As the story goes, many years ago a young man stood at the entrance of a cave. It was a dark and gloomy cave, yet you could see all the way to the end of it. Oddly enough, it was empty. However, it had been said that for thousands of years, any one who dared enter that cave and face the emptiness therein always found the treasure they were seeking.
The only requirement for entrance was to give up your old way of thinking – your old ways of doing things. Some people had done that and, it was reported, had indeed found their treasure, while others had run out of the cave screaming in fear.
The young man thought about it for a while. He was afraid, yet he decided that he would face the emptiness and darkness of the cave. He walked in, faced the emptiness … and found the treasure.
The cave is a metaphor for the emptiness one must face, in order to change one’s life or to achieve any goal. To accomplish any goal, regardless of what it is – to become an entrepreneur, move up the corporate ladder, build better teams, improve customer sales or make more sales – there has to be a decision to be willing to alter your thinking and behavior/actions. This is then followed by a time period, before that goal is achieved, where it appears that nothing is happening.
It is the first step – giving up old ways of thinking and acting – that stops most people from entering the cave and realizing the treasure that awaits them. They never get to the waiting period, the real emptiness, because they never stay long enough in the cave to experience it. They are the ones who run out of the cave, screaming in fear.
For those who are brave enough to enter that cave and remain, they usually achieve their goal or – using the metaphor from the story – find the treasure that they seek. It is not an easy thing to do – give up old ways of thinking and acting. It is equally difficult to endure the waiting period that must occur, as your goal comes into form. That is why so few people have the courage to walk into that cave.
The educator and mystic Joseph Campbell once said, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” Do you have the courage to let go of your old way of doing things and walk into the cave? Do you have the courage to be empty for a while and wait? If you do, then you will step out of the herd mentality and find the treasure that you seek.
Entrepreneur expert and funny keynote motivational speaker Bob Garner delivers high content and usable information combined with entertainment in his customized presentations at meetings and events worldwide.
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