Routine. It’s a word that some people find solace, for others it could mean the exact opposite. A routine can be good; wake up in the morning, stretch, make coffee, have breakfast and talk about your day to your spouse before work is pretty good routine. Now, having a routine of going to the gym is good, but doing the same exercises the same day every week for years on end is not good. Becoming uncomfortable, both inside and outside the gym, can yield some incredible growth physically, spiritually and mentally. Taking a chance at something or doing something you have never done could be the greatest thing to ever happen to you. This reminds me of a story about a rat.
Rats are a highly respected species. In China and Japan they are regarded as good luck and prosperity and even considered very charming. This one particular male rat was no different. He enjoyed captivating almost everybody. He has charm and charisma, very protective of those that are in his close circle, and loves to seek out new information. This rat is assigned to a post in a field, watching over the various sheep and goats that come and go as they please. Other than watching the sheep and goats, this rat has various other duties; keeping his post clean, answering any questions the sheep and goats may have, and cleaning and sorting the grass for the sheep and goats. The rat fully enjoyed his duties; he interacted with various other animals; monkey, snake, tiger, dragon and even a shark. He highly respects these animals with the dragon, monkey, and tiger taking him under their guidance, treating him like family and aiding him in life’s great lessons. Over time the repetitive nature of his duties began to weaken the rat. The old wolf and hyena who hired the rat began to use and abuse the vibrant rat, ever breaking his spirit. While every day giving the rat more and more duties, stretching him further and further the rat not so much as got a thank you or acknowledgement of his duties well performed beyond satisfaction. The old wolf wanted the rat to sort out his pile of bones, move the old wolf’s rocks all the while maintaining his duties at his post. The old wolf and hyena attached a tether to the rat only giving him access to the duties he was assigned to. The rat knew in his heart he could do so much better than his current duties, but decided to settle because he knew bad weather was affecting every animal and he must keep himself busy with work. The old wolf and hyena had adopted and raised a bull. This bull is what gave the rat the most trouble. On top of everything the rat was already doing, the bull would add more to the rat’s load regardless if he was already doing something. These extra duties included such things as priming and printing leaflets for the sheep and goats, cleaning and sorting other types of grass and so on. The bull expects the rat to drop whatever he is doing and aid the bull in whatever the bull chooses without so much as a thank you or even a please. This infuriates the rat; he has other duties he must perform. The tether that’s attached to the rat grows shorter, and tighter around his little foot, ever straining and discouraging the rat from becoming the greatness that lurks inside. The tiger, monkey, dragon and shark tell the rat to be patient. They have a plan on having their own field with a new batch of sheep and goats. They want the rat to come along and be the greatest he can be. The rat wants to break free of the tether. He questions himself, “Do I stay where I am in a place that’s familiar but damaging my soul and spirit beyond recognition? Or do I gnaw through the tether and face what lies ahead? Unaware of what will happen in this new field” This is the internal fight. Time will only tell for this little rat.
So what’s your “tether”? What’s holding you back from becoming great? Are you afraid to take a chance on a dream? Have you been doing the same gym routine for years and are frustrated with your results? Have you been doing the same routine in life? Wake up, eat, go to work, come home and watch TV? I encourage you to break your tether of routine. Step out of that comfort zone and try something new. I have; this new job I started hasn’t been easy, but its made me realize how stuck and tethered to a routine I was in. I was frustrated and didn’t feel like my work mattered and I wasn’t progressing to where I wanted to be. Now it seems anything is possible and the only thing holding me back, is me. Break.The.Tether!