Take advantage of your strengths and build on them


Deep in the forest, there is a small school with three students, a rabbit, a bird, and a fish. The teacher has three lessons to help them choose their future careers.

The first day’s lesson is running. The instructor asks the rabbit to go first. The rabbit sprints left and right. He demonstrates a quick direction change and then slides to a stop right in front of the teacher, who says, “You are an outstanding runner!” Next up is the bird. The bird ponders the assignment and comes up with a plan; though he can’t run, he performs a series of quick little hops to mimic running. The teacher says to the bird, “You’re a pretty good runner.” Now it’s the fish’s turn. He has no legs, so he does nothing. The teacher says, “Fish, you are a horrible runner.”

That night the rabbit goes home thinking I am a success! The bird thinks, I’m okay at this. The fish thinks, I am a failure. The next day’s lesson is flying, again the rabbit goes first. He knows he doesn’t have the body for flight, but when he really tries, he can jump far. He stands on a rock, leaps, and lands. The teacher says, “Rabbit you are a pretty good flier.” Next is the bird. Oh, the bird’s heart swells. He knows: this is my time. He rises, beats his wings, and performs barrel rolls, dead stalls, and, just for good measure, some loop-the-loops. The teacher exclaims, “You are an outstanding flier!”

Lastly it is the fish’s turn. He looks up from his pond and simply shakes his head no. The teacher says, “You are a horrible flier.” By the day’s end, the rabbit still feels okay, although not quite as much as he did the previous day. The bird feels like a rock-star. The fish, find drooping, thinks he is the world’s biggest loser.

The final lesson is swimming. The rabbit looks into the pond and thinks, no way. He sits on a rock for the remainder of the lesson. The bird longs for the webbed feet of a duck. Lacking that advantage, he perches on a branch. The fish can hardly contain his enthusiasm. If it’s swimming you want, he thinks, it is swimming you will get! He does the backstroke, the breaststroke, the butterfly, and a few freestyle laps around the pond. He isn’t even breathing hard. The teacher proclaims, “Fish, you are an outstanding swimmer! Rabbit and bird, you are both terrible swimmers.”

At the end of the three lessons, the rabbit, the bird, and the fish decide the following: The rabbit will be in the running business. The bird will pursue a career in flying. The fish will start a swimming enterprise.

The moral: The best way to be successful is to do what you are good at. Learn to manage your weaknesses. Take advantage of your strengths and build on them.

Eliot Kelly is recognised as a serial Entrepreneur, and has been featured on CNN, BBC Three’s Be Your Own Boss and an extensive list of magazines and articles. His four books have been translated in over 7 languages and are sold in 29 countries, recently being shortlisted for Best Self-Help and Best Advice Books 2019 by The Author Academy. He is regarded as a top Sales, Business and Leadership Management Coach who creates opportunities for his success partner’s through financial literacy and life skills training. He is also a Professional Speaker and continues to inspire present and future entrepreneurs around the world. You Know More Than You Think You Do releases this Spring! Pre-Order Today.

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