Monday, August 11, 2014

Aim high and land softly.......a formula for success

I hope I won’t lose some of you right off the bat when I say this but…….I love cats.  No I’m not one of those crazy cat ladies who can’t say no to just one more kitty.  I just have one.  His name is Mocha and he is a beautiful, long hair Himalayan whose colors are reflected in his name.  Mocha pretty much runs the show at our house, sleeping wherever he wants whether it is on our bed or the dog’s, the couch or the coffee table.   He loves to go outside and roll in the dust although he spends most of his time indoors enjoying the good life we provide for him.

For most of my life, I’ve had a cat so I’ve had a lot of time to observe how they live and do what they do…..or not as the case may be.

Cats know how to take life as it comes, when and how to relax and when to be alert.  They are great at prioritizing both their time and their energy.  They know both what and whom they like and what and whom they do not.  The former they reward with purring, leg rubbing and head butting.  The latter they avoid like the plague.  Cats have good boundaries.

There is one other thing however that cats do that can teach us a lesson about how to approach not only life but success. 

One of the most successful things cats do is to jump up on things.  Yes, I know, they aren’t 100% successful as many YouTube videos show, but their rate of success at both jumping and landing where they want to is far greater than any human I’ve ever seen.

So how do they do it?

I watch my cat jump up a lot, mostly on to places he’s not supposed to be but we’ll leave that issue for another blog…..  What I know from my observations is that when he jumps he doesn’t aim for the height he needs.  He aims higher!

For example, if the kitchen counter is three feet off the ground, Mocha jumps to a height of about 38 inches.  Then he descends on to the spot he has earmarked as the landing zone, landing softly and without any jolt to his body.

What a lesson for success!

As humans we tend to approach the attainment of our goals as a climb up a ladder or a mountain, or maybe as a long journey.  We fix a goal into our future and fight or struggle our way to it.  We rarely think about taking a leap and almost never about aiming higher so we can land softly right on our target.

What would it take to turn this metaphor around and apply it in our lives?  How would it look?  How easy or difficult would it be?

I don’t have the answers to these questions but I think that just in asking them of ourselves we could begin to make changes in how we approach our goals, wants and desires in all areas of our lives.

Aiming higher doesn’t mean going over the top!  And yes, I’ve seen Mocha do that too…..aim too high and miss completely only to fall over the other side.  As I said, cats aren’t complete masters of the system either.

Aiming higher means that after we have put what we feel is the required amount of effort into something, adding just a little bit more.

Aiming higher means that when we have set a standard for ourselves, notching it up just a fraction more.

Aiming higher means that when we hold up our heads to be seen, we stretch just that little bit further and “grow” that extra half inch.

Aiming higher means that when we think we have held on enough, we hold on just that little bit longer.

Aiming higher means that when we have given or forgiven, we do both just a smidgen more.

And then………we can land softly.