On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.
Last week, I reread some of the stories in the first book of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series (1993).
Here’s one of my favorites from Price Pritchett:
I’m sitting in a quiet room at the Milcroft Inn, a peaceful little place hidden among the pine trees about an hour out of Toronto. It’s just past noon, late July, and I’m listening to the desperate sounds of a life-or-death struggle going on a few feet away.
There’s a small fly burning out the last of its short life energies in a futile attempt to fly through the glass of the windowpane. The whining wings tell the poignant story of the fly’s strategy: Try harder.
But it’s not working.
The frenzied effort offers no hope for survival. Ironically, the struggle is part of the trap. It is impossible for the fly to try hard enough to succeed at breaking through the glass. Nevertheless, this little insect has staked its life on reaching its goal through raw effort and determination.
This fly is doomed. It will die there on the window-sill.
Across the room, ten steps away, the door is open. Ten seconds of flying time and this small creature could reach the outside world it seeks. With only a fraction of the effort now being wasted, it could be free of this self-imposed trap. The breakthrough possibility is there. It could be so easy.
Why doesn’t the fly try another approach, something dramatically different? How did it get so locked in on the idea that this particular route and determined effort offer the most promise for success? What logic is there in continuing until death to see a breakthrough with more of the same?
No doubt this approach makes sense to the fly. Regrettably, it’s an idea that will kill.
Price Pritchett’s Advice: Sometimes we need to do something radically different to achieve greater levels of success. We need to break out of our paradigm prisons, our habit patterns, and our comfort zones.
Source: Chicken Soup for the Soul, 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Kindle the Spirit, pp. 222-223