Survival of the Fittest, you may have heard of this phrase, time and again. But even after 146 years, since it was coined by British polymath philosopher Herbert Spencer and the more renowned Charles Darwin, the line still has relevance. After all, the world still worships a go-getter and understandably so. Well, forget about humans, even animals live up to this line in letter and spirit.
Consider this: a baby giraffe learns the lessons on survival right from day one. As if falling from mother’s womb is not enough – some eight feet above the ground- the mother giraffe starts kicking its baby with her long legs right from the moment it lays its eyes on it. This sends the baby flying up in the air and tumbling down on the earth. As the baby lies there shriveled, too weak to move, the mother kicks the baby again. And again. And this goes on till the baby, tired and trembling, pushes its limbs and stands on its feet.
Once the baby is on its feet, the mother’s excitement knows no bounds. However, this doesn’t stop the mama giraffe from giving the baby yet another kick. Undoubtedly, the baby giraffe falls one more time, but this time it recovers quickly from the jolt and stands up. Of course Mama giraffe is delighted. She knows her baby has learnt the most important lesson in life: No matter how hard you fall, always pick yourself up and be on your feet every time you fall.
In Giraffe’s case the mother knows that the baby has to learn to stand and run with the pack as quickly as possible, or else lions and leopards are sure to devour it.
However, most of us are not as lucky as baby giraffes. Finding a true friend, philosopher and guide every time you fall is not easy. As a result, whenever we fail, we simply give up. In these fast-paced times, no one has the time to motivate us, or kick us out of the comfort zone and inspire us to get back on our feet.
Look at the lives of successful people and you will come across a recurring pattern. Where they successful in all their ventures? Nope. Did success come quick and easy? Nope. However, you will come across a common streak running through their lives: the ability to stand up every time they fall. The ability of the baby giraffe.
Of course the road to success is full of ups and downs. There will be umpteen obstacles and you will find yourself at the crossroads, time and again. Nevertheless, success is all about getting up every time you fall. That’s critical life skill. And don’t forget that’s the habit of successful people.
J.K Rowling, the famed writer of Harry Porter series once while talking to Harvard Graduates about the benefits of failure said ” I had exceptionally short-lived marriage, was jobless once upon a time with a kid to look after. But had I succeeded at anything I wouldn’t have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored and I had an old typewriter and a big idea”. And rest as they is history.