One of the biggest lessons for me during my I Stop Complaining challenge was to become aware of all the times in my life when I considered myself like a victim.
When my children’s school changes the schedule last-minute and upsets my own personal agenda, when my hotel messes-up my reservation, when my kids wake me up in the middle of the night, when I am late for a meeting because of road construction or traffic, when economy is bad and my personal finances suffer, when my electricity is cut off because I paid the bill a few days late, when my internet connection is bad, when my prospective client forgets to cancel our meeting and I end up losing precious time…
All these annoying and pesky moments felt like sharp arrows attacking me and often time I just wanted to give-up, telling myself: ” What a sh..ty day!” , “This only happens to me!” or “Another headache!”
This story “The Donkey in the Well” really puts things in perspective:
The Donkey in the Well
One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. they all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly.Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well, and was astonished at what he saw.With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!
Each of our problems can be considered like a stepping stone that allows us to make a step forward.
We can get out of the deepest holes by never stopping. Never giving up! Shake ourselves off and forge ahead!
If the donkey had decided to act like a victim he would have continued to cry and complain, and he would still be at the bottom of the well! Instead, he chose to fight and to be creative. Often when I feel I am at the bottom of a well, I remember this donkey.
Victims cannot win and we must choose who we want to be at every instant.
In the end, Life is a story, make yours a best seller!