There is an old joke about a woman who buys a parrot that is guaranteed to talk. She takes the bird home but after a few days brings it back to the pet shop complaining that it does not talk.
“Does it have a mirror?” the pet store owner asked. “Parrots like to look at themselves in the mirror.” So the lady bought a mirror and went home.
The next day she was back at the store because the bird still had not said a peep. “What about a ladder?” the storeowner asked. “Parrots enjoy walking up and down a ladder.” So she bought a ladder and returned home.
She was back at the store the next day. Still the parrot had not said a thing. “Does the parrot have a swing?” the owner asked. “Birds enjoy relaxing on a swing.” She bought a swing and went home again.
The next day she returned to the store to tell the owner that the bird had died. “I am terribly sorry to hear that,” said the storeowner. “Did the bird say anything
before it died?”
“Yes,” answered the lady. “It said, ‘Food.’”
When we thing about progress we sometimes think in superficial terms, like the things the storeowner suggested to improve the parrot’s chance of speaking. He thought of a mirror, a ladder and a swing; we take steps to improve our outward
appearance, to climb the social or economic ladder, and to increase our daily
pleasures with material goods.
Sometimes we neglect food for our minds. What will keep you moving forward? Growth! Nothing can substitute for continual learning.
Leadership expert John Maxwell says that a great attitude will not substitute for personal growth. Attitude fills us with hope that we might reach our dreams; however, hope divorced from action proves false.
It is not enough to have a goal. You have to take action to make that goal possible. It is important to remember that learning is never done. You should be constantly reading, listening to tapes and attending lectures or seminars about things that can help you on your way to your goal. Knowledge is power, as they say.
For example, let’s say your dream is to own your own business. It takes a lot more than finding a premises and printing a few business cards. You have to take the initiative to learn all you can about your business and running a business in general before you can reach success.
This constant self-education is also a great example for your children. It will help them to see that learning isn’t just about school and grades, but rather it is a lifelong process. There is no point in “getting an education” if they are not learning.
In the words of musician Bruce Springsteen, “A time comes when you need to stop waiting for the man you want to become and start being the man you want to be.” Never stop dreaming, but also never cease growing if you expect your dreams to come true.
Contributed by Sean Dwyer, instructor at Action Karate. email us or call with your comments to be entered into a drawing for a free book and free martial arts lessons 610-834-7650, AKConshy@gmail.com