Creative Thinking: Flamingos at the zoo


Published — Monday 5 November 2012

Last update 5 November 2012 5:17 am

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DO YOU LIKE going to the zoo? If you do, beside the many interesting exotic animals roaming around the fenced grounds, you have certainly seen also some beautiful pink flamingoes in a well-designed little pond. If you don’t go to zoos, you might have seen pictures of these elegant birds in a book about natural history. Have you noticed how they usually stand? You can see them staying firmly put on one leg only, motionless, for hours. It is a comfortable position for them, and they can remain still like elegant pink statues for a very long time, as this is their nature. When they fly, they fly. When they are on the ground, the preferably stand on one leg. It is as simple as that.
How does this image relate to the behavior of many of us? To “your” behavior? Sometimes, at the moment of making a decision, you want to take “all” the possible consequences into consideration, but in this way you end up not deciding anything at all. Should I ask for a raise? Should I change my job? Should I tell him/her that…? Should I try to….? If you keep asking yourself this kind of questions over and over, without ever finding an answer, you might remain metaphorically standing on one leg for a very long time, even for the rest of your life, because you want to be “absolutely” sure of what is awaiting you, of what “all” the consequences might be.
But… hear ye, hear ye! This is “not” possible! While being alive, while walking on this Earth, you can be certain of absolutely nothing, you cannot count on anything “for sure,” you are not allowed to take one single outcome for granted. A certain amount of risk is to be found in any choice you make. And in case you decide you don’t want to take the risk of choosing one way or another, because you are not “sure” of the result, you will keep on dragging along the same old road, living the usual daily routine till the end of your days.
If this is your choice – due to your character that encourages you to always play it safe because you are unwilling to face new situations that might imply new challenges – it’s only fair that you continue to think, speak and act as you have always done. Don’t forget that you are the scriptwriter of the manuscript of your life, as well as the actor and the director of your “play.” It is therefore your right to make all the relevant decisions.
On the other hand, if you prefer to assume and/or accept more responsibilities, if you resolve to operate some changes and make new decisions, then you have to carefully ponder on how to proceed. You should never put your foot down blindly, without having first analyzed the nature of the ground you are going to walk on. You must be careful, take your time, observe and attentively note whatever you need to be aware of. Only then, when you have as many data as possible, should you finally make your decision. You don’t have the guarantee of a one-hundred-per-cent successful result, but you have a great chance that you will actually succeed. Once you are “reasonably” certain of the possible result, go ahead and face your challenge, do what you think is better and then… accept the consequences.
At the moment of acting, though, a new element must come forward: trust. If you believe you made the right decision, you must also believe that the suitable circumstance will manifest to make your action successful. If you remember some of your past experiences, you will also recall that, when you dared to make the first step, things seemed to become easier. You felt braver, smarter, you could plan better, you saw things from a more positive perspective. And all because you found the courage to put your “leg” down and move forward, without knowing “for sure” what you were going to step on.
Life always hides a certain amount of risk, but this is what makes it mysterious, challenging, spicy! If we could foresee everything… what a bore! Finally, a beautiful, encouraging quote (whose author I don’t know): “If life was easy, where would all the adventures be?”

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