Trina Paulus’s book, ‘Hope for the Flowers’ is a parable of two caterpillars who get caught up in the fallacy of competition and struggle to reach the top of their caterpillar pile.
As they make the climb, the first caterpillar decides to abort the mission as she realizes that her progress upward means ‘winning’ at the expense of others, competing with them and crushing them along the way. She thinks there must be another way and decides to return to base.
However, the second caterpillar continues upward. He is focused and determined to reach the top. And eventually he succeeds. As he takes in the view from the top he sees caterpillars below struggling to make the climb. He is left disillusioned and questions, “Is this all there is at the top?”
Bored and unfulfilled, he goes in search of his friend who chose a different path. She trusted her instincts and took the road less travelled. She decided to go within. To weave a cocoon and emerged a beautiful butterfly.
Like the caterpillars in that tale, we may have been led to believe that we must compete to succeed. Whether we engage in sports, pursue academia or seek career advancement. That something external to us like status or income could bring us feelings of satisfaction and joy.
Such an outside-in focus creates pressure and urgency to be the best, to finish first and to be right. No matter what the cost to others and to ourselves. In fact, external pursuits may drive us to be out of alignment with our values, passion and purpose. Pulling us off our course.
So, who’s leading you? What drives you to do the things you do?
Are you leading a life of wholeness and peace within or caught up seeing the success of others as a potential threat? That perhaps you may miss out as though you’re playing a big game of musical chairs?
What if the world was abundant enough for all to express their unique talents and to succeed according to their internal compass?Who’s leading you