The Fly and the Window Pane

The Fly and the Window Pane

restaurant window         I want to share with you my version of a true story Price Pritchett shared in his book titled “You2”. This story has made quite an impact on me that I have used it several times to illustrate why, contrary to popular wisdom, trying harder may not necessarily guarantee your success in some endeavour.

Picture yourself sitting next to a window in a nice, posh and cosy restaurant. The waiter has just delivered your order and you are preparing to settle down to enjoy a much-deserved meal. The atmosphere is filled with a lovely aroma that will make even a satisfied stomach rumble with hunger. The ambience is simply great. All around are people enjoying their sumptuous meal, chatting away, and having a swell time.

In contrast to all that is happening inside the restaurant, you are observing the desperate attempt of a life-or-death struggle going on a few feet away. You have noticed a small fly burning out the last of its short life’s energy in a futile attempt to fly through the transparent glass of a window pane close to where you are seated. The whining wings tell the poignant story of the fly’s strategy – try harder.

The harder the fly tries, the surer it’s fate to pass out trying and not achieving his goal. This experience is even more painful as this fly identifies a couple of other flies partaking in the feast that was going on on the other side of the clear window pane. Though his strategy is not working, the sight of the pleasure the fly is potentially missing makes him continue to try harder.

“Trying harder” isn’t necessarily the solution to achieving more. Sometimes, in fact, it’s a big part of the problem.

At this point, the struggle is now part of the trap. It is becoming clear that the fly cannot break through the glass. Nevertheless, this little insect has staked its life on reaching its goal through sheer hard work and determination. Potentially, this fly is doomed.

Across the room, only steps away, the door is open. Ten seconds of flying time and this small creature could step into the rich, sumptuous world it seeks. With only a fraction of the effort now being wasted, it could overcome her self-imposed beliefs, limitations and inhibitions. The breakthrough possibility is there. It would be so easy.

Why doesn’t the fly try another approach, something dramatically different? How did it get so locked in on the idea that this particular route, and determined effort, is the only way to make an entrance into this possibility that is, though within his reach yet ‘impossible’ to grasp? What logic is there in continuing, until death, to seek a breakthrough with “more of the same”?

No doubt this approach makes sense to the fly. Regrettably, it’s an idea that will kill. “Trying harder” isn’t necessarily the solution to achieving more. Sometimes, in fact, it’s a big part of the problem. If you stake your hopes for a breakthrough on trying harder than ever, you may kill your chances for success.

So stop imitating the repetitive behaviour of the fly, begin to explore a new and empowering behaviour – a smarter approach to achieving your dreams. Begin to renew your mind and prove that which is good, acceptable and perfect will of God for your life and your future.

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