It turned out to be the most interesting and difficult course I took in all of my schooling.
Great stories that stand the test of time aren’t just entertainment – they contain didactic lessons that span centuries and disciplines. Aesop’s Fables are fantastic examples. Today I wish to share the fable of The Fox & the Grapes.
The entire story is 140 words*, but I’ll sum it up quicker here.
- Fox sees juicy grapes hanging from a vine.
- Fox jumps to get grapes.
- Fox cannot reach them.
- Fox decides that grapes are probably not juicy and decides that they are sour and not worth his time.
There are many who pretend to despise and belittle that which is beyond their reach.
So much is said about negative self-talk and how it gets in the way of progress but the lesson from the Fox & the Grapes seems to be missed. Most know that they are engaging in negative self-talk when it’s happening. The difference with pretending to despise and belittle is that it’s so effective, we convince ourselves that it’s true.
Today is a reminder to you to not make excuses. It’s easy to want something, and to try and do it, and, when it seems out of your reach, justify to yourself that it’s not what you actually want because it’s difficult. The most damaging part is how convincing we are to ourselves when we make excuses and deem that the difficult thing is not worth our time.
So today is a reminder to you to check yourself. Are you making an excuse, justifying to yourself against taking action because you’ve jumped a few times and the juicy grapes are out of reach? If so, keep jumping. Progressive overload, my friend. Nothing worth having happens fast. It takes time, effort, and failure. It takes getting better, bit-by-bit, slowly over time. You’ll get there as long as you don’t make an excuse giving yourself permission to give up.
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