Are you a seafood fan? Ever hit up the local all-you-can-eat buffet cause you know it’s got crab legs, and you know you get your money’s worth when there’s expensive stuff on the buffet!? There’s an interesting life lesson to be learned from those little pinchy crustaceans. It’s about being average…and how it will kill you, if you let it!
In my book, Man on Fire: Lessons from a Perpetual Burnout on Creating Alignment for Success, I talk about how my fourth-grade teacher told me and my parents that I was just an average student; how I was always going to be an average student; and we should just get used to the idea. I was about 9-10 years old at the time, and it was a major milestone moment in my young life. I never wanted anyone to ever tell me that again.
I wasn’t going to be average.
So, back to the crabs. If you want to cook yourself some crab, you need to get at least two of them and a pot and some water. That’s about it. But why two, you might be asking? Hang with me here and you’ll get not only a life lesson, but a culinary one too.
If you bring a pot to boil and throw in your dinner (still living), it will immediately make its way to the exit. If you throw a crab in a pot by itself, regardless of the temperature, it will climb out. Throw in a second crab though, and an incredibly interesting thing happens. The minute one crab gets close to climbing out, the other crab will grab it and pull it back into the pot. Every. Time! So, the key to cooking yourself some dinner is to throw two or more crabs into the pot of warm water and slowly turn up the heat. While the two crabs keep each other in the water, the heat rises and eventually cooks them.
We humans can watch this happen and realize that if they would just work together or even just leave themselves alone they would avoid death and being my dinner. But the interesting thing is that even though we can witness this phenomenon while shaking our heads and chuckling to ourselves, we do the same damn thing to ourselves as humans.
How many times have you been working toward something great, only to have someone in your life throw you shade in one form or another? When you are successful, it casts a light on people’s perception on all the areas of their lives where they feel they aren’t measuring up. This makes people uncomfortable. People don’t like to be uncomfortable. So what does our human nature force people to do? Whether consciously or subconsciously, they will attempt to bring you back to average. You can’t leave the neighborhood! You can’t go to college! You can’t start your own business! You can’t quit your job! You can’t change careers! You can’t travel the world!
You can’t… you can’t…. you can’t….
Anytime you are attempting to break free of being average, some of your biggest challenges will be getting past the limiting beliefs and crab-mentality of the people currently in your life. It’s not that people don’t want to see you succeed, it’s that your success makes them uncomfortable if they aren’t attempting to better themselves beyond the status quo. Contrary-wise, if you surround yourself with people who are all attempting to achieve massive amounts of success, each of you will pull each other up to the next level. If you were crabs in a pot, you’d stop what you were doing and work together to get yourselves out of the hot water.
Jim Rohn repeatedly said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with in our lives. Are these people helping you level up or are they pulling you back into the boiling water?
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