Being in a Rut
A scientist once ran an experiment which he called "processional caterpillars." He lined up caterpillars on the rim of a pot that held a plant so that the lead caterpillar was head to tail with the last caterpillar, with no break in the parade. The tiny creatures walked around the rim of the pot for a full week before they died of exhaustion and starvation. Not once did any of the caterpillars break out of the line and venture over into the plant to eat. Food was only inches away, but the “follow the leader” instinct was even stronger than the drive to eat and survive!
When we find ourselves in a rut, we do well to ask ourselves these three questions:
- Is this rut my own making? We tend to choose a rut because it's comfortable and requires no risk. To get out of a rut, make new choices.
- Who am I following? We adopt certain patterns in our lives because someone has taught them to us directly or by example. Make sure you are following good leaders; don't simply follow the crowd.
- Where am I going? Ruts develop when we lose a sense of vision of our lives, when we are "just traveling" through life and not attempting to arrive at a destination. Goals take you somewhere!
"A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd"
And, as I was once told, a rut is merely a grave with the ends kicked out!!