Lessons from the turtles


Turtles only go forward... when they stick their necks out. Turtles leave their comfortable shell in order to move. They need to expose themselves to be able to leave where they are to go where they are not!

A ship is not built to be tied to the docks. The ship is built to sail in the seas. Each time the comfort zone is left behind, there is a risk ahead. But doing this means you can grow, you can extend yourself, and also give yourself permission to make mistakes… and learn.

Each dream began as a small thought, as a small seed, as a possibility. But what should we do with our dreams? Lock them in our minds and feel they will never come to pass? Hide them in the drawer and never take them out? We need to learn from the turtles…

Jim Carrey, years before he became famous, wrote himself a “make believe” check… of ten million dollars! And he always carried it in his pocket. A teacher wrote a note to a young student, expressing that he would someday reach millions of people. Who was this boy? Denzel Washington. Another young boy received a message from his teacher. She told him he’d never amount to anything. But instead of discouraging him, it challenged him. When Muhammad Ali won the gold medal at the Rome Olympics of 1960, he took it to this teacher… to show her that he had done something with himself.

So it’s just a matter of deciding what we do with what is at hand. Will we choose to stick our necks out like the turtle and make a difference? Or will we cling to the docks in boring safety?

Each day we have the opportunity of overcoming the challenges we face. Perhaps we have received negative words and comments. Perhaps we were not appreciated and valued as children. Perhaps the family did not support you as you would have desired. Perhaps you were encouraged and even so, you feel like a failure.

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote: “Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway.”

Hang on to what is really important, and don’t give up. For as slow as a turtle is, he can go far! For as safe a harbor is, the ship was meant to sail the seas!

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