I love the classic Aesop fable, The Tortoise and the Hare. This story has been told and retold in so many fun and interesting ways. Every time it challenges me. But, I wonder if there was a third member of the race? The Opossum.
The hare is completely unfocused but full of energy. He bounces from place to place, idea to idea and creates a whirlwind of excitement around him. But in the end, the hare always loses. There is no momentum. No traction. No consistency. This all leads to a lot of movement…movement that doesn’t go anywhere.
The tortoise is completely focused but slow. He moves methodically from place to place, idea to idea. No one is particularly excited to watch a tortoise race, but sure enough, he has traction. He has movement. He gains momentum in his consistent pace. This all leads to winning the race. But it seems everyone sort of walks away disappointed.
The Opossum is focused and full of energy. He shows off his sense of balance strategically running along fence tops. He moves carefully but with great pace on to the next project. He moves. He runs. He carries himself at a sustainable pace. All this leads to…playing dead at the most inopportune times. Then he is back up and moving. If the Opossum could learn to overcome his fear, he would win every race.
I wonder who you relate to. Are you a hare? A tortoise? For me, I’m a Opossum. Although I can be the hare or tortoise in certain situations.
How can we harness the inner Opossum and let go of our fears so we might live well, lead well, love well and learn well.