This is the true story of my seven figure ah-ha moment that took place in Ketchikan, Alaska.
A few years back we took a family cruise to Alaska. If you’ve never been, I suggest that you make plans to visit. It’s an amazing part of the country that’s still untouched for the most part and a great place to connect with nature.
One of the ports that the ship stopped at was Ketchikan. My wife and I took a walk along the rocky coastline taking in the scenery and watching people fish for crabs off the rocks.
One fisherman had one of those white five gallon paint buckets sitting next to him. I was curious so I looked to see what was inside it.
What I saw was a bunch of live crabs at the bottom crawling on top of each other. One crab seemed very ambitious. He climbed on top of all the other crabs and then reached his leg for the lip of the bucket.
Once he hooked his leg on that bucket lip he began to pull himself up – clearly he was trying to make a break for it.
I let the fisherman know that he was about to be one crab less if he didn’t put a lid on that bucket and he just chuckled and said; “watch what happens next.”
Now what happened next was literally an epiphany for me. Right there I had my big ah-ha moment.
As this ambitious crab was hoisting himself up to make a run for freedom, several other crabs from the bottom methodically reached up, grabbed its remaining legs and pull him back down to the bottom.
Then the fisherman turned to me and said that crabs by nature self police each other and so a lid is never required on the bucket.
To me it wasn’t “self policing” – it was “forced suppression.”
Doesn’t this epitomize human behavior?
Think about that. We’re all surrounded by ‘crabs’ ‘haters’ and “vampires” who suck up your precious time and try to squash your ambitions, motivation, passion and enthusiasm.
Sometimes these crabs are those closest to you…or they could be people that you occasionally hang out with or people you work with, or even your significant other.
Fear is their greatest motivator.
Fear of losing you. Fear of change. Fear of being left behind.
They conceal their fears as genuine concern for you. They always have a reason to burst your bubble, to instill doubt inside you and get you to second guess yourself.
You know who these people are in your life.
You can feel the bad vibes coming off them after just a few minutes of being in the same room as them.
They’re creativity killers.
They’re time vampires.
They’re mojo killer.
After that trip to Alaska I came home and literally took a survey of everyone in my life. Then I cut out everyone who was poisonous to me.
I cut out some friends I knew from high school.
I cut out some business partners.
And I even seriously limited exposure to certain family members who (unfortunately) can’t be cut out permanently because – well, they’re family.
And the limited time I do spend with them at parties and family gatherings I make sure to keep my distance and limit my exposure.
If there was ever a single thing you needed to know. It would be to have the ability to identify the crabs in your life – the people, the thoughts and the ideas that hold you back from achieving your personal goals.
Maybe it’s even you…