Turtle on a post


I saw this image today at church.  It’s a great image and it always makes me smile.  It’s a great reminder, the pastor said, that we should always be grateful.  No matter where we are, we probably did not get there on our own.

It is a good reminder.

But then something else occurred to me.  We should be grateful to anyone who has helped us.  No arguments there.  But what I also see in this image is a turtle that has been placed in a position it is not ready for.  It is in a position that it did not earn.  So it has no idea what to do with it.  It’s gotten to the top of the post with the help of others…but now what?

We see this with lottery winners that go broke.  They have been placed at the top of the post.  But they did not do the work that got them ready.  So time after time, we hear the tales of those that got the windfall, but were not ready for this level of success.

I find myself thinking of my team and my kids.  As an entrepreneur and a parent, there are so many times that it is simply easier to “do it for them” or to be one that has all the answers.  But what happens when you are not there to answer the question…or do the dirty work…or force them to succeed?  What happens when it takes their will and experience, not yours?

You guessed it.  They are the turtle on the post.

They might be grateful for the help in getting there.  But you have not helped them to succeed long term, because they have not put in the work to earn it.

On the other side, don’t be ashamed of your own struggles.  They help you understand that when you get to the top of the post, you will know what to do with the view.

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