Today, my mom talked to me about many challenges she was experiencing in her life.
Surprisingly, it didn’t dampen her spirits.
She told me it was because she remembered a story of a man and his goat.
“What story?” I asked.
“A story about a poor man who had a lot on his plate,” she explained.
This man lived with his wife and many children in a very small house.
His children were always misbehaving, so the man was worried and stressed all the time.
It felt like life couldn’t get any worse.
The desperate man decided to seek advice from the rabbi.
When the rabbi heard how miserable things were for this man, he suggested that he should get a goat.
The poor man was astonished to hear this advice but went home and did as counseled.
The next day, the man ran back to the rabbi.
“What have you done to me, Rabbi?” he cried.
“The goat is destroying my life. It’s kicking and smashing everything in sight.”
“I did what you told me to do but my life is worse now.”
“I have more problems.”
“Not only I have to deal with my children, but I also have to handle the goat.”
The good rabbi listened and responded calmly, “Go home and sell the goat.”
The man was puzzled. The goat was supposed to solve the problem. Why sell it now?
But he followed the rabbi’s advice and got rid of the goat.
Suddenly, the house felt peaceful. Life felt easier.
So the man returned to the rabbi.
“Oh, Rabbi,” he said with a grin, “The goat is gone. I have such a good life now. What a joy!”
When you think you have too much on your plate and you feel you can’t handle it, remember… it could always be worse.
Life could throw in a goat.
Ask yourself: “Are my problems truly as bad as I perceive them to be?”
Once the man got rid of the goat, he felt relieved.
The problems with his troublesome children were still present in his life, but they diminished when compared to the hassle of handling the goat.
Sometimes our perspective on how bad things are going can be changed if we can see these challenges from a different angle.
Perhaps knowing it could be worse will give you a relief, and in that relief, you’ll notice that the obstacles you’re facing are manageable.
And then, instead of despair over what you’re gone through, you’ll be proud of what you’ve overcome.
- Dagmar Fleming
Founder, Unlock Your Success