Save Me From the Sharks!
It’s Thursday again!
What lens or point of view are you viewing your life through? Whether you realize it or not, this morning you chose to put on a set of glasses. Those glasses are tinting your view of the world – good, bad, or indifferent – and for some of us, we need to choose a different pair to put on.
I would like to share a story with you. It is called the “Shark Bait” parable.
During a research experiment, a marine biologist placed a shark into a large holding tank and then released several small bait fish into the tank. As you would expect, the shark quickly swam around the tank, attacked and ate the smaller fish.
The marine biologist then inserted a strong piece of clear fiberglass into the tank, creating two separate partitions. She then put the shark on one side of the fiberglass and a new set of bait fish on the other. Again, the shark quickly attacked.
This time, however, the shark slammed into the fiberglass divider and bounced off. Undeterred, the shark kept repeating this behavior every few minutes to no avail. Meanwhile, the bait fish swam around unharmed in the second partition. Eventually, about an hour into the experiment, the shark gave up.
This experiment was repeated several dozen times over the next few weeks. Each time, the shark got less aggressive and made fewer attempts to attack the bait fish, until eventually, the shark got tired of hitting the fiberglass divider and simply stopped attacking altogether.
The marine biologist then removed the fiberglass divider, but the shark didn’t attack. The shark was trained to believe a barrier existed between it and the bait fish, so the bait fish swam wherever they wished, free from harm.
How different are we from these sharks? Many of us, after experiencing setbacks and failures, stop trying or just “accept” the situation for being “just the way it is”. We choose to view our current life situation through a negative lens. Like the shark in the story, we believe that because we were unsuccessful in the past, we will always be unsuccessful. In other words, we continue to see a barrier in our heads, even when no ‘real’ barrier exists. This applies to our happiness levels too.
What we are consuming is limiting our perspective too. The lens we view the world through is in part due to the relationships we are in, the social media we are ingesting, and the books we are reading. That is why it is so important to filter out those negative messages and influences.
If you have seen beauty and purity at least once in your life then you know what it looks like and can avoid the things that are ugly and negative.
- Write down 3 or 4 points of view you have on the world (marriage, finance, business, politics, religion, family, etc). Then ask yourself: is holding this point of view making me a better person? Is it helping me live my most ideal life? If it’s not, then cross it out.
- Replace those crossed out points of view with new ones. Seek mentors who have a life or point of view you want to emulate whether in person or through the content they share.
- Share one of your crossed-out self-limiting points of view in our Three Action Thursday Facebook Group.**