The Rabbit Chase

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“Catch the Rabbit!”

A vibrant young man once decided to learn about the secret behind another man’s successful journey in life. He wanted to know what really kept this ‘oldie’ going on in what he did because apparently, other people who had initially joined a similar pursuit had began to slowly fall away one after the other. As kind as the elderly man was, he narrated his story to enlighten the young one about the force behind his endurance throughout the years. According to the man, his dog spotted a rabbit one sunny day while he was resting. Immediately, his dog leaped and ran after the rabbit in hopes of catching it. His dog kept barking throughout the chase and this inadvertently sent invites to other dogs and of course, they joined the race to ‘catch the rabbit’. Instead of a one-on-one chase, it became a many-to-one affair this time around. The pursuit continued for a while until it reached a point where his dog remained as the only survivor still chasing after the rabbit. The other dogs that had joined in gave up along the way. “In that story, young man, is the answer to your question.”, he concluded. The young man later learnt that the man’s dog continued to take after the rabbit because it SAW what it was chasing after; the others didn’t.

Seen the Rabbit?

Do you take the pains to inquire about the success behind another man’s pursuit? If not, cultivate that habit now. It’s actually a good practice to find out that which really drives a person to keep on keeping on in what they do despite the potential challenges they encounter on the way. I personally believe most of us rush into things without even investigating to know what it is we’re venturing into in the first place. Just because you’ve seen your parents or friends or role models do it, doesn’t necessarily mean you should follow blindly too. Like the dog, you must SEE what you’re chasing after.

Have you ever made a decision without taking the time to examine your actions? Take career development for example, most of us are still dreading the very day we will  launch ourselves into a particular profession. In Africa (especially Ghana), most of us want to become either doctors, nurses, lawyers or bankers just because we feel a lot of people move in that same direction in terms of selecting a career path (the reasons may vary of course). The reasons vary from ‘I want to follow in [fill in the blank space] footsteps’ to ‘it generates more money’ and so many other reasons. Others can’t really do much about it because the problem is beyond their control. Perhaps, their ‘beloved’ parents decide to issue an ultimatum of “you either go into ‘this’ or that’s the door!” I for one had the opportunity to know who I wanted to become in future at an early stage. Because of that, I had no struggle in choosing the course I wanted to pursue in the university. I knew and could SEE what I was chasing after so despite the challenges that came my way both in class and during practical sessions, I still managed to endure the whole process. I saw the ‘rabbit’ I was chasing therefore not only did I know its size, color and other descriptive details but I also knew the implications associated with chasing that dream from the very start. I wasn’t following blindly. NB: Emphasis is on ‘blindly’.

For some of us, we are in a messy relationship because that of our best friends whetted our appetite some time ago stirring up some wild hunger within us to also test the waters. Let’s be honest here. If some of us were to be asked the reason for entering into a particular relationship, the observed reaction will portray someone fumbling in his pocket for his keys. I could go on and on to cite more instances but the question is basic: how many times have we come out successful with such poor decisions? We can’t be like the other dogs that joined the chase after being attracted by the barks of the first dog. All they heard was the other dog’s ‘invite’ and they joined WITHOUT knowing what they were chasing after. What happens is after some time, you lose the desire to press on because you realize you don’t even know why you went out there in the first place. This is the same reason the other dogs backed out of the chase. Frustration sets in at a point and you get tired of chasing the ‘air’. In effect, you are highly likely to get disappointed in what you’re doing and guess what? You withdraw from the race and you may have wasted time and energy—plus money because ‘time is money’. Such a loss may never be recovered.

The long and short of my message is be well informed about what you want to pursue before you join any race. Don’t follow blindly. Be it academics, a business career, relationship or even spirituality, be sure to ‘SEE THE RABBIT YOU’RE CHASING’. Don’t run because everyone is running; run because you’ve seen what you’re supposed to be running after. That way, when fatigue, discouragement or other negative impacts threaten to set in, the mere sight of what you’re chasing after (the dream itself) will be your greatest motivator to deter you from giving up. There may be times the rabbit might run faster and out of your sight. When that happens, follow the rabbit’s trails on the ground. If you can’t locate the trails, ask the people around (those who possess great knowledge on how to catch the type of ‘rabbit’ you’re chasing) for its whereabouts. Whatever you do, don’t stop. After all, how long can the rabbit keep running? It’s only a matter of time till it comes to a halt. Until then, keep chasing the rabbit IN SIGHT and DON’T LOSE SIGHT!

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