“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!”

Proverbs 6:6

Have you ever been discouraged by the lack of progress you are making in a particular area? 

Whether it be with your weight, exercise routine, finances, relationships, career, or any other area for that matter.  Have you ever been tempted to give up (or maybe you have given up, possibly multiple times) because you just did not see the results you had hoped for?

My husband Jack is known by those who know him best for being an intense individual.  Whether playing with our boys, or feeling upset over an injustice, Jack brings a level of intensity with him to all areas of life that most of us just don’t.  I had to laugh when my brother-in-law recently said that with Jack it is 0 or 100, there is no in-between.  I had never heard such an accurate description of him.  (Maybe that is why I honestly feared for our lives and spent the first half hour praying when we rented a UTV while on our family vacation in the Black Hills last summer and Jack was driving with his usual intensity!)

Now, whether you can readily identify with Jack and you attack life with shared passion, or perhaps like me, you consider yourself to be a very calm and steady soul, I would argue that most of us tend to approach certain areas of our lives with an all-or-nothing mentality.  We want to reach our goals and realize our dreams – now – and anything short of that leaves us ready to give up.  The problem with this all or nothing mindset, however, is that very rarely will we find success if we approach life this way. Instead of finding lasting success with this mindset, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

If we want to achieve our goals, if we want to avoid time-wasting starts and stops, if we want to find success and success that lasts, we would each be wise to take a lesson from one of the world’s tiniest creatures, the ant.

Proverbs 6:6 tells us, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!”  If you are like me, you likely spend more time spraying ants and trying to steer clear of them than considering their ways, but if we take a minute to observe how the ant approaches life, we can learn a significant lesson that can change everything.

There are actually several lessons we can learn from the ant, from focus, to hard work, to self-motivation and collaboration, but I want to focus on one lesson in particular today.

When you consider the sheer size of ants compared to what they create, from robust colonies with intricate tunnel systems, to mounds several feet high (that I am all too familiar with from my time at Ft. Lewis Washington!), how do they do it?

How do creatures that are so tiny achieve such impressive feats?

The answer?  One grain of sand, one trivial leaf, one minuscule stick, one small step at a time.  They don’t give up when they do not reach their goal immediately. 

They do not stop after moving the first ten grains of sands and decide to give up since their vision has not been realized.  Since they did not hit their goal weight, since they did not exercise said number of times that week, since they did not fully fund their ROTH IRA, the list could go on, but you get the point.  Rather, step after step, grain after grain, the ants persevere and overtime achieve the seemingly impossible task.

We would be wise to take this lesson to heart.  The next time you want to give up on your diet, give up on your exercise routine, give up on your finances, give up on your relationships, give up on your career, give up on however you would fill in that blank, choose to act like the ant.  Take one step in the right direction and then take another.  Before you know it, you will have accomplished what you set out to accomplish.

Leave behind the all-or-nothing mentality.  Seek progress over perfection, celebrate small wins and keep at it!  Don’t quit!  You will reach your goals, you will achieve your dreams if you just keep going one step, one grain, at a time.

“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!”

For you,



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