September 23, 2020 –
I got thinking about the stories I read as a child. The stories that stand out to me are the short ones with a lesson or lessons for success and happiness.
Aesop’s fable of “The Dog and His Bone” contains a lesson for personal success: when we are not content with what we have and grasp for more, we often lose what we have. The fable is about a dog that found a bone and was so possessive of the bone that he growled at anyone who attempted to take it out of his mouth. The dog’s attitude was, “This bone is mine!”
When the dog went to bury his prized possession, he happened upon a stream. As he looked into the water, he saw his reflection. Thinking it was another dog with a bigger bone, he growled at the reflection, and the reflection growled back. I want that bone, thought the greedy dog and opened his mouth to grasp it. When he did, he lost the bone in his mouth in a quest for the bigger bone that didn’t exist.
People are like that. They have shelter, food, and clothing; their basic needs are met. But when they see someone else with a bigger house, eat at the finest restaurants, and wear designer clothes, they want the more important items.
The story of the dog losing his bone, when due to envy, grasped for the illusionary bigger bone, shows an individual who, without thought, gives up what he/she has for the illusory bigger house, fine food, and stylish clothing. Some people enjoy where they live, the food they eat, and the clothes they wear. Other people want to improve in all areas of their lives.
Here are three principles for getting a bigger bone.
- Protect the bone you have. The bone you have is better than the bone illusion in the water. Focus on what you have.
- Stop wanting and start doing. Once you know your goal, act on it. The bottom line is, are you willing to go after the bigger bone? Too many people only want to want.
- Avoid envy. A bone in your mouth is better than a “bigger” bone in the water.