A Tale of Two Turkeys
The turkeys on the turkey farm really have it made, don't they?
At least it looks that way...
I love what Nassim Nicholas Taleb (author of "The Black Swan") has to say about this:
"Consider a turkey that is fed every day," Taleb writes. "Every single feeding will firm up the bird's belief that it is the general rule of life to be fed every day by friendly members of the human race 'looking out for its best interests,' as a politician would say.
"On the afternoon of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, something unexpected will happen to the turkey. It will incur a revision of belief."
I love Taleb's understatement there: "a revision of belief."
Wild turkeys live under no such illusions.
They live by their wits every day. Pecking and scratching around for their food. Dodging coyotes and tractor trailers on the interstate.
And hunters, of course. In Pennsylvania where I live, every year thousands of hunters take to the woods hoping to bag a few turkeys.
I say "hoping"... Turns out, even though they look dumb, wild turkeys are one of the toughest, wiliest, most resourceful animals out there.
They have laser-sharp vision—supposedly 3X better than 20/20. They can run up to 20 mph when startled and fly up to 55 mph. They're smart, too: When the flock is scavenging, they post lookouts who warn the others of the slightest movement.
I once read a story about a hunter who shot a turkey as it flew by him. The blast blew off most of the muscle on one side of the turkey's breast, but the tough old bird just kept right on flying.
Wild turkeys are so tough, in fact, that the state game officials allow hunters to use high-powered rifles. You have to hunt every other bird with a shotgun, but you just can't take down a turkey that way.
If you're anything like me, you spend a lot of time with people who just don't "get" what you do.
"Why are you working so hard on your business?"
"Why are you spending so much time building that website?"
"What do you mean, you want to quit your job?!?"
You know what? That's OK.
95% of people will NEVER understand why you don't just content yourself with a nice, safe job.
They won't understand your desire to control your own destiny.
Which is why I'm so grateful to get to know you. We wild turkeys have to stick together, encourage each other, look out for each other...
Roaming free DOES have its risks.
But whether you're with me now or you're still planning your escape from the cubicle farm, know this:
Your freedom is worth the price.
P.S. Right after I first wrote this, I got an email from a former coworker.
This company I used to work for had a bloodletting. Several of my (highly skilled and competent) colleagues lost their jobs—INCLUDING the guy sitting in my old seat.
This is no soulless mega-corp. They treat their employees like family, even to a fault.
And back when I worked there, I'd have bet anything that my job was "safe."
Just like that fat, farm-raised turkey...
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