When those around us do not support us, we can try to get rid of them. But sometimes they are the people we love, those who are close to us. If we got rid of all the people we feel do not give us love, cannot give us care, consideration, encouragement, motivation, hope, inspiration, kindness, empathy, compassion, or forgiveness, we would probably be a bit lonely. If they stay around us, we need to develop selective hearing. The best way for me to explain what I mean is through the story of the deaf frog.
Once upon a time, a group of small frogs decided to have a climbing competition. Their goal was to reach the top of a very tall tower. The frog community was very happy and excited. Many frogs gathered around the tower to watch the race and cheer the competitors on. The tower was so tall that no one in the crowd really believed the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower.
Throughout the competition, the crowd said things like “The tower is too high”, “Oh, way too difficult”, “They will never make it to the top”, “There is no chance they will succeed”, and the tiny frogs began collapsing, one by one. At those who kept climbing, the crowd continued to yell, “It is too difficult! No one will make it!”, “Just give up!”, “What needs to happen, for you to understand that you cannot make it?” and more and more tiny frogs got tired and gave up.
But one frog continued to climb higher and higher. He refused to give up and kept on climbing. With a final big effort, he reached the top. When the winning frog came down, all of the other tiny frogs wanted to know how this one frog had managed to do it. They asked him how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal.
It turned out that the winning frog was deaf!
Sometimes, being deaf is good. It means we can control the thoughts in our head when we are around people who do not support us. We have to accept the fact that they do not have enough love to give and that is why they blame, discourage, are critical, judgmental, inconsiderate, pessimistic, sad and negative. We need to turn down the volume of their comments and be deaf to their point of view. They are probably not the people who will hold the ladder for us while we climb, or support us in reaching our goals, because they simply cannot.
It is recommended that you slowly try turning up the volume from time to time. In case your success in reaching mountains, without them, will be encouraging and inspiring for them.
It takes a conscious effort for us to decide to turn down the volume on those who are close to us. Most of us will try to ask for their help over and over again before we finally understand that they really cannot help us. If you are in this sort of situation, this is when you need to make sure your inner volume is louder than what is coming in from the outside.
Every person is the captain of his or her own ship. Each of us has a parrot on our shoulder who speaks to us. This parrot says whatever we allow it to say. Our goal in life is to make sure this parrot is our support system, this parrot is the substitute for all those around us who are an obstacle to reaching our goals. This parrot will hold the ladder until we gather enough support from others who can help us. Our goal is to make sure this parrot is a positive parrot, who constantly shows us that we have more than what it takes to climb mountains. This parrot needs to be our ultimate friend. We need to love it and show this parrot all the kindness we can. When the challenging times come, the parrot will help us pick ourselves up, fast. Here are things I asked my parrot to tell me when someone around me tells me something that comes from fear or lack. I suggest you all have a loud, positive, happy, encouraging parrot talk. Make up a list and make sure to read it every day, until your parrot knows exactly what to say.
- When someone says to me, “Your mountain is a stupid mountain”, I have quotes to remind me that no dreams are stupid. Only the thinking of it makes it so.
I’m a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds.
– Mike Tyson
- When someone says to me that my desires are not realistic, I remind myself that Thomas Edison’s desire was not realistic. Every invention, every bit of progress in society is not realistic. This is what magic is made of, turning something you believe is magic into reality.
- When someone says to me, “No one has ever done it” I remind myself of all the things I did that I was not sure I could do, and that the person who said this probably has never met inspiring people in their life.
Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.
– Richard M. Nixon
- When someone says to me, “You do not know how to climb it”, I say to myself that we are all born not knowing, this is why we learn. If I focus on learning one tiny thing every day, I will know how to climb. The longest journey starts with one step.
One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time.
– Barbara Walters
- When someone says to me, “You do not have muscles to climb it”, I make sure my parrot reminds me that no one is born with the muscles. We work the muscles again and again, through daily work, and gradually, this will make our muscles strong enough.
- When someone says to me, “You do not have time to do it”, I say that we all have the same amount of time every day. Some people use it better than others and I will be the person that uses it better.
- When someone says to me, “It will take you too long to climb it”, I tell myself this only means I have to start soon. Procrastination is a way to avoid the fear of failure. Successful people are also afraid, but they do it anyway.
In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
– Bill Cosby
- When someone reminds me that I have started and failed in the past, I remind myself that I am not the same person who failed in the past, I have learned from it. I recite the quote from Heraclitus “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man”.
- When someone said to me, “How many times do you have to fail before you understand?” I say “never”. Can you imagine what would have happened if Thomas Edison had given up on his attempt to make the light bulb every time those around him said this?
- When someone says to me, “You have never succeeded in climbing anywhere”, I feel sorry for them. I am sorry that they feel so bad that they have to try to convince me that I have never succeeded in my life. I remind myself of all my successes and if it hurts too much, I re-read a list of my successes in life, which I have written and am ready to add to.
- If someone says, “Climbing is hard work”, I say this is what makes life fascinating and interesting and that I would rather think climbing is easy. My mum always said, “Nobody ever died from hard work”. I am not sure it is 100% true, but I like it. I think I will stick to it.
- If someone says, “If you are not born at the top of the mountain, you will never get there”, I remind myself that I was not born on the top of the mountain and I have reached very high mountains already. I tell myself that this is what people who are afraid to climb tell themselves as an excuse for why they have not succeeded.
- If someone tells me that they will tell me which mountain to climb, I remind myself that there is a limit to how much effort I am willing to make, in order to please others. In this life, no two people are exactly the same. No two people have exactly the same size legs, same circumstances and upbringing and what is right for me is not necessary right others.
- If someone tells me they will only support the mountains they want me to climb, I remind myself that this life is mine and conditions are signs that this person is not giving me help, but taking my energy. Maybe I need to find encouragement somewhere else.
- If someone says they will only support the mountains they can climb, I understand they do not believe they can climb such mountains. If they think they can, or think they cannot, they are right. I am not the person to judge them for having little faith in themselves.
- If someone says that my request for support gives them the right to tell me what to do, I learn that these people are in a position of lack. They are not in a giving spirit but in taking mentality, and I had better look for support somewhere else.
- If someone treats my request for help as a weakness, I remind myself that this person does not know the language of love and kindness. They are an energy consumer. I know that climbing is an important task and it requires energy. I had better reserve my energy for the climb and not waste it on those who drain it.
- If someone thinks that I will never be able to repay them for their help, I understand that this person confuses kindness with accounting. In their accounting, the bottom line is lower than
Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.
– Anne Wilson Schaef, author.
- If I hear that my climb will be considered betrayal, or that it means I have given up on them or that I have choose between climbing and them, I understand once again that these people have conditions on love. Conditions on helping, conditions on their support. If I receive their love and encouragement only when I follow their conditions, I will live a life of fear. This is when my success will never be mine. This is when I will start limiting myself in order to match the conditions of others. I trained my parrot to tell me that these people will not allow me to climb up high, they are insecure and my success is a threat to them. Forgive them, pray for them and send them love. Love is the answer, love will find a way!
- Only rarely do people say to me, “Why bother?” If they do, I remind myself that living this life requires a battery of feelings and desires. In a book I wrote, called reflections, I claimed that wanting is the essence of life, it keeps us going. “Why bother?” for me, is the way to discourage that battery from giving up. Giving up is like dying, only you are still alive. One of my inspirations and the person I quote a lot is Thomas Edison. I taught my parrot about him and made sure he studies his quotes well.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
– Thomas A. Edison
I wish I could say that I always knew how to control my inner thoughts, and how to choose to be deaf at all the right moments. I wish I could say I had my parrot trained to tell me the right things when I was around those who did not believe in me. But I cannot. Up until I was 16 years old, I did not even know I had a parrot, or that I could control it in order to make sure it was a positive, great, helpful parrot. But I definitely realized that those who are close to me can still love me, even if they do not have enough to support me in my climb. This was a turning point in my life. Before this, I only ever dreamed of success. Understanding this gave me permission to actually start walking towards my mountains, without needing the support of those who cannot support me. Even now, over 32 years later, I cannot say I have reached the top of all the mountains I ever wanted to climb. What I can say, is that my life has become successful, because the number of times I was able to reach my mountain is more than the times I was not.
Start now, it will get you to the top of your mountain faster.
My the Force be with you,
This post is part of the series Inspiration For Success:
- Inspiration for Success: The Climb
- Inspiration for Success: A Frog and a Parrot