Tom was on his weekly walk with his mentor, Dwyer, when he made the comment that he didn’t want to work on developing himself anymore.

They were walking past a river, when Tom said, “Every week you tell me to learn something or grow in a particular area.  To be frank, I’m a bit sick of it and don’t want to change any more.  Why can’t I just stay the way I am?  Isn’t that good enough?”

Dwyer looked in the river and pointed out a dead fish.

“Tell me Tom, what is that over there?”

“It’s a dead fish, but what has that got to do with me?”

“What’s the fish doing?”

“It’s floating downstream with the current, but what has that got to do with me?”

“But the fish is dead, how can it be moving?” asked the mentor, ignoring his protegé’s frustration.

“It’s moving because the river is moving, but what has that got to do with me?”  he asked again in exasperation.

Dwyer turned to the young man and said, “Life is like the river.  It’s always changing and always moving.  Some people don’t want to change, but the reality of life is that they are changing, just not in a way that they control.  If you choose to resist developing yourself, your skills will atrophy, your attitude will become more negative and you will become less useful to the world.  You may think that you’re not changing, but everyone else will notice the difference.  So, you have a choice, you can take action to control the change that you experience, or you can become a victim of the current, being changed in subtle ways that will inevitably impact your future negatively.  But you need to remember that you can’t choose to not change, because change is inevitable.   You can only choose to be a dead fish floating along or a live fish in control of its destination.”

Tom nodded his head in disappointment, because he knew that his mentor was right.

He had seen it in his own father who had stopped learning and growing many years ago and was now a shell of the man that he used to be.

Determined not to become like his dad, he returned home from the walk and resolved himself to do all that he could to continue his process of continued learning.

What about you?

Do you resist personal growth and in doing so become a dead fish?

Or are you focused and determined to continue the challenging and never-ending path of personal development?

Previous post – Brilliant Quotes – Passion

Next post – Stop Retweeting and Start Creating