A Texan farmer goes to Australia for a vacation. He meets an Aussie farmer and they strike up a conversation. The Aussie shows off his big wheat field and the Texan says, ‘Oh yeah. We have wheat fields that are at least twice as large.’
Then they walk around the farm a little, and the Aussie shows off his cattle. The Texan immediately says, ‘We have longhorns at least twice as large as your cows.’
Just then a herd of kangaroos hops through the field. The Texan asks, ‘And what are those?’
The Aussie replies with a surprised look, ‘What, you don’t have grasshoppers in Texas?’
Size matters! But not the size of your grasshopper, and certainly not the size of your ego. It’s the size of your character, the depth of your love, the capacity for courage, the reach of your vision, and the breadth of your perspective, that matters. It’s not the size of the dog in the fight that counts. It’s the size of the fight in the dog. Or as Neal Donald Walsh said,
The larger your understanding of who you really are, the smaller your ego.
Size matters especially when making big life decisions. The single best piece of advice I have heard, advice that applies to SO many situations, comes from a line in a David Whyte poem, Sweet Darkness. He says,
Anyone or anything that does not bring you alive is too small for you.
This holds true for jobs, careers, relationships, religions, gods, beliefs, political parties….. anything.
How do you know when something becomes too small? The same way you know when a sweater or pair of pants has become too small. It doesn’t fit any more. It feels constricting, like you want to burst out of it. When something becomes too small, you become defensive, protective, fearful, anxious. If you live too long with something too small, it manifests as pain in your body and conflict in your relationships.
You have a right to a life that fits. Choose a life that is larger enough to stretch and sustain you.
Once you make a decision that something has become too small for you, you have two options. You can either move on or you can stay and try and make it larger. Both decisions are valid and possible.
Either way, the solutions need to match the problems, both in size and scope, urgency and intensity. The size of the problems we are facing in the world today demand large solutions, even if the steps on the way are small and measured.
In the 1960’s the phrase became common place, “Think Globally. Act Locally.” This phrase itself has become too small in today’s, post moon landing, world. We now need to “Think Cosmically. Act Globally. And live locally.” I will take a tour through each one in turn.
In preparation, loosen the belt on your consciousness. You don’t need to suck it up, stifle under the weight of old drama and suffer any longer. Put the old sweater in a box marked, “Things that used to fit until my life and vision grew larger.” Put on a new mindset, but wear it only loosely for eventually you will outgrow this perspective too. Leave plenty of space for growth, for new opportunities and for the incredible adventure of being alive.
Take the advice of a Polar Bear,
Live Large. Sniff out opportunities. Learn some good icebreakers. Be thick-skinned. Be fearless. Appreciate long winter nights. Keep it cool!