The Chinese have said that 2010 is the year of the Tiger. Personally I am hoping it is finally the year of the 3rd Little Pig!
Taking a look at the age old story of the three little pigs each and every one of them continually being pursued by the big bad wolf, surely there are some parallels to be drawn between new year resolutions/entrepreneurs, and these three little swine.
Firstly I think it will be apt to describe the big bad wolf. This wolf is indeed a three-headed beast for the purposes of this story. He is the bank, the taxman and our creditors all rolled into one. Incidentally, I'm not the first person to tell you this. You may have heard your mother say, "it keeps the wolf from the door", some of us knowing that she actually meant " keep the sheriff from the door" but being polite and not wanting to hurt anybody's feelings, she was not going to come out and actually say that.
This wolf certainly is a hungry fellow. He not only takes very, very big bites from your chunk of food, he takes bites out of YOU sometimes and let's face it, we can even live with the size of the bites, but it is the monotonous regularity with which he sits at the supper table that occasionally gets to us, never mind that nasty streak where if not fed regularly, he takes bigger and bigger chunks, not really caring if you survive his feeding frenzy or not…a really scary wolf he can be…
Okay, enough now you say, let's see what the Pigs are about. Well as we all know the first little pig, seeking shelter from the wolf, built himself a house of straw. In reality, this was because he was quite a lazy little swine and quite frankly he didn't give the house much thought, because if he had, he would know that the house of straw would not stand up to the onslaught of bad weather, approaching wolves and other dangers.
I think it is fair to say that all of us have this little pig as part of our persona. I certainly do when it comes to my fitness levels. Year after year this little pig has big dreams of success in some way or other. He talks about his plans a lot. He actually often clutches at straws. Somewhere in his quest for protection from the big bad wolf he meets a passing acquaintance and big plans are discussed and optimism is raised for the ultimate quick fix and cure or structure of wealth. Yet, the very next day, he goes back to being lazy, waiting for someone else to put in the thinking or effort, and ultimately he simply continues to use the straw to build his home, as after all, it is quite easy to do so.
The wolf no doubt, as in the fairytale, huffs and puffs and with a relatively minor effort, he manages to blow this house down, all new years resolutions and entrepreneurial efforts of this little pig now something of the past and he runs as fast as his little legs can carry him to the home of the second little pig for some sage advice.
So there they are, little pig one and little pig two sitting in the house made of wood. You see little pig two, realized that building with straw was not such a good idea and he put in a bit more effort to build a stronger structure. I recognize him sometimes as my conscience when it comes to fitness levels by the way!
The thing is, once he started investigating his options to protect himself from the wolf, he saw that it would certainly cost some money and he definitely did not have enough for the perfect solution, which we all know was building a brick house and paying a contractor to do so. He also saw that he did not have the skills, nor did he know which bricks were better, nor was the plan finalized and then simply because it seemed that he would never ever get it together to finalise the brick structure he listened to the planks at the hardware store and built his house with wood!
The point here is, that little pig two lacks perseverance and self belief, even though he had the foresight and the initial energy to create maximum comfort and protection from the wolf. SO…as we all know, whilst the 2 little pigs were sitting discussing a way forward, the wolf started huffing and puffing and huffing and puffing and huffing and puffing and…finally he blew this house down too….. but the two little pigs escaped and ran and ran as fast as their little legs could carry them…
Luckily they came across a 3rd little pig sitting on the roof of his brick house, putting the final touches of paint on the chimney top. They urged and shouted and suggested that he please take them in and he did so, asking them to step through the solid wooden door. He placed on the fire a cauldron of hot water and offered them tea. He was methodical this little guy and not at all perturbed by their stories of death and destruction. Yes, he said, he had seen the wolf running on the horizon. No, he said, he was not intimidated by this wolf as he believed his own protection was strong.
He went on to explain that he had investigated the options open to him and found that with a really solid foundation, it got easier and easier to build the rest of the house. He said he hadn't listened to the planks and had also refused to listen to each and every brick in the wall. He had taken in only the best of advice, done much research and even though there were mammoth obstacles, like money and skills shortages and even though it took longer than he had dreamed it would, he now felt secure. This little pig by the way, still eludes me when it comes to fitness levels….
So the third little pig had persevered, he was not lazy, he was creative in adding his own alterations to his house, not taking only those on offer at the readymade store. He had planned and laid good foundations, obviously in the meantime enduring some hardship sleeping in the spare bedroom of his great aunt Bella and uncle Porky Pig. But he did it!
And simply because the wolf cannot resist and neither can I as you must remember this is a three-headed wolf, there was a knock on the door.
"Open Up" said the wolf. "Open Up, NOW"
"Go away" said the 3rd little pig, my house is in order and I have no need to allow you in.
"If you don't open" said the wolf, "I will huff and I will puff and I will blow this house down"
"Knock yourself out, dude" said the 3rd little pig,
So the wolf huffed and he puffed and he huffed and he puffed and he huffed and puffed, but he just simply could not blow the house down.
So being a wolf of substance himself, he climbed onto the roof and tried to enter the house through the chimney, but because the 3rd little pig was a thorough little fella and had worked all kinds of plans and fail safes into his original plan to keep himself on track for maximum protection and enjoyment of LIFE, all he had to do was lift the lid off the cauldron boiling on the fire and it was bye-bye Wolfie!
© Debbie Engelbrecht 14th January 2010
Debbie is the owner of a training company http://www.stafftraining.co.za, her passion in life is to encourage, motivate and empower individuals to follow their dream.
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