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The Crabs and the Bucket

Many times as financial coaches, we feel this internal push. To do something better. To be greater than average. We want to have an impact and make a change. But, If you want and extraordinary life, you are going to have to do things ordinary people don’t do.


This means you are going to pursue your business, invest in yourself, and find opportunities in unlikely places.


But, doing things out of the ordinary means you might raise some eyebrows.

And people may tell you that you’re crazy.

Or you should stop.

Or that there’s no point.


Let me tell you a little story.


A fisher brought his son out to go crabbing. After a while, the two brought in a huge haul. Being his first time crabbing, naturally the son was very excited. As they poured the crabs out of the net and into a bucket, the son reached for the lid.

“We won’t need that son”, the experienced fisher stated.


“The crabs are going to climb out! We worked so hard to get them!”, the little boy replied.

Wisely the father said, “Just watch.”


The boy watched in horror as the crabs started to climb on top of each other towards the rim of the bucket. One in particular seemed very close to escaping. Right as the crab was nearing freedom, the crabs below it grabbed it with their claws and dragged it back down to the bottom of the bucket. He watched this process over and over again. Every time a crab was close to success, they would be pulled back in.


The boy was stunned, “Why do the crabs do that? They get so close to leaving!”


The fishers reply was simple, “They’re jealous.”


The thing about achievement


Like the crabs in the story, a lot of times when we are about to accomplish something great, people try to drag us back down to their level. They get envious of our success and try any number of things to “bring us back to reality”.


If the crabs had worked together, they could have all escaped. They could have formed a chain, stacked on top of each other, or any number of techniques in order to get out of their situation. Instead, they focused on dragging each other down.

So if you are meeting a little (or a lot) of resistance when trying to do great things, know it’s normal. People are people, and even if they have good intentions, they can sometimes crush your hopes and dreams. Sometimes we even do this to our own selves in our minds. We drag our potential down because we tell ourselves, “it’s just not realistic” or “I can’t do that, it’s impossible” or even “I don’t deserve to be happy”.


Trust me, people have accomplished amazing things! Even with resistance and doubts from themselves and others. Just think of the invention of the airplane: no one would have ever thought humans would be able to touch the skies. Now look at where it has taken us! Or the internet. It’s hard to imagine life without it, but people would have never imagined being able to communicate with each other all over the world in a matter of seconds.



My point is, you can accomplish great things too. You can use what you have to your advantage. You can take control of your life, and push your fear away.


Yes, people may think you’re crazy, but extraordinary doesn’t come from being ordinary.

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