On Being Flexible
It is said that Emperor Babur was obsessed with conquering the rich kingdom of Samarkand. He was defeated, lost what he had and was forced to retreat to the mountains, living the life of a nomad along with a few loyal men. One night he was disturbed by a huge commotion outside his tent. A soldier told him that a wolf had been coming for three nights to the camp to look for a meal. On the first night, it went into the enclosure for the horses and was promptly kicked out. The next night, it went into the sheep’s enclosure, but ran away when the sheep started bleating loudly. The night of the commotion, the wolf entered the chicken coop and got away with a chicken.
When Babur reflected on this he realized that the wolf was smarter that he was. The wolf, he said, was not obsessed with a single objective. When he was unsuccessful he moved to another objective, while Babur himself was constantly obsessed with Samarkand. That is when Babur began look elsewhere to fulfill his desire to be a powerful king. He looked to India and established the Mughal dynasty.
On Being Flexible
I’m no fan of Babur’s however, when I read this story recently it struck a chord. It made be begin to think of how obsessive we can be about what we want in life. Please don’t get me wrong, I think it’s very important to have dreams and goals. However, I also believe that we need to be flexible enough to redefine our goals based on circumstances and situations that life brings our way. We have to learn to adapt to change.
I think of Sanam who I interviewed last year (read here). Her terrible accident and its consequences meant that she had to give up her dream of being a vet. But she loved animals. So now she runs a very successful pet sitting business.
I have tried to be flexible in my own life too and am happy to report that life has a wonderful way of surprising us when we let go and enjoy the ride.
We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. ~ Joseph Campbell
I think another lesson that I would take from the wolf would be to be open to making errors and constantly learning from them. I could write a book about the errors I’ve made in life. Some of them I kept repeating until I got the lesson from them. I learned and have stopped making the same errors. Now, I’m making new ones 😉
Do you believe it’s good to be flexible?
May you be inspired – every day!
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