Akin is a High Productivity, Life, and Relationship Coach. Presently moderate a growing Social Media audience of more than 100,000 followers
"While ants are hardly a strong species, they work constantly to store up food during the summer"
— Proverbs 30:25, VOICE
Designed for Diligence and Hard Work...
Ants, like, every other animal are coded with instincts in the deep recess of their being. Coded into them is the importance of timing and hard work. They are not the strongest of animal, nor insert. And, are not particularly strong on their own, nor are they necessarily stout in structure. Yet, what they lack in strength and structure is compensated for by the level of their industry.
They understand life is made of seasons, and each season has its pros and cons, its opportunities and threats. And, like the lighthouse, they understand it is not for the seasons to accommodate them. Rather, they are the ones with the onus of accommodating the changing seasons. They do this by making the right adjustments per time, with considerations given to their own strengths and weaknesses, rightly harnessing the seasons.
“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
— Kevin Durant
Humans are supposed to be the stronger and more intelligent species. And, really they are, but these are mere potentials, useless at best, unless if and when put to good use. Our intelligence and will-power, a pair of twin forces that are supposed to differentiate, elevate, and give us leverage, also bears the potency of derailing us, just as well. Hence, the varied "causes" possible in nature. These varied causes, invariably, results in a varied possible list of "effects."
Yes, we are strong. Yes, we are stronger than the ants. Yes, we are more intelligent, at least supposedly. Yes, we have more than instincts, unlike the ants. Yes, we do have the ability to make changes. We can think. We can conceptualize things. We can think of a better alternative. We can mix, we can subtract. We can re-configure. And, whole other things, the ants are incapable of. Does that make us any better? Not necessarily. There is more to winning than mere potentials.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
— Albert Einstein
The Miracle of Life
Plagued with the ability to each choose our causes, the human experience is filled with varied resultant effects, from the varied causes that are available to us. Some respect the lighthouse, knowing it does not change. Hence, the onus is on us to adapt and make maximal use of our summers. We innovate, we create, we gather, we save, we invest and we generate, for the other seasons of life.
We dream of a better world than presently is, and work tirelessly in bringing it to fruition. We do not take that which we have for granted. We are grateful for all we have but refuse to settle. We refuse to allow yesterday's success to define our today, nor our future. Hence, we stay in the grind and keep on grinding. We sense winter ahead, so make the best preparation in our summer.
Yet, there are those of us who simply coast along thinking there will ALWAYS be summer. They feel entitled. They feel deserving. They feel the lighthouse ought to change position for them. So, they head-on towards the lighthouse at full speed and full force. "Why kill me, why worry," they say, with an air of entitlement? "Things will always be this way," they reckon.
"A man cannot solve 'world hunger,' why even try," they justifiably declare. They are satisfied doing the barest minimum, avoiding like a plague, the heavy liftings of life. The banner on their foreheads bears the signage, “I cannot come and kill myself.”
Yet, there are those that fall at different points in the spectrum between the two examples above. One side of the spectrum respecting the fact summer is seasonal, it will not always be here. The other side, resting on their oars, has been sold on the idea, summer will always be here. They are sold on the melody of that sound. They live only for the now, today. They do not care to save. They do not talk about investing.
Not only do ants recognize and respect seasons, but they are also arduous tireless, and diligent hard workers. They will not take "No" for an answer. They always seem to find a way through or will keep trying till something gives way. They are not particularly strong, but that which they lack is compensated for by that which is available to us all, hard work.
Have you ever tried blocking the path of a parading troop of ants? They just simply find a new route. Hard work is available to us all, though different for each person. No one is asking for hard work according to someone else. Rather, it is each person satisfying their conscience they have done their best, with the limit of their strengths and weaknesses. Again, there are two opposite sides of the spectrum.
There are those who feel their talents and potentials are sufficient to carry them through. And, expect to win on autopilot. They don't care to sharpen their skills, their talents. They don't care to horn their potentials. Or, if and when they do, see it as a burden. They carry an air of entitlement around them, a wrong attitude with no affinity for hard work. They are unable to see the benefits in the exercise of their raw potentials.
Closely linked to these are a set of people who commonize that which they have been endowed, because it looks small, in their eyes, in comparison to that of their neighbors. Rather than make the best of what they have, they seem satisfied spectators in the affairs of life. Yet, they are the first to insinuate they will give anything for mastery. Really? In their minds, success seems t be an overnight occurrence. Hence, there is a brewing bitterness in their heart, feeling excluded from the table they refused to eat from. They seemly claim they were handed "the short end of the stick."
Hard work Beats Potentials...
All we can do is simply that, potentials. They are no different from talents. Talents, abilities are no good and simply useless if they will not work. Hard work and efforts, heart and gut will trump talents and abilities any day at any time. While ability is sitting back, the ants are out working tirelessly. While ability thinks he has done enough, the ants know nothing as such. "Good enough" is for the no good-ers. People with no heart to be at the top of their game.
The ants know its survival is based on its being better than it was the day before. It knows that all it has is a miracle, and nothing to be taken for granted. So, each day it sets out with a heart of gratitude for that which it has been given, and sets out to make more out of it. It understands "cause and effect," "seed and fruit." It understands in every seed is potential. In every seed is the finished work of all it can ever be. It understands in every seed is a tree; a garden; a forest, and everything a plantation can ever be.
Until that seed of talent, ability, and potential falls to the ground of hard work and dies, it abides alone. It remains a mere potential, a dream, possibly at best a wish. The power of potential is in its coming alive on the battlefield of life where it is needed. Otherwise, it is of no use, other than to be trampled upon. The ant knows practice makes better. So, it sets out each day to practice, practice, and practice, as it climbs up the ladder of mastery.
The ants understand it is not about where one starts. Typically, no one has control over that. Also, life happens to us all. That is outside our circle of control. Our place is not to settle. Providence has no connections with settling. Providence is abundant. Providence is weightiness. Providence is rich. Providence, life does not judge us for the things we cannot control, or do.
In Competition with Oneself
It demands that we do the much we can do. The more you do of the much we can, the more that will be given to you. The more we do with that new much, the much more that will be given to us, until we gain mastery. And, after gaining mastery, we need to remain a student to keep our mastery. For the day we stop the practice, that day we begin to become less. We have to keep upping our game.
We are in a competition. We are in competition with our past accomplishments. Our best days have to always be in front of us.
© 2020 Akin Akinbodunse
Akin Akinbodunse (author) from Lagos, Nigeria on August 21, 2020:
@Tamarajo: Thanks for your kind words. Just how unstoppable we will truly be if we refuse to give up on ourselves. God is ready to walk and work with us for as long as we are willing to go again. He knows we are fallible and will come down to our level only to pick us up to His.
Tamarajo on August 21, 2020:
I enjoyed your compilation of lessons from the ant.
My favorite was its ability to be undistracted from its goal by making new paths around obstacles.