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The Frog and the Scorpion

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion says, "Because if I do, I will die too." The frog is satisfied, and they setout, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp "Why?"               
Replies the scorpion: "Its my nature..."

 

I remember reading this story years ago and thinking to myself, “Everything about this story sucks. That scorpion is a jerk, that frog’s an idiot, and now everyone’s DEAD and no one is happy.”

And that was that. A terribly sad story about two animals that geographically don’t really hang out…and really this would never happen…and I don’t really know who actually wrote this story, but they did not do their research of nature or where things live. And I identify with that. Because I have been camping one time and I don’t think that one time really counts.

For the past month I’ve been reading a few different books on how to run a business and the idea of success and what it all means to really be “successful.” Everyone has a different idea about what success is- I think that’s pretty normal. I think everyone wants to be successful. I think everyone loves the idea of a “success story,” and the hustle to becoming something fantastic.

But in one of these books, there was a line in there that kind of just punched me right in the head-so much so, that I had to write it down

 

Many of us have spent our lives defining ourselves by other people’s definition of us. Some of us have made the mistake of describing ourselves by what we have achieved in life. When we have money we believe we are rich; when we do not we believe we are poor…If your sense of success and achievement is tied to material possessions, titles or status then your self-esteem is low indeed. In some parts of the world, people are crazy about titles before their names. But if a person’s name cannot stand on its own, the person is not worth his claims.
— Sam Adeyemi

That last line.

“If a person’s name cannot stand on its own, the person is not worth his claims.”

So what does the story about a scorpion who ruined everything have to do with being successful? Stick with me here.

After the scorpion stings the frog, the frog asks him why. The scorpion just replies, “it’s my nature”. Essentially saying, “This is who I am. This is what I do. I am a scorpion. I sting things. You knew that.” Have you ever met someone with that same mentality? Someone that just says, “I am a [THIS]. I do [A THING]. This is who I am and that’s all I will be.” Yes. You have. And if you couldn’t think of someone, I got you.

That’s me. Hi.

I have a hard time separating my self-worth from the achievements and failures of my own life. It is hard not to. But I started thinking about all of it smashed together: The titles, the achievements, the failures, the struggle, the hustle, the relationships I have made, and ruined, and rebuilt - the entire identity of who I was as a person and I realized this, especially about myself:

What you believe about yourself is what you become. The titles you’ve given yourself become your identity and while sometimes it can guide you on a path to where you want to be, where you’ve wanted to go, it can box you into thinking that what you do is who you are. And I just think people are more than that. I think that being successful can come from the way that your name sits in peoples mouths. I think for me, it can boil down to something so simple as your own name being associated with being kind. Treating people with respect-even when they maybe don't deserve it.

That scorpion was a jerk. Don't let a scorpion ride on your back. And don't take "This is who I am. This is what I do." as an answer. From anyone or for yourself. Happy Wednesday. -- Nick

StoriesNick Galaura