French naturalist, Jean Henri Fabre’ studied caterpillars his whole life and noticed a very quirky behavior – caterpillars followed one another in lock step, one after another. He decided to take a flower pot, caterpillars and the favorite food of a caterpillar for a little experiment. He arranged the caterpillars around the circumference of the flower pot one after another. The caterpillars began circling the pot. He then placed an abundant food source and water in the center of the pot which the caterpillars were circling. What happened later will be discussed at the end of this post.
The habits that we form throughout our lives are both essential and detrimental. Essential because such habits reduce the required brain powered to carry out mundane tasks and detrimental because we can become blind to very obvious ways of achieving such tasks more efficiently and miss opportunities to drastically change our world and thus reality due to such habits closing our minds. Below you will find three critical steps you can take now to ensure you maximize every opportunity that crosses your path:
Ask why? Why do you do what you do? Why is it you first put on your pants instead of your shirt? Why do you drive a certain way to work? Why is it you incessantly watch your inbox to dictate the next course of action your are to take for the day? The aforementioned questions are rudimentary but vitally important to freeing you from the procession of caterpillars. Just because the person in front of you is moving in the same direction does not mean you should. Instead, critically question EVERYTHING that you do to see if it adds value to the World, your life and those around you. If it does not, replace such activities with something that does.
Analyze the “Path”
Why did you linearly go through elementary school, junior high, high school, college, job and marriage? Through what corporate systems have you been indoctrinated to condition you to behave certain way? Question every aspect of the journey you have taken to get you to where you are today. Are you more or less satisfied today than you were yesterday? Do you have more joy (happiness is different than joy as joy is not conditional of your circumstances)? If not, what behaviors and actions did you take today that did or did not lead to joy?
See the man behind the curtain
Who is the man behind the curtain pulling the levers to line their own pockets? If you cannot see the man who is pulling your strings, you need to look harder. Find the one true source that motivates and inspires you and do not allow those around you influence you so they may take advantage of your most valuable Earthly possession – time. You can only spend it once and there are many charlatans who will willing spend your time so you can bring them riches.
At the end Fabre’s experiment, he astonishingly found the caterpillars continuously circled the pot for seven days straight following the same silken path laid down by the caterpillar before them. Eventually, all of the caterpillars died due to lack of food and water that was only inches away from each of them as the habit of following the leader was so instinctively ingrained in their DNA.
Do not be the caterpillar!