“When a man’s ways please the Lord, he even makes his enemies to be at peace with him.”
It’s a pretty common tale. You’ve probably heard it before.
A team of scientists were studying a group of fish. One large fish was the predator. A handful of smaller fish were the prey. All of the fish were placed in the same tank, but not before a makeshift glass wall was installed. On one side, the larger fish would be kept alone. On the other side, the smaller fish would be kept together. Immediately the large fish tried in vain to devour his meal. He could not jump over the wall, nor swim underneath it. And the glass barrier signaled to the fish that his food was just out of reach… and impossible to get to. After several days, the fish stopped trying altogether and obediently only ate the food provided by the scientists.
So when the scientists removed the glass wall from the tank, the were astounded to see the large fish remain on ‘his’ side of the tank. The large fish had hit the barrier so many times, that even when it was removed from his pathway to the ultimate goal, he still thought it to be impossible feat.
Aside from this being an urban legend (I don’t know of any real experiment that ever took place) the story does serve a positive purpose. Emotional and mental defeat is too easily accepted. There are often barriers to what we want in life and no matter how hard we try, we feel like we are getting absolutely no where. And then one day, that barrier is gone. But because we’ve already accepted that we cannot achieve that goal, so many of us no longer even try. Especially if the barrier was only in your head.
Don’t take failure so seriously that all you believe you can do is fail. Don’t let an open road pass you by.
As they say, opportunities to succeed often come in a brown paper bag!