When you’ve been involved in a life-long struggle, it’s hard to reach back and point a finger at where it all started. I know, I can’t, regardless of how hard I’ve tried.
It’s even harder when you have somehow managed to tame the beast that torments you sufficiently to prove yourself at least marginally functional. Harder still, when you manage to accomplish more than might have otherwise dreamed possible.
This is especially true when the monster is nothing more than a Pink Bunny!
That’s right! A Pink Bunny (OK! So, it’s more RED than Pink… You’ve got to work with what you’ve got!) that over a lifetime has proven itself nothing more than an attractive nuisance, and yet still remains irresistable!
If I was somehow able to go back in time and dredge up the old, hard cover, black and white composition notebooks and scrap papers that would reach from floor to ceiling, you would see traces of the Bunny everywhere!
Not on the pages themselves! There were never any portraits of the rabbit anywhere… The wretched little creature was much too fast and far to elusive to capture on paper! But, I’m sure that was never its intent. The Bunny’s intent was distraction: to have you look away, if only for a second. To entice your mind to wander away from the task at hand! And, throughout my educational Odyssey, that little bunny managed to do that by having me render everything from Navy Corsairs to Starfighters!
All I can say is that it’s a good thing – No! A great thing! Star Wars was released long after I was finished with school or there would be a room somewhere filled with doodles of R2-D2, X-Fighters and the Millenial Falcom!
The truth is, that little rodent rejoiced in the stacks of Report Cards my parents had to cope with, whose Comments always began with: “Mitchell has difficulty concentrating and as a result has not worked up to his potential! It would be good if we could find a way to keep him focused and on track!”
When I started working on cars, I was forced to focus: to concentrate on an entirely different plane. What I was doing did not come naturally. It required a foundation of theory that I just didn’t have and as a result I had to lay that foundation myself, layer by layer, at every class, seminar and clinic I could find and attend. Because, the information was important to me – important to our family’s economic survival – I had to pay attention: a level of attention, I had never been willing to commit to before.
A level of commitment that forced me to ignore the Pink Bunny, even when it would sneak up, kiss me on the cheek and point to something wonderful, just outside my reach, frolicking in the world just outside my window! Something to chase, but never catch!
Something to pursue, but never acquire!
Looking back, the misery of remaining focused when all you wanted was to run free – to follow the Bunny anywhere it might wander: down any Rabbit Hole – was profound! And, yet, the same level of concentration and focus I was finally able to develop in order to become a Master Technician, were the same skills and abilities that helped me create countless seminars and workshops, thousands of monthly columns, an eight-volume Automotive Management series and an almost completed management allegory manuscript!
That doesn’t mean the Rabbit has ceased taunting me!
He’s here, sitting alongside me every day… Sitting alongside me right now, in fact!
It’s fluffy little paw pressing the Return key, opening stacks of meaningless emails and following page after page of attractive, but useless web addresses! And, it’s following the Bunny’s lead that can destroy your agenda, plan or To-Do list.
And, while I haven’t been successful when it comes to ignoring the Pink Bunny altogether,I have learned to trick the little beast into leaving me alone for at least a few moments! Long enough to stay on point… Long enough to finish at least a chunk of whatever it is I’m working on…
How? One simple word, “Later…”
I can still see the Bunny! I can still hear it! I’m still enthralled by it! And, perhaps, now, more than ever, I still want to follow it! But, when I see the Bunny waving at me, pointing the way to a long, entertaining, albeit, fruitless and foolish journey, I resist the urge to follow, wave back and say, “Not now, my friend!
I’m tied up at the moment… Can we get together a bit later!
I’ll be sure to follow you then, and when I do, we are sure to have a lot more fun together… What do you say?”
The Bunny generally says, OK! Then, wanders off, and without much of a memory, rarely returns – At least, not with the same attractive nuisance it was peddling on the previous visit! And, as a result, “Later!” has become the most effective tool, my most powerful weapon, in the war I’m constantly waging against the Pink Bunny’s unrelenting assault!