The fox, the tortoise, and the hare
To introduce you to our new series on the Science of Change, we present a fable about three friends and their quest to find abundance.
Once upon a time, there were three friends who lived in a land of scarcity and struggle. But even in the leanest of winters, they knew the Legend of the Hidden Meadow, a place of hope and abundance that would last them all their days.
One day, they set out together on a journey to find that meadow.
“I’ve heard there is a meadow filled with fresh grass and fruits beyond the hills,” said Fox. “Wouldn’t it be amazing to find it?”
“If it exists, I would have found it already,” said Hare. “And if I cannot find it, it most certainly does not exist.”
“I believe it’s worth the search, said Tortoise. “Even if we do not find the meadow, we would still have learnt something. We would still have had an adventure.”
“Ah but imagine the possibilities if we do find it!” said Fox. “Life would never be the same again. The entire forest would benefit.”
The next morning, the three friends set out on their journey to find the hidden meadow. Hare quickly lost interest. “This quest is futile,” he said. “It serves only to slow me down.” And he turned back.
Tortoise, resolute and patient, and Fox, inspired and optimistic, continued. Both remained hopeful, despite the obstacles along the way.
“The obstacle is the way!” said Tortoise. “Together we can!”, responded Fox. Eventually, their combined efforts led them to the lush and bountiful meadow.
“We have not only learnt how powerful we truly are,” said Tortoise, “but we have also discovered a resource that can benefit everyone in the forest!”
“Upon reflection, my friend”, added Fox, “to find this bountiful meadow, we had to become bountiful ourselves. Rich in imagination, expansive in outlook, bold in stride, and abundant in optimism and spirit. Imagine the endless possibilities if the entire forest did the same.”
Returning to the forest, they shared their story, astonishing Hare.
“A quick start does not guarantee a win, “said Fox. “Believing in growth, no matter where you start, can take you places you’ve never imagined.” added Tortoise, “especially when that growth is shared.”
The forest animals learned a powerful lesson that day. A fixed mindset traps you in limitations, a growth mindset opens new individual paths, but an abundance mindset creates an ecosystem of possibilities available to all.
What the fable tells us about life and change
The story of The Fox, the Tortoise, and the Hare encapsulates the essence of three different perspectives towards life and change: The Fixed, Growth and Abundance mindsets. These mindsets are personified through the characters of Hare, Tortoise and Fox, our intrepid travellers.
Each imparted valuable lessons through their journey to find the mythical meadow full of possibility and opportunity.
Hare embodies the Fixed mindset, one that is resistant to change. He dismisses the idea of the hidden meadow from the outset, claiming that if it existed, he would have known about it. There is nothing new to learn.
This self-limiting belief becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy as no sooner had he started the journey, he turns back, learning nothing and gaining nothing. Hare would rather avoid the challenge than face uncertainty or failure.
For him, exerting more effort to hone his skills is a waste of his precious time. After all, no one will ever be faster than Hare. He has the market cornered on speed, or so he believes.
In contrast, Tortoise embodies the Growth mindset. Despite scepticism, she is willing to undertake the journey because she values the process of exploration as a learning opportunity.
“Even if we do not find the meadow, we would still have learnt something”, Tortoise says, signalling that failure is not the end of the line, but rather a stepping stone to growth.
In life, adopting a growth mindset enables us to see setbacks as temporary, offering learning experiences that help us adapt and evolve. “The obstacle is the way!”, Tortoise reminds us.
Fox represents the Abundance mindset, which takes the concept of Growth mindset and amplifies it to consider the broader community and society.
While the Growth mindset focuses on personal development, the Abundance mindset is about recognising our common humanity and enhancing our collective well-being. Fox envisions the entire forest benefitting from the discovery of the meadow, which becomes a reality due to their combined effort.
“Imagine the endless possibilities if the entire forest did the same”, says Fox, underscoring that an abundance mindset expands opportunities and generates a positive feedback loop of increasing resources for everyone. It brings new, endless, and unimagined possibilities to life.
Finding the Hidden Meadow
What does the “hidden meadow” in our story mean? In the real world, this lush meadow could be likened to plentiful but untapped potential and opportunity in our lives, be it knowledge, relationships, health, wealth, success or the sometimes-illusive happiness and contentment.
While a Fixed mindset sees these opportunities as scarce, limited, inaccessible or even non-existent, a Growth mindset sees them as challenges to be conquered for personal growth and development.
An Abundance mindset recognises that these opportunities can become resources available to all. Abundance begets abundance.
Change can be positive and rewarding when approached with the right mindset and, of course, the right friends. A journey towards change may be daunting and the path strewn with obstacles, but armed with a Growth and Abundance mindset, those obstacles become stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks.
When we embark on that journey with others who share our optimistic outlook, as Fox and Tortoise did, not only do we enrich our own lives, but we also contribute to the betterment of those around us.
The fable encourages us to transition from a Fixed mindset to a Growth mindset and ultimately, to an Abundance mindset. It teaches us that if we can change our minds, we can change our reality and in so doing, change our world.
What’s your hidden meadow? What is the goal you want to pursue to change your life? Learn more about the Science of Change by signing up for the BrightRock change programme.