You remember the song –
The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again
So simple. So catchy. Yet packed with so many lessons.
Did you notice the spider knew where it wanted to go? Setbacks, “failures,” and rain did not stop him. As soon as he faced the storms and was knocked back down, he didn’t complain, make excuses, or protest about the unfairness of the rain; he simply climbed up again. You have to have that singular, tunnel vision in knowing where you want to go or what you want in life.
The times I’ve felt the most defeated in life are those where I had no direction, no focus. Those were times when I didn’t even want to try anymore, since there was no point in chasing a goal or a target that didn’t even exist to me. I learned I have to view my goals in high definition and hone in on them with sniper-level focus. When the objective becomes clear, the unimportant noise in my life becomes irrelevant and the sense of purpose makes me try again.
We often see the storms in life, but we don’t see the forces at work on our behalf. The rain knocked the spider down and the spider could have sat and sulked at his own misfortune, but he knew the sun was on his side. The sun fought the very thing that fought the spider… the rain. You see the spider knew he could only control what he could control which was his effort. He knew that life would hand him the allies he needed, no matter how unlikely of an Ally it may be, to help him get to his destination.
Years ago I stopped with the “I’m all alone,” “one deep,” mindset and all that kind of nonsense. The truth is no one accomplishes anything worthwhile alone. Even as my own boss, I still rely on customers, colleagues, mentors. In fact, if you listen to my interviews, you’ll usually hear me talk about “we,” when I speak because I know I’m never in it alone, even when it seems that way. The limiting belief that you’re alone is the surest path to failure. Life is working in your favor, you just have to look up long enough to see it. Once you realize how many allies you have )though not always in the form of people), the more unstoppable you will become.
I don’t know anyone that likes spiders. Who doesn’t run from or try and kill spiders? We hate them for one reason – they’re spiders. But guess what, the spider in the story doesn’t care what people think about it. It also doesn’t wish it was something else. When the spider was knocked down, it didn’t say, “I wish I was a bee with wings so I could fly up the water spout and get there quicker.” The spider knows everything and everyone has its own set of problems therefore it’s best to use the talent you have and make the best of your own abilities.
The spider moves at a spider pace, it’s not fast, it’s not adored or loved by all. It gets washed down and washed out. But day after day, it stays focused on getting up that water spout.
One day the spider makes it to the top and spins the web of it’s dreams – and so should you.