Updated: Oct 1
Ants are tiny creatures, who each make a huge individual difference when they work as a collective. They work together, rather than in competition with each other, so each small contribution makes a huge impact on the end result. They work with intention, knowing what the desired outcome is, which enables them to stay focused and communicate well with others and they are consistent in their approach, which enables them to get the job done.
One of the unfortunate things about society today is that people are taught from a young age to compete with each other, to compare themselves to each other and to always strive to be better than others in some way. Whilst there are undoubtedly some advantages to this, in that competition often drive people to be the best that they can, this can also go too far, in which some people learn that to get to the top you have to stamp on others – put them down and destroy their confidence, careers and businesses. Alternatively, competitive environments can cause people to feel intimidated and lack the confidence to have a go at things, because they are constantly comparing themselves to others and they never feel that they would be good enough or as successful as others.
A phrase I have often heard repeated over and over again is the term ‘imposter syndrome.’ This is experienced by many talented people, who have something unique to offer, but constantly question their validity to offer it, because they are constantly comparing themselves to others and feel that they aren’t as good, or as qualified, as experienced, or as entertaining as someone else. This can prevent many people from sharing their gifts and talents, to the detriment of those who would benefit from them.
Ants show a different approach to this. They are all tiny, but when they work together they can achieve so much more, carrying large food items back to the nest that are so much bigger than themselves as individuals.
Think about how much you can achieve if you work with others. The internet has a wealth of information out there to help you succeed, but you can’t access it all. You haven’t got the time and you’ll probably miss something in the process. However, if you work with others, who have similar interests and you all share the things that you have found useful, how much does that cut down your individual workloads? When you share your fears and successes with others, you can learn from each other and help each other to move past the fears and keep each other on the road to success. When you work collaboratively with others it helps you to be accountable for your actions and therefore stay on track. That’s just three of many benefits that come from collaboration (See also The Rat's Route To Success).
Another strength that we can learn from the ant is to stay focused on what we want to achieve and work with intention.
The key to this first of all is getting clarity in what you want to achieve and what you need to do to get there. Whatever the goal or project, be clear about what the end result will look like. What information or resources will you need? What are the steps involved in getting there?
It’s so easy to get an idea and then get lost in adding more ideas and more ideas, before actually completing one. Or you might start something, then lose focus and procrastinate when you come to a sticky point or start to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. Planning can really help with this. It will help you to stay focused, on task and within deadlines.
When you have a clear goal and intention, you can easily share your ideas and intentions with others, who you may wish to seek advice or help from. This again will help you to stay on task and get the help and advice that you actually need, rather than the help and advice that others think you need.
Having a clear intention is the key to actualization.
Ants have a consistent approach to their work. Ants have different roles within their community. They follow a set pattern and routine, that ensures they all know what they are doing and they are all able to work together to do it.
Consistency is another key to succeeding in your goals. Establishing routines and sticking to a plan will help you avoid procrastination and complete given tasks. A consistent approach to addressing the behaviour of your children or maintaining contact with clients in your workplace or business, will always lead to more long term success than using a hit and miss approach.
Consistency helps you to establish boundaries and expectations, which will support you in achieving your goals and help you to manage your time, work-life balance and personal wellbeing. If you are consistent in your routines, approaches and behaviours others will know what to expect from you and what you expect from them, which will ultimately lead to improved relationships and more successful collaborations. (For more tips in moving forward towards your goals see Keep Moving Forward With The Elephant)
Together you can make a difference no matter how small.
The ability to work with others is so important in achieving success, whatever your job or business. Everybody has their own strengths and their own limitations, different knowledge and different experiences, but by joining networks and communities, helping each other and sharing your knowledge and experiences you can and will achieve so much more.
If you would like to join more like minded people in a supportive community, who are all keen to learn from animals, join my Learning From Animals Facebook Community.