When is giving up the right choice?

by | Jul 19, 2013 | Mindset

Go for your dreams in ways that are in alignment with who you are

I’m a big proponent of never giving up on your dreams. However, I observed something this morning that made me think there are times when giving up is the right choice.

This morning, when I opened the door to let some cool air in, I saw a hummingbird drinking from the feeder I have hanging near my front door. I paused to watch because they are so lovely and fascinating to observe.

After a moment, another bird … not a sparrow, a young bird with a finch-like beak … came upon the feeder and for the next 3-5 minutes, it attempted to get the nectar out of the feeder.

The hummingbird would give it room, then return to feed. The young bird kept shifting, trying to get the food the hummingbird was so easily accessing. The two birds danced this dance for a while.

The hummingbird got its fill. The young bird did not.

What struck me is that the young bird, despite having the completely wrong beak for the feeder kept trying anyway. I’ll give it props for that … but it was trying to achieve its goal … food … in a way that was totally out of alignment with what it was … not a hummingbird!

The way I see it is this: We all have big goals and we all have paths that are the best ways to our goals. However, one person’s best path is another person’s certain failure.

I still believe that you need to keep going for your brass rings. But, if you are repeatedly hitting a wall that is barring you from your goal, perhaps you should take a look at how you are trying to achieve your goal. Is it possible that the method you are using is out of alignment with who you are?

This is why you need to learn about many possible ways to achieve your goal … and then choose the one or ones that best fit you. Just because someone else had success doing what you want to do using a particular technique, doesn’t mean that the same technique will work for you.

For example, both birds wanted food. The hummingbird easily gained access to the food in the hummingbird feeder because the feeder was designed for the hummingbird’s long, thin beak.

The young bird had a short, fat beak and never had a chance of getting to the nectar.

The hummingbird was using a technique for achieving its goal that was in alignment with what it was. The young bird was not. If I had a different kind of feeder hanging there, the reverse would have been true.

Bottom line … I’m not saying to give up on your dreams, I’m saying to give up ways of achieving those dreams that don’t work for you. Keep going for your brass rings … but do so in a way that is in alignment with who you are and what you care about.

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Now its your turn …
Have you ever tried to achieve a goal in a way that didn’t work for you, only to discover a different way that got you there with ease? Where in your life are you like the hummingbird in this story? And where are you like the young bird? Please share your story, your insights, and your wisdom in a comment below.

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