Once upon a time, I was in a class over at my local institute. We were discussing choices and trying to understand how some choices may seem good in the moment, but could mess you up down the road. My teacher told the following story of a Snickers Bar.
A few years back, my teacher was teaching kids in high school. He brought his son, who at the time was about 3 years old to class. The teacher held up a Snickers bar in one hand, and a hundred dollar bill in the other. He told the child that he could choose either one, but if he chose the money, it would be split up between the kids in the class. Obviously, the kids got very excited. Even though they wouldn’t have a ton of money if it was split, it was better than nothing. As the boy pondered, he began to reach for the Snickers bar. The kids began to cry out begging him to choose the money. The boy looked at them as though they were crazy! What would he do with that green thing? Finally, he chose the Snickers.
Isn’t it interesting? It’s obvious that one was definitely more valuable than the other, but do children really understand that? The boy in the story chose the object that would give him immediate gratification, even though he could have bought about 50 more Snickers bar with the money.
What exactly can we take from this story?
Lesson 1: Patience
The more I think of this story, the more I realize that sometimes we have to put a lot of work into something before we see the fruits of our labors or choice. But, if we do the work and push through those difficult times, the reward is so much better. Its about patience, its about faith. Taking that dollar bill meant that there was more work ahead. If you were going to use it to buy more Snickers bars, you have to take a journey through winding roads, through traffic, stopping at stop lights, waiting for speed up, letting people merge into our lane, finding a parking place, walking through the weather to get to the store… But that doesn’t mean you are done. You have to find the snickers. And who knows if they actually have $100 worth for you to take? You might have to go to another store… More work.
Isn’t that the same with life? If you have a dream, or a goal you want to reach, it takes a lot of work to get there. Often there is school, which itself is a major feat. There tends to always be money problems, there are the naysayers tell you it can’t be done, those that say they support you, but suggest other things instead. There is a lot to push you away from your dreams or goals… But is it worth it? Would you like 100 Snickers bars?
Lesson 2: Benefit to Others
Be honest, if you had 100 Snickers bars, would you keep them for yourself? I would bet that most people wouldn’t. When people have something they love, they love to share even more. Think about it, if you go see a movie in the theaters and love it, aren’t you going to recommend it to others- that’s sharing. As people go through life and begin to accomplish their dreams, there is benefit to others around them. One being the example they set.
I’ll be honest, when I watch So You Think You Can Dance, I get emotional. I cry several times during the season. I cry because those people inspire me. They are accomplishing their dreams that they have worked for years and years to achieve. That is so inspiring to me. Often it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel while you are in the middle of it, but it gets a little easier when someone shares their light. As you work through the trenches of life and succeed, you are inspiring other people to do the same. If you are not inspiring, you are definitely earning the support of the naysayers.
Lesson 3: Teaching Yourself
When you do finally succeed, you teach yourself that you can succeed. That will help you throughout the rest of your life. You will know that you can do anything you set your mind to. You have proof that dreams don’t have to just be dreams- they can be a reality. But they won’t be a reality if you don’t work for them.
I recently watched this video today and I felt like it really went well with this. Even though we have regrets for things we didn’t do in the past, we have today to change that. Today, be better than you were yesterday. Work towards your dreams without yesterday’s regrets mocking you. Leave them in the dust along with those naysayers in your life. You can achieve your dreams. Stick with your gut. You can do it.
I hope you all get started on your dreams today. Life will pass you by and if you don’t work towards your dreams, what will you have to show for it? Life if meant for improvement and growth. You can make it 🙂
Wishing you happiness,