Sometimes when you look at your life, you see what you EXPECT to see, instead of what actually is. There’s a filter in place, and to the extent that your life conforms to your expectations (or at least SEEMS to), it’s not something you give a lot of thought. You’re a frog on a comfortable lily pad: plenty of flies are passing by for your needs and you just stay put. It’s not perfect, but it will do, for now. Maybe you spend time in your foggy, froggy brain dreaming of better lily pads, bigger ponds and a larger assortment of flies…
If it would only rain a little more, water levels would rise, along with the hatching of more flies! If the weather would only turn cooler, conditions would be ideal for more lilies to grow, along with the blooming of their flowers! If the fish would only hatch their eggs, their offspring would enhance the pond’s nutrient levels and the liy plants would become taller, larger and more luxurious! A frog’s paradise, all wrapped up in external conditions based on “if…only!”.
You’re a visionary frog! The trouble is that nothing that is outlined in your vision depends upon you. No effort, energy, or engagement needed. That’s what separates a fairy tale from a vision. A vision has the possibility of coming true and it’s based almost wholly in the engagement of your own faculties. A fantasy, on the other hand, is a wish. Often, it’s a misappropriation of your time and attention. Because, after all, there’s no harm in wishing… That is true. There’s no harm in wishing. But there’s not much benefit in it, either. Unless you act in competent ways on a consistent basis to execute behaviors that will bring the image in your mind’s eye to fruition. In short, it’s only a wish until you act to bring it to an embodied state.
Maybe instead of dreaming your froggy days away, you’re more of a frog-of-action? You don’t content yourself with sitting on your leaf lined posterior, but you’re always looking for a chance to leap. No time for mindful froggy reflection, you’re ready to hop right on it! And you do! From lily pad to lily pad, from pond to pond, and from swarm to swarm of yummy flies- you’re always looking for the next best spot! You leap first and then leap again. Eventually, you land somewhere acceptable. As soon as you feel restless or see a shadow pass over the water, (could be a hawk!) you’re off! “Keep moving!” is your motto. “Keep changing, keep hopping, keep looking… the best spot is out there somewhere!”. You work your poor froggy fanny right off with not much to show for it, other than some legs tired of always leaping and a vague sense that you’re missing out on something, (so you’d better keep on…!). You’re a frantic froggy whose frenetic efforts fail to bring you the success you seek.
Maybe instead of wishfully dreaming the days away OR frantically working and doing the days away, you’re a frightened froggy? You’ve seen other frogs get EATEN and you just don’t think that you want to risk that. So, you stay completely OUT of the pond, and OFF of the lily pads. You sit on the bank, under cover of some weedy grasses. Not too many flies come your way, but nobody bothers you much here, either. When you’re a little extra hungry, lonely or scared, you feel angry.
After all, WHY do frogs get eaten? There ought to be a law! Creatures should be kind to frogs for holding the insect population down. Besides, other animals could just as well eat flies. Or grass. Or something. So you’re a fearful, fretful froggy. Too overwhelmed to even THINK about hopping, lilies or pads. Those frogs out on the lily pads are foolish! They should take more care, like you do. They’d live longer, for sure!
There are other froggies out on their lily pads. There are fragmented froggies who have difficulty concentrating on one fly catching strategy at a time. There are funny froggies who are always seeing who can croak the loudest and puff out their throat the biggest. There are fanciful froggies who are dreaming up chocolate dipped flies or sketching out the latest stats on lily propagation under a variety of growth conditions. There are furious froggies who carry their aggrieved selves with angry croaks, hops and vocalizations. There are romantic froggies in search of Mr. Macho Frog or Miss Femme Frog Fatale. In short, there’s every flavor of frog imaginable exercising every conceivable focus of energy and engagement imaginable!
But- the only actualized froggies are the ones who effectively combine being and doing! They set the intention for a course of action that they wish to execute in service of a goal. They mindfully consider all of the possible obstacles and outcomes of their proposed course of action. They execute their intention and it’s sometimes an iterative, messy process. (You don’t always hit the lily pad on the first leap!) They then use their curiosity to sit with the outcome and see how they could do it better.
These froggies then engage in the habits that will support the achievement of their goals. AND they develop a pattern of ways of doing and being that enhance the likelihood that the outcome that they have in mind will happen. These froggies aren’t doers, dreamers, drifters or drudges. They don’t just do things to check them off of the list. They don’t just dream about the items on the list. They design their life, plan it out, execute it, improve it and perfect it. Be an integrated froggy (or human). You’ll get the best results for your efforts and the felt quality of your life will be fantastic!