This morning on my walk, I saw a grape next to an ant hill on the sidewalk. This amused me a little.
Did ants actually carry this grape to the mound?
I pictured a highly organized colony of ants planning this coup using little cell phones.
“Fred? It’s me, Sam. We got a grape over here on the corner of Brainard and 7th Street. Call the boys,” Sam says with authority.
Then I imagined a group of body-building ants heaving this grape on their shoulders to bring it home.
More likely a child dropped the grape and it rolled to a stopping point next to the ant hill. After all, each sidewalk crack had an ant hill. Ants build mounds. It’s what they do.
But imagine if the ants HAD carried the grape! That would take some amazing single-mindedness and unity of purpose.
Comedian Stephen Wright said, “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?” That line makes me laugh every time.
But maybe for the purposes of a serious point, I could change that quip to say, “Maybe you can have it all, just not at the same time.”
If you’re an ant colony, and you see your job as bringing home the figurative bacon, maybe it’s possible to lift a grape.
If you’re a parent, and you see your job as being a loving teacher and role-model, maybe it’s possible to be that kind of example to your children.
If you’re a boss, and you see your job as mentoring your employees, maybe it’s possible that there is enough time in the day to get results while developing your employees.
When you find yourself in learning mode, and you see your job as absorbing as much as you can, maybe it’s possible to find answers that might take some digging.
If you’re married, and you see your job as being kind, patient and loving to your spouse, maybe you can both love and like your partner most days.
Where are you going to focus your ambition this moment? Just know that it is possible to…
- lift a grape when you’re hungry
- train your children with love and patience when you’re with them
- teach your employees what they need to do to be successful
- learn new skills on your own when that’s called for
- be the best spouse in the world
Success requires targeted ambition. Be in the right moment and focus on the right opportunities when they are in front of you. Worry about being a wonderful parent when you’re at work, you won’t be a good parent or a good employee. Think about work on your 10th wedding anniversary, you won’t be helping matters at work or helping your marriage.
But if you stay in the right moment to seize the right opportunity, you can can accomplish great things. Heck, you could probably even lift a grape if you were an ant.