Are You a Goat or a Tiger?

Consider the Asian fable about the little tiger orphaned immediately after birth, raised by a friendly herd of goats. The little tiger played with the goat kids, drank milk from the nanny goat, and slept secure in the goat’s cave. Quite naturally, the little fellow came to think of himself as a goat. He did his best to discipline himself and even bleat like a goat. He tried to cultivate a taste for grass and paper.

One day a huge Bengal tiger came bounding into the clearing where the little tiger was playing with the goats. As the tiger roared, the goats ran for cover. The little tiger was the only “goat” who didn’t race away. Instead, he felt strangely drawn to the huge, magnificent creature.

The big tiger led the little fellow down the hill to a nearby river and urged him to take a close look at his reflection in the water. Whenever he had looked in the water before, he had seen his reflection as an odd-looking goat because that was what he expected to see. But now he saw his reflection differently—as a tiger.

The big tiger let out a tree-shaking roar. “Why don’t  you roar like that?”

“Never tried,” thought the little tiger. He sat back on his haunches as a big tiger would, took a deep breath, and tried to roar. To his surprise, he felt a rumble deep within his stomach. It grew stronger. He opened his mouth wide and the most amazing roar came out and went cascading farther than he could imagine. From that day forward he knew he could never be a goat again.

You can be a tiger, not a goat. A lion, not a mouse. Your big self, not your small self. You may never have tried to roar.

If you feel you are in over your head, you most probably are not. You’ve probably just never tried roaring before. Most people have more talent and ability than they give themselves credit for. All it takes to find out is a little new discipline on your part. Go ahead and take a deep breath and roar. You’ll probably surprise yourself.