|Are you miaowing by the door?
"One of our cats seems to have forgotten how to use a cat flap."Once upon a time we moved house. This house had no catflaps, but it needed a new back door anyway so we made sure a cat flap was installed in the new door. And it was good. And our cats used the catflap to go outside. Actually there was a slight problem in that other neighbourhood cats occasionally also used the cat flap to invade our house - marking their new territory (our kitchen) as they went along. This was not so good, but I digress.
One day we decided to have an extension built, meaning that the back door cat flap would no longer lead outside but instead into a conservatory. The conservatory had a new, special cat flap. A cat flap just like the old cat flap, except it would only unlock for cats whose microchip number was programmed in. This was to stop unwelcome cats coming in. And it was good. And it opened and closed for our cats, and one of our cats took to it fine and was happy going in and out.
"She'd rather meow by the new back door waiting to be let out."But Flo, our older cat, won't/can't use it. We've pushed her through it from both directions, so she knows she can use it. But no. She'd rather meow by the new back door waiting to be let out. Frankly this is a little tiresome, but it's her loss - she doesn't get to go outside to chase birds or sit in the sun as much as she wants to.
You may be wondering why I'm sharing such a mundane story. You may not even like cats. But the reason is this - we, too, can have a 'doorkeeper' mentality when it comes to our lives, especially when it comes to out gifts, talents and dreams. We can be waiting for someone to 'make' us - to open the door to stardom, fame, a record deal, a publishing deal - whatever it is. A doorkeeper mentality places the responsibility of opening the door to success on someone else.
"We can have a 'doorkeeper' mentality when it comes to our lives."
|That's a big door... look for a smaller one
Record executives were the gatekeepers, due to the cost and difficulty of recording, publicising and distributing music at the time. The handle was too high for 'normal' people to open the door themselves. Ditto publishing and many other industries.
But times have changed, meaning that this model is less relevant. Thanks to technology and the internet, the tools for producing and distributing your own music, writing, art, brand, message - whatever it is - are within reach. At the click of a button you have access to an audience across the world.
What does this mean for you and me? Well in the first instance, we need to take responsibility. If we want to enter the brave new world, explore new territory in our life, it's no use sitting miaowing at the door waiting for someone else to make it happen. We'll be waiting a long time. Instead, we need to look for the cat flap - a door we can open ourselves to get out and enjoy the fresh air of our dreams. The size of the door isn't important, what's important is the space it enables you to get to.
"Stop miaowing at big doors and look for the little doors instead"Are there doors you’re waiting by that you can’t open by yourself? There is another way. Pick a smaller opening and use that – perhaps that's about going niche, finding a place in what Chris Anderson calls the Long Tail. Success isn't all about being a hit. So let's take a lesson from our cats. Stop miaowing at big doors and look for the little doors instead - you are more in control of where you go than you may realise!
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