Unexpected Wisdom {or, what I learned from a cartoon}

On a recent weekend, it was just my 8 year old son and I home on a Saturday morning.  We both love lazy weekend mornings {not that everyone else doesn’t, but that husband of  mine, oh he can be such a ‘chore master’ 🙂 some weekends, and he was off  working that day!}.  While the cat’s away, these mice will lounge!

So, the kiddo plopped on the couch and I made my coffee and was just a half a room away working in the {PaperKeeper} studio {aka, my dining room!}.  Kiddo and I were chatting casually about what was on tv, some silly boy-humored cartoon.  After awhile the music and tone changed and I realized that the clock had struck and the next half hour’s show had commenced.  Secretly grateful to have some extended creative time, I allowed the tv viewing to continue, but still kept my ear tuned to the ‘tube’ or should I say, ‘panel’ now?

I didn’t know what show he was watching, so I had to ask when I heard a deep, mature resounding voice coming from the television.  “What are you watching, who is that talking?”  My son replies, with that sound of exasperation that I know will only intensify in the impending years to come, “Mom, it’s Ninjago” {tranlation, DUH, don’t you know!}

Oh, of course.

The show continues when I hear dialogue that sounds so serious.  I tune in and hear something about true potential, training, being ready… Still in the next room, I am a little more intrigued and ask kiddo to back it up and as I walk into the living room, I see …

… this Lego character, the Sensei, speaking with his students and this is the dialogue that follows:

Sensei: What is it that I can help you with?

Students: Sensei, what if we’ve done enough training, what if we have reached our true potential? What if we are, ready?

Sensei:You might have reached peak physical condition, but you’ve yet to reach your inner potential.  In each and every one of us there are obstacles that hold us back. Only when you conquer that fear will your heart be free. Only then will you reach your true potential. Only then will we have a fighting chance to stop the serpentine from releasing the great devour.

I was impressed that a cartoon could impart such a meaningful message to it’s young viewers, and apparently, its older listeners also. 🙂

It got me thinking; and I realized that it’s easy to become proficient at tasks, and routine actions, and to subsequently feel busy, productive, successful. Over time those small actions can accumulate and result in changes we didn’t necessarily set out to make. It’s not so scary to go about change, when the steps are incremental, safe, low risk.  But what about the things that hold us back?  I know for me, when it comes to  intentionally pushing beyond my comfort zone,  I am sometimes stoppped in my tracks.  I can second-guess with the best, downplay my talents and abilities and squirm away from the possibility.  What is it that stops me?  What is it that stops you?

While the answer for each of us may be different, it’s clear that yes, fear is often at the root of what holds us back. Fear of that which may may cause pain, or discomfort, or failure certainly makes a ton of sense. Who wants any of that nonsense?

But what about when the obstacle is the fear of something that is good?  That change is difficult is certainly not a new concept, but isn’t it amazing how we fear, and possibly even resist change that can or will bring about cool, groovy things that will turn into a smashing success! Don’t we all want to {fill in the blank} “stop the serpentine from releasing the great devour” ? How could ya not want to stop that serpentine!?

I came across this article and these comments made a ton of sense to me,

 It’s rare that a goal is all roses. Success requires change, and change has both positive and negative consequences….

Unlike fear of failure and fear of rejection, fear of success can be far more insidious because it’s almost always unconscious. But it’s not fear of success itself that is the problem but rather fear of the side effects of success…

Ok, feeling better, it’s just not so simple after all! We get comfortable in our current context and while change that comes about incrementally doesn’t feel like change; consciously moving towards something new that we cannot fully see, envision or understand can bring on a case of the jitters even when it’s good.  (Especially if you are a planner. Are you a list-making; planning fool like me? I kinda like and want to see how it’s all going to go, don’t you?)  Because THAT OVER THERE, even when it’s awesome, will be different from THIS RIGHT HERE.  For the most part, we’ve got it down how to manage the THIS RIGHT HERE, but it’s hard to predict how we are going to handle the THAT OVER THERE when we just can’t see it yet. For a trapeze artist, I think the most beautiful moment in their act is when they have let go of one bar before they grab the next. Only in letting go can they move to the next sequence and complete their act, their art.

This THIS and the THAT are different for each of us, but isn’t it great to know more and that we can share in how we move between the two?

Some people fear rejection and failure, some people fear success!  For grins and giggles, and some honest to goodness reflection, here is a short little quiz to see where you fall on the continuum.  But fear should be shakin’ in it’s boots, because now we are on to it!  Because when we stop, and look fear square between the eyes, it doesn’t stand a chance.  Why?

because fear has a tendency to shrink under direct examination, making it easier for you to take action!”

I didn’t watch a lot of cartoons when I was a kid; I had chores to do first and by the time I had slept in { I had my priorities in order! } and completed my work, the cartoons were mostly over.  I’m kinda rethinking that strategy today, wondering how many life lessons I may have missed by skipping out on the Saturday morning wisdom! I guess my kiddo and I just might have to spend a few more lazy Saturday mornings together. Are you thinking what I am thinking? Yes, the chores can wait!

{ go stop that serpentine! }

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