“Don’t Feed the Bears” has NOTHING to do with your Safety!

mocha momentsAnd this post really has nothing to do with bears! 🙂 Well not directly anyway….

PB&JSandwichChairman and CEO of Gallup Jim Clifton related in an article on employee satisfaction, that while at Yellowstone National Park several years ago, he noticed the famous sign that says, “Don’t Feed the Bears.”He asked the ranger if a lot of campers were getting mauled. “No,” the ranger shot back, and then went on to explain that the sign wasn’t for the protection of the campers — but for the protection of the bears. You see, once the bears taste a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, they quit digging for roots and catching deer. A kind gesture by a camper ruins the bears natural instincts to forage for food and ultimately jeopardizes the lives of these cool bears.

Sometimes we think that what we need in order to feel satisfied for our hard work is a “peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” and many times our employers think so too…mainly because when they ask us what we want – we tell them “a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”

Our sandwich might be a company car, hampers at the end of year, a bonus every month…and these aren’t bad “sandwiches” except that they never completely satisfy us. Parents, especially those who struggled growing up, want to give their kids EVERYTHING they didn’t have.

When we get things easily we lose ourselves. The real us emerges when we combine our gifts and skills – all of us –  into something MORE VALUABLE. When we put in the EFFORT required to make things happen.

In his article “How to Find Your Passion” Oliver Emberton says …

Imagine you start a dance class. You find it easy. You realise you’re getting better than others, and fast. That rising excitement you feel is your passion, and that passion makes you come back for more, improving your skills, and compounding your strengths.

How success creates passionJim Clifton says

Human beings are not looking for company-bought goodies — they are looking for meaningful, fulfilling work. It is the new great global dream — to have a good job, not a free lunch. The dream is to have a job in which you work for a great manager; where you constantly develop; and where you can use your God-given strengths every single day.

What we need is not to be fed another “sandwich” but to get help in finding out more about ourselves. Who are you really? Do you know?

Is someone’s version of you playing in your head right now? Are you remembering what that teacher said back when you were in secondary school – that boss who yelled at you consistently and called you stupid, telling you that you’d never find a job anywhere? Is it that relationship that was like a terrible nightmare that you couldn’t wake up out of, where every day you heard how incompetent you were and that you should be grateful that he/she was there for you?

We need to rekindle our desire to go after what we want, to use ourselves up in pursuit of something bigger than we are…and to always remember these beautiful words by Dr. Kelly Flanagan…

You are not your shame and you are not your glory. You are not your mistakes and your failures, and you are not your perfection and your success. You are not your losses and you are not your wins. You are not your disappointments and your disbelief, and you are not your happiness and your certainty. You are not the wounds you’ve wound up with along the way, and you are not the wounds you’ve avoided all along. You are not your bitter anger or your trembling fear or your bottomless sorrow or your utter joy or your moments of ecstasy.

That stuff is all just your wrapping paper.

You are the gift you find underneath.

You are already the thing you’ve always wanted to be. You are enough. You are worthy of every compliment you can summon the courage to receive. You matter and you belong. You are as simple and as sublimely beautiful as your next breath. You are the redemptive heartbeat of the universe. You are the compassion you can’t contain.  You are a creator of beauty. You are a light. And you are the grace that knows everyone else is also a gift, just like you.

Tonight, let silence happen, and allow yourself to glimpse the gift that is you.



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Peanut butter and jelly sandwich from http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Sandwiches/PeanutButterJellySandwich.htm
Effort, success, passion image from http://www.oliveremberton.com 
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