Catching the Lady

Catching the Lady

The man finally catches the lady, they enjoy a moment of sublime bliss, and then, the tiger who was chasing him, devours them both.

In my previous blog we wondered if the man was chasing the lady or running from the tiger. I then proposed that catching the lady without dealing with the tiger first would mean certain death as they would enjoy a moment together, but then both would be caught and devoured by the tiger. This happens because the tiger that pursues us never rests.

Do you think catching the lady is worth being devoured by the tiger? Maybe. But terminal bliss is not what most would chose, understanding that the word terminal is final.  I believe we must first face our fears before we chase our dreams.

However, isn’t it possible to chase a dream and actually catch it? It certainly is. But don’t forget what was said in an earlier blog, the fantasy of the conquest is almost always better than the conquest itself. It is the chase that brings the rush. But putting that aside, how can we catch our dream?

We should first make sure our dream is one we can really catch, and is within our capabilities to accomplish? I have one and only one repeating dream. I dream I can fly like superman.

It’s a great dream but not one that is within my capability, no matter how hard I work or how long I try. So, I have learned to just enjoy the dream. 

Then we need to decide if our dream is aligned with our mission statement. Would it help reach a life goal? An example, in my own life, is to start a charity to help underprivileged families and especially children. So let’s see if that fits my two criteria. Is it within my capability to accomplish? Yes, I believe it is. Does it support something in my life’s mission? Yes, again. My mission statement is to live such a life that other’s lives are made better by their relationship with me. I think this type of charity would fit well here, so it would be a good dream to pursue.

Am I saying that all dreams must be noble and selfless? No, of course not. It’s okay to reach for a dream that benefits only you. Sometimes it’s good to be selfish. Just don’t make it all the time and don’t be selfish to the extent that others are hurt.

To achieve a dream you must have a plan. Hoping or wishing for your dream to come true is not a plan or strategy.  If you do not define and describe your dream, how will you know when you’ve reached it? I like what Stephen Covey says in his Seven Habits book ‘Begin with the end in mind’.

I believe we are all born with natural talent, perhaps a gift from God or the act of providence. It’s much easier to reach your dream if you use some of the talent you were born with. For example, I have no natural talent for opera singing so pursuing that dream might not be wise. Although talent can be nurtured and grow to great heights, it can also wither and die if not fed and watered. It helps if your dream pursuit allows you to use one or more of your talents. 

Next you must have the skills to achieve your dream. Although talent is a gift, skill comes only through hard work. The great thing about skills is they can be learned if given time and commitment. I’m not a great runner, cCbut could I learn the skills that allow me to reach a goal of running a marathon? It’s possible. 

Finally, we must have the fuel necessary to develop the skill. This fuel could be called energy. Attaining enough fuel might take long hours and very tough practice. Fuel is what we burn on the road to our dream. Although desire lights the match energy keeps the fire burning. 

Lastly and most important is execution. Nothing happens until we start something.  And starting can be the hardest step.

Taking the first step in your plan takes courage and commitment. It’s your race, what are you waiting for? 

The time is now. Go catch the lady.

Steve Haberly

The Lady or the Tiger

The Lady or the Tiger

In my last blog we see a man running. A closer look shows he is chasing a beautiful woman. Zoom in and we realize that the man is being chased by a tiger.

What are we really seeing? Is the man running from the tiger or is he chasing the lady? Is there a difference?Running is running, you must admit. So, is running to catch something better than running away from another thing? It might be even worse.

I read an article by Leonard Kim in which he says, “When you decide to chase something, what you decide to chase starts to run away.” So with that in mind, can the man ever catch the lady? And, if the man does catch the lady, will he be happy? 

What if it’s the chase that brings the rush and not the conquest? What if the conquest usually ends in disappointment? One of life’s rules is this: the fantasy of the conquest is almost always better than the conquest itself. Do we run because we believe we can, or run because we believe we must?

Let’s suppose that the man catches the lady and they stop to enjoy the bliss of the moment. As she falls in his arms, her kiss is everything he hoped it would be.

As they enjoy the fantasy fulfilled, they are eaten by the tiger.

The tiger did not stop to rest. The tiger that chases us never rests. Was catching the lady worth being devoured by the tiger? Most would say no. With that in mind, it would seem that we should face the tiger before we ever chase and catch the lady.

I’ve been lucky to achieve most of my life goals. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. I have a wonderful marriage, three talented and loving children and a great job. I work for a company that puts people ahead of profit. Within this corporation I’ve been able to build a company that has grown from $5 million in sales to nearly $300 million.

I’m not boasting, well maybe just a little, but I’ve been able to grab almost every brass ring as the carousel of life went around.

What’s your tiger? Maybe it will help you identify yours if I tell you mine. I am one of those individuals that never stops running. I really don’t know how to rest and relax. In many ways it is my strength but someday it will probably be my undoing.

We will talk about both the hows and the whys, but for now, let’s discuss the whys. Let me start out by telling you, in my case, the why was the tiger. My motivation to succeed was my fear of the pain that comes with failure. To be first, for fear of being last, and at times in my life, to be first, for fear of being second.

My personal life is not much different. Every day I feel I must accomplish something because I do not want the pain of accomplishing nothing. So I run. Not literally, but figuratively. I get up early every day and I look for projects. I need something to do and something to accomplish. If I do nothing, it makes me an easy target for the tiger, and the tiger never rests. Neither do I.

There are three ways to live in the jungle. The most common situation is we forever run from the tiger. Second, we can turn and fight the tiger, but the injuries we would suffer could be terrible or even fatal.

But there is a third option. We can turn and embrace the tiger.

We can discover what chases us and instead of fighting it or running from it, we can use it to our advantage. If we no longer fear the tiger, and use the tiger’s pace to quicken our own, we might indeed catch the lady.

So what’s the moral of the story? Only by facing our tiger, and using that fear to our advantage, will we ever be able to catch the lady.

Steve Haberly

Don’t miss my next blog, Catching the Lady