I have the pleasure (and sometimes the pain) of homeschooling my 6 year old. I love the time that we get to spend together. And it is very rewarding being able to be present and be the primary educator as she travels her academic path. What I love about it most is that like anything else in life, I learn almost just as much as she does each week. I’ve learned to have much more patience, to be a better listener and that c always makes a “hard sound” when it come before i and o.
We’re currently studying the Arabian Nights along with our study of the middle ages. I didn’t realize how entertaining the stories of the Arabian Nights truly were. This week we read a story and it made such a powerful parallel to the How to Quit Working community that I just had to share. The story is titled, The Singing Tree. In the story, a sister and her two brothers go out in search of a talking bird and a singing tree. Through their attempts to find the talking bird that will tell them how to find the singing tree, both brothers are turned to stone. The sister however, is a bit more cautious and wise about the adventure and when she gets to the location where her brothers were both turned to stone she asks some really insightful questions:
“The difficult part is to resist the voices that will shout at you from the mountain.”
“How can I resist them?” she asked anxiously.
“You must have a quiet mind and the eyes of a falcon fixed on its prey,” the dervish answered. “An you must never look behind you or you will be transformed into a black stone.”
“I can be like a falcon,” she said, “I have gone hunting with my brothers many times and have observed these princely birds fixing on their prey. But how do I quiet my mind?”
“By ignoring the voices,” replied the dervish.
- The Singing Tree from Arabian Nights
Isn’t that powerful? What we often need most in life is to ignore the voices. These voices can come in all shapes and sizes. They can be a spouse that isn’t as supportive and we’d like them to be, a parent who means well, but is always over critical or a friend who just doesn’t get why we’d ever want to leave our “great job” for the “insecurity” of running a business. However, the most difficult voice to ignore is the voice in our heads. The inner voice that makes us doubt our value or doubt the value we really bring. We must change these voices. We must reprogram the messages that they send.
If you’re ready to change the voices that surround you, think about changing the voices you hear. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Surround yourself with other more successful entrepreneurs.
- Talk to other people who want to open a business.
- Join networking groups of other business owners.
- Create friendships with people that have similar values.
Changing your own internal monolog can be the most challenging. This voice is changed by inputting new information. Affirmations said daily, vision statements that are recited and meditated on daily are a good place to start.
I loved that this story also talked about a falcon. Falcons have a very large wing span, they have strong claws, and powerful beaks. They also have superior vision and can fly at very fast speeds. Aren’t those all characteristics we could use on our entrepreneurial journey? I’d love to have a wingspan that would carry me at great speeds in the direction of my target audience, or superior vision to create a sustaining company that will serve the world and make it a better. And would strong claws and strong beak allow you the chance to pick yourself up when times got tough? Have internal strength and fortitude to reach our “prey-” is just another way to reach our goals.
Focus on ignoring the voices that surround you and that voice in your head telling you can’t do it. Surround yourself with people who build you up and who assist you in your path to business creation. You can be like a falcon, with great vision and the power to accomplish your goal, its simply a matter of choosing to be so.