This post originally ran a couple of years ago, but I’m running it again today in honor of Flappy’s recent death.
R.I.P., little Mandarin. You will be missed, but not forgotten.
Flappy is a green-spotted mandarin (Synchiropus picturatus, aka “psychedelic” or “picturesque” mandarin). He is also touched in the head.
Flappy spends his days fluttering over the reef, looking for food. He looks around corals.
He looks behind rocks.
He even looks on the bodies of other fish.
(Not all of whom appreciate his diligence.)
Food consumes about 90% of Flappy’s existence.
Every once in a while, however, Flappy catches sight of his reflection in the glass. When this happens, he forgets the food entirely and spends many minutes admiring himself from every angle.
(You can almost hear him thinking… Good side…BEST side…good side…BEST side…)
If this happens at feeding time, he will miss the meal completely because he’s too busy basking in his own awesomeness to eat.
Wherein lies a lesson for all of us.
Don’t be so dazzled by your own brilliance that you forget to eat.
When success comes your way – and it will, if you work diligently toward your goals – don’t ever forget the things that are really important. More than 90% of your success boils down to hard work, but others are working hard too. You are a special … just like everyone else. And if you spend too much valuable time admiring the glow of your awesome, another fish will eat your wheaties while you’re not looking.
So get back to work, little Flappy. Hunt for your food – or your newest novel, or whatever else makes your heart glow. Enjoy the process. You can and should spend a little time remembering that you’re awesome – after all, the journey is the best part of the process.
Just don’t get so distracted by your own beauty that you forget your calling – or that you ignore the equal beauty of those around you. Working hard and lifting up others before yourself will make you more beautiful than mirrors could ever show.