A Fish That Thinks It Is Stupid

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-by Matt Leedham

I love when pithy quotes smack you upside the head. Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet (Act 2, Scene 2) “brevity is the soul of wit,” which is in itself is both brief and witty. Bravo, Mr. Shakespeare.

Albert Einstein also said some interesting things in his day, but I saw a quote yesterday that really grabbed my attention.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

How many times have you judged yourself for (pick one):

  • Not being successful enough?
  • Not being the ideal weight?
  • Not driving the right car?
  • Not being better at sales?
  • Not being a good public speaker?
  • Not being an extrovert?
  • Not being ____________ (insert something you lack)?

What is the truth? I mean really…what is the TRUTH?

Need help? Ok, ok. The TRUTH is that you are a fish! You are a fish and you’re trying to climb a tree. Not only are you a fish that is trying to climb a tree, but you’re beating yourself up over your inability to climb that tree!

Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? It’s silly judge yourself for not being a great climber when the reality is that you are an awesome little swimmer.

The point is, quit living in a constant state of “lack.” You don’t lack anything. You have gifts and talents that are unique to you. If you’re good at swimming, quit trying to climb things and just go swim. If you’re good at developing relationships, quit trying to balance budgets and just go talk to others. If you’re good at teaching others, quit trying to sell yourself and just go teach.

Find the fish within you and discover your true self. Offer that gift to the world and enjoy the experience. After all, if you’re a good swimmer, it’s usually quite fun to swim!

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