We read at least a couple books to Sloan each night. Although they are all children’s books, many have adult themes and lessons woven in.
One of the books we read last night was called “Busy-Busy Little Chick.” A mama chicken and her chicks live in a nest that is deteriorating. Each night when the wind whips and the elements wreak havoc on their weak home, the mama makes a pledge to start building a more suitable place to live the next day. When the morning comes and the family sets out to build, mama chicken becomes distracted and wastes the day doing something else, taking her chicks with her—except for one.
Little Chick slips away from the brood during these daily frustrations and works on a new nest by himself. With no one aware of what he is doing, Little Chick builds a little bit of the family’s new home each day. One night, a nasty storm ravages the area and the mama and her chicks are especially miserable. Mama realizes the consequences of her missed opportunities. The next morning she sets out to finally begin building the new home only to find out that completely unbeknownst to her Little Chick had actually been working on it all along and that he had now completed it.
This story contains a few different life lessons including the dangers of procrastination and the notion that if you want something done right you have to do it yourself.
While both of these themes are valid, what resonated with me most is the power and effectiveness of doing work and deeds preemptively, many times when no one is watching. In work and life, initiative and motivation might be more important than anything else.
Anyone can talk a big game and declare that they will take on a project, start a diet, or begin a course while earning praise and fanfare for doing so. But their seemingly good intentions don’t always materialize. All talk and no action.
Compare this with the person who produces a project before it was even assigned, loses weight in front of everyone’s eyes when no one even knew they were on a program, and completes a course before anyone found out they were enrolled. There is something to say about quietly going about one’s business and bearing fruit.
We need more Little Chicks in the world. Not everything we do in life needs a kickoff event. Results will always mean more than intentions. Don’t Blink.