Evolutionary biologist and author of The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins said:
“The rabbit runs faster than the fox, because the rabbit is running for his life while the fox is only running for his dinner.”
Entrepreneur and investor Elad Gil posted this quote on Twitter, adding that it’s a good analogy to compare startup companies to bigger market incumbents. But it goes beyond business.
In your career, are you a fox or a rabbit?
Are you in a solid financial position, maybe the second half of your life, and can pick your projects based on passion? Then it’s your job to turn down meaningless requests and choose the work that matters.
Or are you just starting out, barely know anything about your industry, and have to find a way to make rent? Then don’t think too much. Get the job that pays, then breathe and figure out your next step.
In your relationship, are you a fox or a rabbit?
Are you cruising along, comfortable with each others faults, and can afford to forget to pick up the kids? Or is the curtain about to fall on two separated people who still live in the same house? In that case, it’s time to put up a fight.
The list goes on and on. Your health, your friendships, your parenting efforts. Your art, your startup, your legacy. In all of these things, you’re either a fox or a rabbit.
The fox can afford to go without dinner how many times? 3? 5? 10? But the rabbit can never be caught. This isn’t to say you should constantly be running. It’s to say:
Know which one you are in which area of your life at any given time.
Being a fox where we’re more seasoned gives us the energy to be the rabbit in another. Slowing down here makes room for speed over there. You can’t upend your whole life and change everything at once.
The thing that unites the fox and the rabbit is pace. Their shared pace decides if they meet or live to fight another day. How you spread your own pace across your life decides what you can change in what order. But everything takes time.
A fox or a rabbit. Which one are you?
About Thought Experiment Thursday: Einstein said we can’t solve our problems with the same thinking that created them. Science estimates we have about 35 thoughts per minute. That’s a lot of chances to change our thinking. So on Thursdays, that’s what we’ll practice.
A question opens the mind. A statement closes it. Let’s keep ours wide open.
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