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Working is not only about achievement; it is also about how you feel, how you look, where you work, and how you treat yourself. 

What can a squirrel teach us about persistence?

manuelita otero


The other day I was visiting my aunt and she happily showed me her new bird feeder. As we looked through the window we noticed a squirrel who really liked what it saw and wouldn’t  give up until it got it. (See the video) I was amazed at the squirrel’s persistence, it just wouldn’t stop trying, and as I looked at that squirrel I started thinking… I need to have that persistence. Is there something you just can’t take out of your head? A project, a dream, or an idea that won’t leave you alone? You may have contemplated it, worked on it, given up on it, and no matter what you do, it keeps coming back. What can you do when the one thing you are passionate about keeps burning in your heart, but is not producing the results you hope, want, and need? The squirrel may have a couple of answers:

  • Focus on the goal: The squirrel knew what it wanted. The seeds in the feeder looked too good to let them go. The objective was clear. No distractions or complications. Do you really know what you want to achieve? Not only what you want to do, or how to do it, but what do you really want to accomplish. In business many times a major mistake is not knowing what you are selling, and what you are trying to achieve.

  • Plan: Did you notice the pauses the squirrel took? It was as if it was rehearsing each attempt in its mind, planning the next action, trying to figure out how to achieve the goal. Passion is the fuel you need, but planning and defining strategies will help you use that fuel wisely. Every effort must be part of a plan, which needs to be flexible enough to adjust to changes, but well founded to produce success.

  • Another way: The squirrel tried different ways to get the seeds, and if you notice the one that finally worked (sorry, spoiler) was completely different from the first attempts. There are several ways to solve a problem, to produce a great service, to reach your market, to let the world know about your product. The answer is out there, look for it in different ways, open your mind, listen to people who think differently from you, observe, allow times of silence. Take risks and turn problems into opportunities.

Persistence pays off. If you don’t believe me, look at the video Doesn’t that squirrel look happy and satisfied? “Don’t give up” is more than a slogan, it’s a way of life.

P.D. My aunt is actually very sad that this squirrel is taking the bird’s seeds, so if you have any tips on how to stop our persistent squirrel, I would appreciate them. :)

Manuelita @manuelitaotero

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