“. . . The flea when jumping accelerates 50 times faster than a space shuttle. Although fleas cannot fly, they can jump over seven inches high and thirteen inches long, that is about one hundred and fifty times its own length. Without its outer shell it would get smashed by the velocity of the jump, and especially on its landing….” Insecta Inspecta World (hwww.insecta-inspecta.com/fleas/cat/jumping.html)

When you rolled out of bed this morning I’m sure you asked: How high can a flee jump? No? Me either. But, I found myself face-to-face with the answer to this fascinating question. Being somewhat creative, I wondered how I could use this useful and valuable information. So I did a little research.

I discovered that when fleas are put into a container (as in a small jar or drinking glass), the little rascals will literally jump out. If you place a sheet of paper over the top of the container, the fleas will jump up and hit the sheet of paper then fall back to the bottom.

After several failed attempts to jump out of the container, the fleas are “mentally reconditioned” and will only leap as high the sheet of paper – even after the paper has been removed. Their previous reality has been replaced with a new one that limits their belief.

That’s a worthy lesson for us to mull over. I believe many of us, based on personal experiences, are held in place (in our business endeavors, spiritual growth, personal development, personal relationships, etc.) by our own self imposed limits. There is no physical barrier, but we continue to perform as though there is a ceiling that prevents us from breaking out and experiencing a new reality.

The current (2010) economic climate…, well…, sucks. Most of the people I know have lost huge sums of money and equity. I know I have lost millions. A lot of them have filed for bankruptcy protection. I even know people who have committed suicide over (I presume) the loss of money, credibility and family.

My heart truly goes out to those who feel despair. I’m empathetic - I truly feel their pain. Now faced with the economic challenges before us, many of my friends and acquaintances have limited their options by constructing mental barriers that will restrict their forward movement.

They are like the fleas that will not jump out of the uncovered container. They ask fellow fleas, “How do we break free? How can we move forward? How do we get out of this mess? How can we succeed?”

Here’s a valuable principal founded on truth: If you want to go to the next level (in whatever discipline or interest you choose), don’t ask your fellow fleas what to do. If they held the answers for escape from the limits they now embrace, they wouldn’t be in your position. In a worst case scenario, they will keep you from moving forward toward success. Sadly, unconsciously they will do their best to hold you where they are. Remember - misery loves company.

If you truly want to jump out of the container and break free, search for those whom are not limited by your mental obstacles. Seek someone, a mentor, who is where you want to be. That person can help you much more than fellow fleas sharing the same limited mindset.

Word of Caution: Thinking outside the box, and acting outside the box, may cost you some friends. Most of your fellow fleas will want you to stay within the boundaries of their comfort zone. They will say, in a variety of ways, words that project the idea: “You can’t do that!”

When you are free of those self imposed boundaries, your “friends” may well reject you because you will not share the same mental altitude anymore. But that’s okay. Move forward.

Here’s what I suggest:

1. Clearly define where you want to be
2. Answer This: Who can help you get there?
3. Answer This: What am I willing to give in return?
4. Set some target dates for successes
5. Define how you will get there
6. Work your plan
7. Take one other flea with you if they are willing

It’s now up to you. What will you do? Whatever your choice, you have chosen a path. Robert Frost concludes his famous “The Road Not Taken” by writing:

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
“Somewhere ages and ages hence:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
“I took the one less travelled by,
“and that has made all the difference.”

I challenge to you is to take the “road less traveled” and shred the paper barrier.

Author's Bio: 

Don can be defined as a serial entrepreneur. He has several business interests and enjoys writing, speaking and an eclectic interests.

He has written 14 books on the subjects of real estate, business planning and personal development.

His newest work, a book entitles, "Taking Back Your Life - Simple Strategies for Personal Growth," will be available during the first quarter of 2011.

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