Our family took our dog, Miles, to the groomer at the pet store the other night. While the groomer struggled with a squirmy pug, we decided that we should walk around and shop. We picked up cat food for Biscuit and Joey and proceeded to check out the cat toys. My son wanted to buy catnip but I reminded him that we have the only cats on the planet that don’t have any interest in this substance. In the past, they’ve just sniffed it and walked away, disinterested.
And then we spotted it. It was a long stick with some feathers, bright shiny tinsel and a bell on the end. Although it had been a long time since I had seen our older cats play, I decided to take a risk and make the purchase. I was curious as to whether they would show any interest in this toy.
When I got home, I brought out the cat toy and called the boys. They came running in and immediately had interest in the new addition to their house. Before long, they were jumping, standing on two feet, and running around the room. I hadn’t seen them this excited in a long, long time.
In fact, the toy caused so much excitement in the house that I eventually had to put it away in a drawer for the night. They just wouldn’t stop attacking the toy, which in turn, revved up the dog beyond our tolerable limit.
The next day, I remembered that the toy was in the drawer, so I took it out to play. The cats came running and a replay of the night before ensued. In fact, they knew the sound of the toy and were present within seconds of me touching it. It kept their interest much longer than my interest in continuing the playtime. This time, however, I left the toy on the ground and walked out of the room.
The day after that, I spotted the toy and picked it up. I called the cats to play, but it took quite some time for them to arrive. I tried to engage them in play but it was a lethargic game, at best. Apparently, the toy was yesterday’s news.
By now, I bet you’re wondering why I’m sharing this story with you. What does a cat toy have anything to do with life? Well, you know how excited you are when you start something new? You know that feeling you have when you start a new job, create your own business, or begin a new relationship? It’s all novel, exciting and fresh. Life is easy because you’re full of energy and stoked about your new venture. After a while, however, reality sets in. The newness wears off and you fall into your routine.
This is the pivotal moment that separates the resilient from the less resilient; possessing the ability to hang in there and not give up or move on to something new and easier. This is a crucial step in finding your desired success. It’s also when you have the opportunity to truly gain and learn the most.
Making it through this period, past the initial shininess, enables you to build confidence for future endeavors in your life.