By Mrs. Brandy
Have you ever heard the story of the farmer and the goose that laid the golden eggs? A farmer owned a goose. One morning he went out to gather eggs, and he saw that his goose had produced an egg with a golden hue. Not knowing what to do with the egg, he took it to the market, where he realized the egg was made of gold. What a bountiful blessing! Every morning he would gather the goose’s egg, go to market to sell the egg, and become more wealthy.
The farmer began to grow more impatient in his riches. He knew there must be a way for him to become infinitely wealthy without having to wait everyday for a golden egg. In investment terms, the farmer could not wait for the long game. The farmer devised a plan to kill the goose, to get all the gold right then. However, when the deed was done, he realized it was too late. There was no gold inside, and there would no longer be any gold produced.
In January, we completed a goal setting initiative with all our dancers. This was an incredible week where all our teachers sat down with every dancer from little to big and walked them through the goal setting process. One thing I love about being in an environment where I’m able to be around kids is that I’m constantly reminded about the character trait of ambition. Youth set ambitious goals. As parents and leaders, we must guide them through realistic goal setting so as to not foster misplaced ambition like we see in the example of the farmer.
Think about your circle. Do you know someone who’s not satisfied with their gym membership so they switch gyms or workout programs? You know they never went to begin with so how could they experience the dissatisfaction they constantly complain about? Sometimes that person is ourselves. Oof, conviction check. I know I have wanted the instant gratification of having my degree. Going to college is a long, sometimes irritating process. There are no shortcuts to getting a degree. Even with programs like taking a CLEP requires studying and preparation.
Progression through dance can feel arduous and long similar to the college degree process. There are classes that must be taken, sometimes with confusion as to why it’s necessary. A year later it makes sense why that class was necessary. These processes forge you into the dancer you desire to be. If you found an institution that allows you to skip the steps because of your profile, status, appearance, or investment, you only do yourself a disservice. You may feel successful and look like you are ahead for a while, but in the test of time or under stress, the gaps in learning become apparent.
There’s a popular story about a professor who had a friend who told him the teaching job looked easy, and anyone could be a teacher of ethics. The professor allowed the friend to give the lecture the next day. The professor had a moment of regret. It seemed as though his friend could teach ethics! All his worrisome feelings went away the second a student asked a question. The friend couldn’t answer the questions the students had. This is what happens when we skip training. We can only “fake it ‘til you make it” for so long.
In the same way the farmer wanted instant gratification with his golden goose, we have to be patient. The lesson I take from this story is that success is something that is an ideal. We work through minor successes achieved through goal-setting. After that goal is reached, instead of settling, we continue to make goals. Once you get your single pirouette, you strive for your double, then triple. After that, you strive for your fouette turn! Instead of striving for the fouette at the start, create micro-goals, and celebrate those successes! You’ll be less likely to kill the goose (or quit dance)!