“Ants never quit. If they’re headed somewhere and you try to stop them, they’ll look for another way. They’ll climb over. They’ll climb under. They’ll climb around. They keep looking for another way. What a neat philosophy; to never quit looking for a way to get where you’re supposed to go”~ Jim Rohn
One of the best life mentors I’ve had was Jim Rohn, a remarkably smart man who taught business and life philosophies around the world using seminars, C.D.s and books as his method of teaching. I saw him live once, many years ago, and can honestly say that out of all the personal development I’ve subscribed to, the lessons taught by Jim Rohn have been the most valuable of all in helping me to create a great life for myself. If you’re not familiar with him, you will be in a minute since today I want to share what Jim calls “The Ant Philosophy”. First I’ll explain it in my way, and then at the end of the post there’s a quick five minute recording of Jim explaining it as well. To be honest, I already know his explanation is much better than mine, but hey, if I don’t put my own spin on it, then it doesn’t necessarily work on my blog, right? Regardless, of who tells it better, the bottom line is this is one bit of philosophy (delivered in two styles) that when followed, guarantees success for anyone. So without further adieu, I give you…
The Ant Philosophy
As a kid, did you ever see a bunch of ants scurrying and bustling about on mounds of dirt? I sure did – I remember watching thousands of them zipping all over the place, foraging for leaves and other scraps; and whenever they found something good they’d pick it up and join the long line of other ants heading single file towards a hole to deposit the booty, only to resurface a few seconds later to do it all over again… and again, and again, etc. – I must say, they sure were industrious little buggers! And if this image rings a bell for you then you’ll also remember the times when you’d put rocks and twigs in their way just to see what they’d do when suddenly confronted by the large and unexpected obstacles, right? Fess up now, we all did it!
What we learned from these experiments was whenever interrupted by such obstacles what the ants didn’t do was throw their little ant arms up in the air and give up on their quest; can you even imagine an ant shrieking out (in ant speak, of course) “Oh no! There’s a massive boulder /tree in the way (Hey, it’s all relative) so we might as well give up!” then abandoning their goal of getting the food to the hole? Not a chance! We both know that whenever we put these “boulders” and “redwood trees” in their paths, the ants always looked for and found ways to go over, under, around or through them until they got past the obstacle and back on track to get their food to the ant hole; in other words, for the ants failure simply wasn’t an option, so they did whatever they had to in order to move forward to achieve their goals.
Even more important to notice is that ants take this approach with every single obstacle they encounter, simply refusing to let anything stop them from achieving their ultimate goal of getting food to the hole; and with this excellent strategy, is it any wonder that ants always wind up succeeding at achieving their goals? I think not!
I think we could all benefit from following the ant’s philosophy of never, ever letting obstacles – either big or small – stop us from achieving our goals; Instead, (like the ant) we should believe in our power and ability to problem solve and overcome obstacles, doing whatever we have to do to stay on task. This philosophy is a critical part to setting and achieving goals; so whenever you find yourself getting frustrated or annoyed, or worry that an obstacle is too big to overcome, (and you will) just remember what your friends the ants do whenever they are faced with the same situation – they’ll find a way around it, over it, or through it each and every time, no excuses! That’s why whenever it comes to being tenacious in pursuit of your goals, it always pays to “think like an ant”!
“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it” ~ Michael Jordon