Resourcefulness Definition: “the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties” (Oxford Dictionary)
Once upon a time a retired donkey fell in an abandoned well. The farmer, deciding that the donkey and the well were both past their usefulness, decided to absolve himself of the responsibility of both the old donkey and the old well, by filling in the well in and burying the old donkey. He called his neighbours to help, and all began throwing shovels of dirt into the well.
At first the donkey cried and brayed appealing to the farmer, but after a little while the crying and braying stopped. The farmer and his neighbours continued to shovel dirt into the well, but after a little while longer and out of curiosity, the farmer stepped up to the well and peered in and was taken aback to see that the donkey was peering back at him, ears almost reaching the top of the well.
The farmer, confused, threw another a shovel-load of dirt down the into the well and watched as the donkey shook it off and stepped up on top of the new dirt, looking quite relaxed and pleased with himself.
Despite their efforts to work quicker, every time the farmer and his neighbours threw dirt into the well, the donkey would shake it off and step up until within a very short time, the donkey stepped out of the dirt-filled well and trotted away with three wide eyed farmers staring after him.
The moral of this story, for the purpose of this blog, is that if you take a moment to collect yourself, reflect & adopt a solution focused approach, you can, most likely, shake off whatever dirt life throws your way and step up AND at the same time reduce the risk of falling in the same ‘well’ (hole) again.
Just to take the story a little further, for the conscious students of life & personal growth, imagine what would have happened if the donkey had waited until the dirt was up to its knees before it decided to step up. It would have required considerably more effort. What if it had waited until the dirt was up to its belly? Then even more effort would have been needed to dig itself out. And if the donkey had waited too long, almost no amount of effort would have been able to save it, other than possibly a kindly individual coming along and digging him out.
That said, it is of no value to judge where you find yourself as right or wrong/good or bad/success or failure – heels, knees, belly, etc., as you cannot be other than where you are right now. How did I get here? is a good question but can bog us down further! How do I get out of here? is a better question – a solution-focused question!
Remember! The first step to personal development, growth and mastery is awareness – becoming aware of where you are and then setting the intention to find a way to rise above the ‘dirt’ and step up onto level ground and move in the direction of your preferred and valued life.
It doesn’t really matter when your awareness kicks in – dirt at your heels, dirt at your knees, dirt at your belly, etc., – what matters is that at that moment where you become aware, you can take a moment to collect yourself, reflect and begin the process of rising up, by containing your emotions, quieting your mind and setting the intention to find a solution.
Sometimes that means reaching for and accepting help, because even where it seems almost beyond your ability to even imagine being able to rise above your circumstances, you would be amazed at how often a person or people will present at just the right time, when your intention to step up is stronger than the circumstances you find yourself in.
What the donkey displayed was the process of shaking off each load of dirt as it falls, and so the effort required was very minimal. This is exactly what you, as students of life, can practice when it comes to studying & developing your own character & personality: Take time to check in with your Self every day. Make your character development and the path to increasing Self-mastery & Resourcefulness your daily intention. Be reflective every day and use any dirt that comes your way to help you know your strengths, vulnerabilities, helpful & unhelpful thought patterns, behaviours, assumptions, etc.
Over time, whilst it would be great never to fall into the ‘well’, you will experience a genuine pride in your ability to negotiate circumstances that would have previously left you feeling almost ‘buried alive’.
Of course, the longer term goal is to fundamentally be more discerning & mindful of where you step; however, there is no failure on the way to greater wisdom and mastery – sometimes we need a little dirt to find out what we are made of – where our strengths and weaknesses are and how truly smart we can be!
The rest of the story… The donkey later returned to the farm and bit the farmer who had tried to bury him alive. Moral: if you do something bad and try to cover your @$$, it always comes back to bite you 😊