Changing Your Life is Like Carrying a Snapping Turtle

I know that many people will be looking at The Priority Paradigm and making a HUGE assumption about the people that I am interviewing. “Changing your life” for many people means a sudden, dramatic, earth-shattering shift. It happens immediately and undoubtedly alters everything, including what a person knows and who they are.

While there might be an example of that here and there, the majority of people who make a radical change in life don’t do it overnight. They consider and plan their shift. They assimilate what they know and work to learn more. Sometimes, a false start needs to happen to clarify direction and concepts. Then they execute.

A chance encounter with a snapping turtle reminded me of exactly how that works.

The poor reptile was attempting to cross a road at the edge of town. I pulled over, as I always do for at-risk wildlife on the road. I’ve done that ever since I learned to drive, and made others pull over when I am a passenger. Usually, I’ll carry box turtles or shoo snakes off the road to make sure that they don’t get run over. However, I’ve never handled a snapping turtle. If you don’t know, they are rather ill-tempered animals. If they bite you, either you lose a finger, or they just don’t let go. I stepped out of my Jeep, not sure how to handle the situation, but only knowing that I didn’t want to see the turtle getting squashed.

Committing and Pressing Forward with the Decision

I realized that I wanted to do something that I’d never done, but I didn’t just run out of the car and grab the turtle. I began directing traffic around him so that I could think and plan. My mind spun through my experiences handling other tortoises, turtles, and other wildlife. Whenever possible, you should avoid handling wildlife. It’s stressful for them and dangerous to you. Sadly, this poor creature was stressed and not moving, so I couldn’t just guide him off of the road.

Without time to get onto YouTube to figure out the best way to assist the creature and not wanting to direct traffic around him all day, I decided to try to help it the same way that I’d helped other turtles. I’d pick it up and move it by grabbing his shell in the middle on each side between its legs. A dangerous decision, as they have long necks and sharp claws. My first attempt only got him a few feet as he was slimy on the bottom, heavier than I thought, and his claws hit my fingers as he panicked. I dropped him a couple of inches and felt terrible, but probably not as bad as he did.

When I realized that he hadn’t even broken the skin on my fingers, I picked him up again. He struggled and hissed, but I was able to carry him across the road quickly and put him down in some tall grass by the ditch that he was heading toward initially.

Success Loop

Massive radical changes in life often work the same way – contemplating, planning, attempting, failing, attempting again, and succeeding.

Life and Projects Have Constant Tweaks

Often when we move forward in life or with a project, we feel as if we have to keep going in the same direction. We get trapped in the thinking that if we did it this way before, we better keep doing it that way. If that direction is working, then it’s not a bad idea to power forward. But there’s nothing wrong with making some modifications even when things are working.

I’m making another little tweak to this project. I’m uncoupling the uploading and sharing of the actual interviews, the transcript, and the story of the amazing person. I want to make sure to get the conversations posted in a timely manner, and completing the other two items can be done more deliberately.

Thanks again for your awesome support of this project. You totally rock!!!

Cheers!
Shea

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