Roy Exum: The Frog That Kept Going

Monday, July 8, 2019 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Last Thursday morning, on a Fourth of July perfectly meant to sleep late, I woke up early. Blessed with some time as dawn began to brighten the day, I went in search of a fable. I love to seek our inspirational stories and lately I’ve been at an impasse. That’s what happens when you visit the same old websites. Life is meant to explore, to look “outside the box,” and so I did. In no time did I find the fable of “The Frog & The Tower.”

Once upon a time, there was a group of tiny frogs who arranged a competition. The goal was to reach the top of a tower. A huge crowd of frogs gathered to watch the race and cheer on the contestants.

The race began.

Not one frog in the audience believed that the contestants would reach to the top. After all, it was a HUGE tower! The crowd grew and many yelled, “Oh, that is WAY too difficult!!’

“They will NEVER make it to the top.”

“Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!”

One by one, the tiny frogs collapsed and fell off the tower. Still, there was a group of determined frogs that climbed higher and higher. But the crowd continued to yell, “It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!”

Discouraged and convinced by the negative cries, more of these tiny frogs collapsed and fell off the tower. Many frogs who were still climbing complained of the pain and eventually gave up. Some frogs, tired and battered, heard their peers’ complaints and subsequently threw in the towel too.

In the midst of this,  one tiny frog persisted. He climbed. And he climbed. And he climbed. This tiny frog seemed to have super-frog strength that allowed him to push forward in spite of others failing. Why, though? Why is he able to climb so far when others are failing?? the crowd wondered.

By now, all the tiny frogs had either collapsed or given up — except for that one tiny frog. The crowd continued to yell, now at the tiny frog: “This is too difficult!!’

“You will NEVER make it to the top!!”

“You better give up now while you can!!!”

But for some reason, that tiny frog climbed further, seemingly undaunted, unaffected. Finally, he reached the top of the hill. He had reached his destination!!!

All the tiny frogs were amazed as to how this one frog was able to make it to the top. They crowded around him, wanting to know his secret. “Were you not scared? Didn’t you hear the screams as you jumped for the far-away corners at the top?

The little frog just stood there, a happy smile lighting his face. What about the repeated warnings?” the crowd asked as finally one of the winning frog’s best friends arrived. “Tell him to tell us the secret to his bravery?”

So as the new comer began to ‘sign’ the champ, a quiet fell over the news reporters. Not only was the tiny frog deaf,  he thought the crowd was cheering him onward or, he said, he would have quit too.

Often times when we pursue a new goal, we tend to face discouragement from other people and even from that voice in our head that sometimes tells us we are not good enough.

“No, you cannot do this!”

“No, it is not possible!”

“Hah! Are you crazy?? You are never going to succeed.”

* * *

Sometimes, we may be in the midst of our goal but we face harsh critics who try to put us down.

“You’re too young for this.”

“You’re too old for this.”

“You are not good enough.”

“This is terrible. You should just quit.”

The natural reaction when dealing with naysayers or critics is to be upset. We beat ourselves up and wonder if something is wrong with us. Subsequently, some of us give up. Some of us persist, albeit with less gusto. Some of us reply to our critics, to convince them of our stance. Some of us even try to cater to and to appease them.

However, none of these is necessary.

When dealing with naysayers, negative critics, and people who complain the loudest (empty vessels), our job is simply to… turn a deaf ear. This means …

* -- being DEAF when people tell you that you can’t make it;

* -- being DEAF when people give you unconstructive feedback; and

* -- being DEAF when people try to put you down.

Why? Because when you so much as spend one second dealing with or even thinking about naysayers, that’s one precious second taken away from working on your goal. When you spend ONE ounce of energy tending to or even feeling bad about the negative remarks of negative critics, that’s ONE ounce of energy taken away from progressing on your goal on your life. Be it to lose weight; to start a business; to get back to studying to change your job or to overcome a bad phase in your life.

Your job here, as the owner of your goal, is to focus on YOUR goal, your vision, and to pursue it relentlessly. To keep your eye on your prize and to put your best foot forward in achieving it. All while playing deaf to those who try to steer you away from your goal. I know its not easy – you can find ways to cope – I tend to use dark humor myself.

In time to come, you will find the negative remarks become softer and softer. And the naysayers get lesser and lesser.

Soon, you no longer have to play deaf — there are no naysayers around anymore. Not only that, but you may notice that some of your past naysayers have become your biggest supporters. And finally, you reach your goal. For some reason, everyone is now cheering you on.

That’s when you know you’ve won.

* * *

Imagine me … reading this story at dawn on the Fourth of July and because 56 signatures at the bottom of the Declaration of Independence were actually among the greatest of all Americans who were quite literally signing their own death certificates …

Knew they had won, too.

royexum@aol.com


Insanity - The Platform Of The Democratic Party

The Importance Of Early Detection Of Peripheral Artery Disease

Collegedale Should Contract With The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office


Once upon a time an arrogant, pompous man who fancied himself as America’s Foreign Minister rather than Secretary of State, John Kerry, agreed to a terrible deal with Iran in the closing days ... (click for more)

As a physician, I am observing Peripheral Artery Disease Awareness Month to increase public understanding the risks, effects and treatment options for PAD. A vascular disease that causes narrowing ... (click for more)

As I have read about the events with the Collegedale Police Department unfolding, I have started to wonder why doesn’t the Collegedale Police Department contract with Hamilton County Sheriff’s ... (click for more)


Opinion

Insanity - The Platform Of The Democratic Party

Once upon a time an arrogant, pompous man who fancied himself as America’s Foreign Minister rather than Secretary of State, John Kerry, agreed to a terrible deal with Iran in the closing days of the Obama administration. By-passing the Constitutional process for treaties, Lord Kerry agreed to a deal which allowed Iran to continue its nuclear weapons program with only self-inspection ... (click for more)

The Importance Of Early Detection Of Peripheral Artery Disease

As a physician, I am observing Peripheral Artery Disease Awareness Month to increase public understanding the risks, effects and treatment options for PAD. A vascular disease that causes narrowing or blockage of arteries in the legs, PAD can result in life-altering limb amputations if not properly diagnosed and treated. As a vascular specialist, I have treated hundreds of PAD ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Tennessee American Water Company To Recover Losses Caused By Water Loss Incident

A class action complaint has been filed in the Circuit Court of Hamilton County against American Water Works Company, Inc; American Water Works Service Company, Inc.; and Tennessee-American Water Company d/b/a Tennessee American Water, after the Water Loss Incident precipitated by the water main break which occurred last Thursday evening. The lawsuit, captioned Bruce, et al. ... (click for more)

3-Year-Old Victim Of E. 36th Street Blaze On Sept. 5 Succumbs To Injuries

One of the victims of the Sept. 5 fire on E. 36th Street, a three-year-old child, has passed away from his injuries. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this very difficult time. This is a loss for his loved ones, the community and our department," said Chattanooga Fire Chief Phil Hyman. The child, his two siblings and his father were taken to the hospital ... (click for more)

Sports

Mocs Football Set To Host 2nd Ranked James Madison Saturday

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team has a chance to make history this weekend when second ranked James Madison visits the Scenic City. With the release of the FCS polls today, the Dukes are officially the highest ranked non-conference opponent to take on the Mocs in Finley Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) on Saturday, Sept. 21. JMU (2-1, 0-0 ... (click for more)

UTC Women 7th At Mercedes-Benz Collegiate

--The Chattanooga Mocs women’s golf team’s posted their best season-opening score shooting 872 (+20) over 54 holes at Cherokee Country Club. That was good for a seventh-place finish in the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate after today’s 294. Maddy McDanel and Esme Hamilton tied for the team’s low card with level-par 71s. Rheagan Hall and Dorota Zalewska each tallied 76, while Kirsty ... (click for more)