Monday, February 21, 2011

I Want to Be a Gazelle, But I'm A Giraffe

I want to be a Gazelle, but I’m a Giraffe

A new book is being published on March 1, by Stefan Swanepoel, an established real estate expert, entitled Surviving Your Serengeti  that contrasts human survival skills with those of wild animals in the Serengeti.  In the first few chapters, Swanepoel details how the Wildebeest endures and flourishes in a competitive environment where obtaining food, shelter and water are critical.


Our patterns of survival are developed slowly, rather like rats in a maze looking for food, bumbling from one dead-end to another until a way opens.  Initially, most of us are nourished and cared for by loving parents, who teach us some of the techniques that serve as survival mechanisms in today’s complex society.  From there, our survival depends on how well we adapt to the struggles and adversity we face as we become adults, breadwinners, and parents.  We are deeply affected by events that overtake us, a sick child, loss of a job, relationships gone wrong. 

Getting through life is full of roadblocks, messy with doors that close to opportunities and windows that may not open.  Successfully navigating the setbacks and disappointments that we face, prepare us to handle the next hurdle as it comes along.  It gives us the confidence and strength to keep trying again and again. Family and friends offer a welcome support system when the worst happens and help you endure whatever you must face.  The knowledge that you’ve survived a previous setback will strengthen your resolve to survive again.

Dani Shapiro writes in her book, Devotion, “we are always adapting to new circumstances.  We think we’ve found an answer that we can carry with us for our whole lives – and then it turns out that the questions themselves have changed”.  She continues with, “the whole world is a lesson – and the lesson keeps changing”.

Heinrich Heine once wrote:  We know only that our entire existence is forced into new paths and disrupted, that new circumstances, new joys and new sorrows await us, and that the unknown has its uncanny attractions, alluring and at the same time anguishing.


Will you survive your Serengeti?  Take the popular quiz, What Animal Am I?  

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