I can’t remember where I heard this story but I love the message it conveys.

There was a climbing competition organized between a group of tiny mice. The goal was to reach the top of a really tall tower. A huge crowd gathered to watch the race. No one in the audience believed that the mice could reach the top because it was such a huge climb and would take forever. They yelled, “no mouse has ever made it to the top” and “that’s too difficult” and “it’s far too high.”

The race began and within a short period of time many of the tiny mice collapsed and fell off the tower. Some determined mice continued to climb higher and higher. As the worried crowd lost sight of these mice they shouted louder – “you don’t have to do this” and “don’t exhaust yourself” and “you won’t make it.”

Discouraged and convinced by the negative cries, more mice collapsed and fell off the tower. Some still climbing complained of pain and eventually gave up. Others, tired and battered, heard their peers’ complaints and subsequently threw in the towel too.

In the midst of this, one tiny mouse persisted. He climbed and climbed and climbed. He pushed forward in spite of others failing.  The crowd started to ask “why is he doing so well?and “how is he able to climb so far when all the others have failed?” They were astonished.

By now, all the tiny mice had either collapsed or given up —except for that one. The crowd continued to yell at him but he never stopped. Undaunted and unaffected he plodded on until he reached the top of the tower. Exhausted, he stood up and waved to the crowd. He had reached his destination!

When asked about his secret to success, the tiny mouse smiled and signaled to his mother, who then informed the crowd that her son was deaf.

New Goals may come with criticism…

When we pursue a new goal, we can often face disapproval, negativity and discouragement from others. Our natural reaction when dealing with our critics is to be upset. We beat ourselves up and wonder if something is wrong with us. Subsequently, some of us give up. Others persist, but with less gusto. Some of us try to convince everyone of our stance. Some of us even cater to their wishes and appease them.

Hopefully you now realize that none of this is necessary. When dealing with naysayers, negative critics, and people who complain your job is simply to turn a deaf ear.

Why? Because when you spend even one second dealing with or thinking about naysayers, that’s ONE precious second taken away from working on your goal. When you so much as spend one ounce of energy tending to or even feeling bad about the negative remarks of your critics, that’s ONE unit of energy taken away from progressing towards your goal.

Own your vision…

Your job as the owner of your vision is to focus on your goal, and pursue it relentlessly. To keep your eye on the prize and to put your best foot forward in achieving it. In time, you will find the negative remarks become softer and the naysayers get smaller. At first they may ask ‘why are you doing this?’ But when they see your success and fortitude they will begin asking ‘how did you do this?’ Those very same people may even become your supporters (because they admire what you have achieved) and begin cheering you on to your next goal. So keep climbing no matter what!

Posted in Choices, Goals and tagged , , , , , .

Anne McKeown