Freeze… There’s A Chair In My Face!!

Posted: March 21, 2014 in Podcasts, Who Is "me"...?
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Please click on player or link below to listen.

Long ago, a lion tamer named Clyde Beatty learned a lesson that applies to every area of my  life today.

Clyde Beatty was born in Bainbridge, Ohio in 1903. When he was a teenager, he left home to join the circus and landed a job as a cage cleaner. In the years that followed, Beatty quickly progressed from a cage boy to a popular entertainer.

Beatty became famous for his “fighting act” in which he would tame fierce wild animals. At one point, Beatty’s act included a segment where he brought lions, tigers, cougars, and hyenas into the circus ring all at once and tamed the entire group.

A majority of lion tamers die in the ring, but Beatty lived into his 60s. In the end, he died from cancer, not a lion.

The difference, Clyde Beatty brought a chair into the circus ring.

There is a classic image of a lion tamer. It’s the one where the tamer is holding a whip and a chair. The whip gets all of the attention, but… and this is where it gets interesting for me, while the whip get’s most of the attention it’s mostly for show. In reality, it’s the chair that does the important work. SERIOUSLY?

When the lion tamer holds a chair in front of the lion’s face, the lion tries to focus on all four legs of the chair at the same time. With its focus divided, the lion becomes confused and is unsure about what to do next. When faced with so many options, the lion chooses to freeze and wait instead of attacking the man holding the chair.

So how many times have i been in the position of the lion?

How many things right now do i want to achieve (i.e. lose weight, write a book, start a business, travel more) … only to end up confused by all of the options in front of me and thus i make little or no real progress?

This frustrates me to no end because while everyone around me is busy debating about which option is best, I am left frustrated by all of the conflicting information. In the end result i feel like i can’t focus or that i’ve focused on the wrong things, and so i take less action, make less progress, and stay the same when i could be improving.

Anytime i find the world waving a chair in my face, i need to remember this: i need to commit to one thing.

i have the ability to focus, i need to choose what to direct it towards instead of acting like the lion and dividing my attention among the four legs of the chair.

my life isn’t a dress rehearsal. i’m already in the ring. Much of my time is sitting quietly, gazing at the chair in front of me, frozen silently debating about which leg is the most important.

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