Facing Fears and Slaying Dragons of Mediocrity

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The World on His Back

I often get the chance to go for nice long walks with my honey on the beach in Laguna.  Traversing rocks and avoiding waves was is always an adventure in itself, but the little bit of wild life encountered is quite delightful.  One such meeting involved a crab in a makeshift snail shell.  His life was pretty much disrupted as he was plucked from his ocean home and watched closely to see if he would venture out of his shell a bit to walk away – along  a human hand.  He did not.

This little crab had incredible powers of discernment and stayed safely tucked away until he was placed on a non-human rock.  Within seconds, he had flipped over, sidestepped away, and scurried – with his entire home on top – back toward the water.  But his determination and self-protection was a lesson in and of itself.  He was unwilling to risk his own security to settle a curiosity.  He stayed put until the ground was solid beneath him.

Throwing the World Off My Back

This has not always been the case for me.  I tend to look before I leap and dive in before I am sure of the depth.  Understanding surroundings and being comfortable with those surroundings are key factors in securing solid ground and assurance.  We work in a tenuous time, risk is part of the excitement we face but also what keeps many from daring out and trying more.  Risk means risk.  It isn’t easy – it’s not meant to be easy.  If it were, everyone would be doing it.  There is a certain fearlessness that takes over when risk is faced head on.

Gained Wisdom

I will take my lesson from the crab.  The shell on his back, though a hindrance because of its size and weight, also provides the necessary protection from those who would deceive (“please flip over and crawl away on my hand”) and from those who would destroy – a sea urchin or other predator.  Our gained wisdom can be very heavy and brought about by much pain but the protection it ultimately provides is vital.

Slaying the Dragons

Which path we take makes all the difference – and though I can see where one is well traveled but the other bends in the undergrowth and wants wear – this is what drives me on.  Anyone can provide a service that everyone else already provides.  Anyone.  It takes a seasoned professional – a sage – to not fear and try something new.  And then, the dragons of mediocrity have no place to hide.


“Only with absolute fearlessness can we slay the dragons of mediocrity that invade our gardens.” – George Lois



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  1. Love this.

    I also wrote a blog post in January about facing imaginary fears and letting them go (The post is titled “The Care and Feeding of Heffalumps.”)

    There’s too much imaginary fear right now, leading to too much caution, I think. You’re right about discerning the proper level of risk and taking steps to protect oneself from deception. (I’ve learned a lot about that the past couple of years).

    That aside, I also think folks are starting to realize that fear, especially unfounded fear, is strangling success.

    The crab is a great metaphor for life right now.

  2. Thanks, Sheree!

    We need to change how the world views fear – maybe between the two of us, we are doing it!

    Appreciate your comment!



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