When a crab fishermen catches some crabs, the crabs get dropped into boxes on board the boat. The boxes don’t have lids on them.
Lids aren’t necessary. Not because crabs can’t climb (they can), but because other crabs won’t let them. A crab that claws its way toward the sky inevitably gets pulled back into the fray by its companions.
Misery loves company, right?
If you’re a crab looking for a way out of the crab bucket, sounds like there’s not much hope for you. If, however, you’re a human being who feels like a crab in a bucket, and you’re looking up at the sky wondering whether you can make it…
I like your chances.
Yes, if you decide to make the climb, there will be at least a few people grabbing at your heels. That’s part of the deal.
Here are 3 reasons that making the climb is worthwhile despite people resisting your desire to change:
- Persistence will pay off. Unlike the crab, who has only claws and the survival instinct to rely on, you’ve got arms, legs, a big fat brain, a survival instinct, and the ability to have faith in a better future. That’s a lot;
- Each person grabbing at you presents an opportunity to show love in action, a chance to lay yourself on the line to connect with another human being. Which, as far as I can tell, is the reason we’re here. To connect. Expressing that your decision to change isn’t a rejection of where you’ve been but an embracing of where you’re going might transform an adversary into the greatest of allies. A person who was holding you back might end up giving you a critical boost somewhere down the line; and
- If you make it over the top (and I think you can), you become an example and can throw lifelines to others ready to make a change.
Alright, we’ve taken that metaphor far enough.
But really, how messed up is it that crabs do that? Just let him go! What’s it matter to you?!
This post comes directly from a passage in Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. If you’re a human being seeking Work that’s yours to do, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I could try to, but I’d fail.