Aesop’s fable is a good lesson for us. In it, a farmer has a goose that lays a golden egg each day. Over time the farmer grows rich from selling the eggs, but also becomes greedy and impatient. He decides to kill the goose and cut it open, to get to the eggs faster. Of course in doing so, he loses both the goose and the future eggs.
It’s common for us to grow greedy and impatient with our own metaphorical geese – ourselves as well as our relationships.
For example, we may go through a sprint of high production and start to expect that we can maintain that pace, without taking care of what enables us to achieve. Or, it’s not unusual for marriages to start off strong. Then gradually, as we neglect our spouse’s needs, we wonder where all the loveliness went. Perhaps we can’t understand why our child doesn’t listen to us, but we haven’t put in the effort to understand her/him over the years.
The opposite can also be a problem. If we excessively pamper ourselves, or continually put other people’s wants ahead of our own needs, there will be laziness, disharmony, or disrespect, and no golden eggs being produced.
We need a balance of both, taking care of the goose and making sure the eggs are being laid.
Take action: Are you getting what you feel you should be getting from yourself, your family, and/or people you work with? Consider if you’re taking the time to balance and nurture yourself and your relationships properly. Are you achieving your personal goals? Is your child disobedient, or your spouse ignoring you, or do your co-workers seem lazy? Instead of thinking the world is against you, take a look at your input into your goals and your relationships.
:: Inspired by Stephen R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change.
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