Be More Like Animals. Here’s Why

When I first subscribed to Netflix, I suffered from the same thing that everyone suffered from; the problem of choice. I suffered so much that I decided to just watch one kind of thing on Netflix and watch all my other film entertainment elsewhere. I chose to watch animal documentaries.

Now most people believe that animals are stupid and that although they are necessary to nature, we will always be ahead of them; that we are their intellectual superiors. It is with the last statement that I agree; we are their intellectual superiors. However, there is still a lot that we can learn from them.

  1. Don’t Feel Sorry For Yourself

I am always amazed at how much fight and willpower that animals display in face of tremendous obstacles, some of which are not survivable. There always seems to be that will to fight even when death is certain. There is almost never a roll over and die attitude. I once saw a rat fighting a snake and yes, you read that right, the rat fought for over an hour and was eventually killed and eaten but I am pleased that it chose to fight. It never gave up and felt sorry for itself, it stood up and fought until death; something that many people refuse to do.

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself — D.H. Lawrence

We cannot afford to feel sorry for ourselves in adversity, we must fight our way through until better comes and if better doesn’t come, we can at the very least say that we fought. This applies to both our business and personal lives. If you have any doubt, just ask any lone shark in the presence of a set of killer whales.

2. Take Risks

In the animal kingdom, the threat of death is real, immediate and frequent. Still, they do not do as humans do; they still take risks in the face of it. If they want food and predators are near to that food, they still take a chance and try to get that food or if their mating ground is surrounded by killers they still take a chance and mate there. I remember once a group of seals going to their mating ground with full knowledge that sharks were laying in wait between them and it. I believe the logic of a single seal ran something like this. Now I know that we all won’t make it, but enough of us will. I may live or I may die but I have to try, the survival and improvement of my kind depends on it so I’ll just have to take a calculated risk and see if I actually make it. Now most humans refuse to this. We overthink; the odds of failure are too great, we don’t have what it takes, we will fail. Put these things out of your mind and do as an animal would do, make the leap in the face of this danger, you just might make it.

3. Be Adaptable

Animals change with their environment, sometimes immediately or over centuries but they change or go extinct. Giraffes figured out that the trees would not get shorter, so they would need longer necks. The Tasmanian Devil learned that the world was a harsh place and that he must become harsher to stand up to it. Even in short term crises, such as the absence of water animals learn to drink blood to stay alive; they always find a way providing it exists. We must adapt this principle, adapt to your environment, whether it is in your personal or professional life. Find a way to improve, there is almost always one.

4. Do what must be done

I am always surprised that humans use sentimentality to prevent them from doing a necessary thing for their own survival and prosperity. We refuse to say no when our plate is full, refuse to end it with friends that are bad for us and we don’t leave that job that we know is bad for us. Animals do not identify with such ideas. If a wildebeest member is hurt and cannot move, the other will not jeopardize the group to save who is beyond salvation; they are not mean. They simply do what is necessary to ensure success in the game of life. We can do well to understand this. Help others where you can but not to your own detriment.

I hope we can all learn from the animal kingdom.

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