We’ve all heard some version of the phrase “Make sure all your ducks are lined up” or “Get your ducks in a row.” Recently I was really struck by what I heard someone say about this, as it’s one of those phrases we’ve really twisted around.
In reality, the mama duck just starts walking and the chicks naturally line up behind her. She doesn’t line them up. She just takes action and the chicks follow.
It sounded like a life lesson to me. How many times have you delayed something, procrastinating or even painstakingly laying out all the details - “Getting All Your Ducks in A Row” - before you take action?
I hear this all the time. Just fill in the blank:
- I’ll start taking care of myself upon ______
- I’ll eat healthier when _______
- I’ll invite friends over after _______
- I’ll go to a yoga class once I ________
- I’ll join the walking club if ________
So what happens as you’re busily building a list of all that needs to be done before you can actually DO? Sometimes nothing – the opportunity is gone, or another year goes by and you’re exactly where you were the year before, or your situation has worsened. Or you discover that you went through a lot of effort, time and angst ironing out details, and when you finally took action – most of those little nits you prepared for never even happened.
Hey – if you’re a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist – by all means, please get all the details worked out in advance, and have backup plans! That’s important! But that level of detail isn’t needed for everyday living. In fact, your risk of not taking action is far greater than if you just took imperfect action. You miss out on life! You’ll accomplish a lot more in your life and get to experience so much more by just taking a step forward.
Let the mama duck really inspire you and do what she does – JUST GO. The details will line up.
Another way of putting this comes from a wonderful zen saying: “Leap and the Net will Appear.” Take a leap – the details will work themselves out.
Wishing you inspiration!