You may have heard the story. It goes something like this... Two frogs were playing in a muddy road. Their gleeful hopping gradually took them deeper and deeper into a rut. One of the frogs tired of the game and decided he was ready to move along so he hopped out of the rut. The other frog looked at him wearily.
"Hop out!" cried the first frog. "If you don't get home, you'll miss supper." The little fellow in the mud was getting hungry, but he was also weary. He had begun to ponder just taking a nice, long nap here in the rut. "I can't. I'm too tired," the second frog moaned as he sat his little chin on the ground. "Besides, it's cool and comfy down here. I just don't have the energy to hop out of this deep rut."
The first frog croaked his pleas over and over again. The second frog lifted his chin once or twice and even made a half-hearted attempt to hop that high but, alas, he felt it was just too much for him. He couldn't do it.
Until both frogs heard a sound. A low rumble floated in the air to them and quickly grew louder. It escalated until the earth seemed to shake with it. They looked down the road a short distance and a large truck was racing toward them. One front wheel was in the very rut where the little frog was stuck! The frog up on top screamed and squeezed his eyes shut as the trucked thundered by!
Then, as it grew quiet once again, a tear started dripping down his cheek. He slipped up to the edge of the rut and peered over. No one was there! Had his friend been buried in the mud? As he shook from fear and sorrow, he heard a sound behind him.
On the side of the road sat his friend, croaking happily. "How did you get there?" "I took one big hop and landed here," the friend replied.
"But," said the first frog, "you said you couldn't get out. What changed?"
I tell that story because, a few years ago, I was that frog in the mud. I felt weary and unable to get out of my rut. My motivation came in the form of a seminar taught by author/speaker John Maxwell. The subject was leadership and no one else can hold me in such rapt attention for long stretches of time.
When I left for that Southern California conference with several co-workers, what I really wanted to do was put my chin down in the mud and sleep for a while. I seriously considered whether I might have a case of burn-out.
By the time I returned home, I was not only out of my rut, but I had purchased -- at my own expense -- a veritable library of resources I could use to continue my study. My motivation was strong enough to permanently change some of my time management. It started me on a learning quest that continues today, some ten years later.
My "big truck" was actually the discovery of something I wanted more than the safe confines of my rut. I wanted to grow as a leader. And I knew it wouldn't happen without diligent, elongated effort. I discovered that it's amazing how far you can hop -- if you have the proper motivation.
So, my friend...what motivates you?
p.s. My "Old Friend" -- the one I wrote about yesterday. He sent me an email that arrived as I was leaving for the office in the morning. Contact!