What can a flea teach us about life? Years ago Zig Ziglar wrote a story about training fleas and it literally changed my life. On today’s show, I (JB Glossinger) will tell you the story and what we can learn from fleas.
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Full Transcript: Episode 2870 Flea Training – Breaking Through Barriers
[00:00:15] Good morning, and welcome to Morning Coach today. I am so glad you’re with us. As you know, my name is J.B. Glossinger, and this is your personal revolution system, the place to get your day started right. Welcome, welcome, welcome! I’m so glad you’re with me today as we’re get right take on a Thursday here, right? Ready to take it on. We’ve been working on our attitude this whole week, getting it straightened around so that we can keep going forward, and getting a little more positive. We need that out there today. I mean, there’s so much negativity that we’ve got to rise above it and bring some positive energy. And we’ve been working on that this week.
[00:00:52] I’m super pumped to help you today by going backwards into my life, back to a story I read in “See You at the Top,” when I was 18, about training fleas. I know that doesn’t sound that exciting. Why would we talk about about fleas? Well, we’re going to get into this story because it’s one of the ones from Zig Ziglar, and it literally did change my life. I think his book changed my life because it got me on this pattern towards positivity, towards helping others, and really getting out there and doing the things that I need to do to make a difference. In fact, Zig Ziglar has a famous quote attributed to him that says, “If you help enough other people get what they want, you always get what you want.” So, that’s what I live by. And Zig’s been such an influence on me, so I’m going to share a story with you about the fleas, which is a lot of fun, and we’ve had frogs and fleas on the show this week. Pretty crazy, but we’re having fun.
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[00:02:30] So, let’s get into today’s topic, this flea’s story and talk a little bit about it. But this is, this is actually a story that I read in “See You at the Top” years ago, and it’s called The Flea Training Story. So, let me read this to you, and then what we’ll do is we’ll talk a little bit about some of the ideas in it, and why it meant so much to me, and why it can mean so much to you. and really change the way you see life and the way things are holding you back. OK? So, let’s get into it. Flea’s basically do two things. They jump, and they ride on dogs. If you want to train a flea, what you’ve got to do is put a flea in a jar. And if you put a flea in a jar, the flea will jump right out of the jar. So, in order to train a flea, what you do is put the lid on the jar, and you watch the flea jump. And the flea will jump. Clap, clap, clap, clap. You watch the flea jump and hit its head on the inside of the lid, and it jumps and jumps and jumps. You come back 10 minutes later. The flea is still jumping. Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap. It’s still jumping. Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap. Hit his head, right? And he is still hitting his head on the inside the lid of the jar. You come back an hour later. The flea is still jumping. Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap. And he’s hitting, still hitting his head on the lid of the jar. Two hours later or at some point, the itty-bitty flea, even with his itty-bitty brain, figures out that hitting the inside of the jar is not such a good idea. And so, the flea alters its jumping pattern. The fleas still jumps nonstop, but it’s now jumping about an inch from inside the lid of the jar. You’ve trained a flea. At this point, you can virtually take the lid off the jar and watch the flea jump from now until doomsday, and guess what? The flea is never going to jump out of a jar. Folks, that flea has all the power in the world to jump right out of that jar, but it can’t and it won’t. And the reason why is because the flea doesn’t know the difference between a real limitation (being the lid) and a limitation it put on itself.
[00:04:35] Most people, unfortunately, are the same way. Most people don’t know the difference between a real limitation and a self-imposed limitation. And I’m here to tell you that there are no real limitations. Oh, sure, if you have no legs, you’ve got some limitations. Sure, if you didn’t go to Harvard, you have some limitations. At the end of the day, there are really are no limitations except what you decide are limitations. There are no real limitations. There may be some challenges. There may be some things you have to overcome. But there are no real stops in your life. There are no real limitations in your life. It’s what you put on yourself.
[00:05:16] And so, that storie’s from Zig Ziglar. And really, it, you know, I remember it so much. An Zig was so great, you know? He’s kind of known as a father of motivation. And the reason he’s known as that is because he’s so great at putting these stories together that, that you remember for years and years and years and years. And so, I remember this, and I’ve told variations of it because, if I remember right, I thought it was a shoe box, but we’re actually talking about a jar that we’re putting fleas in. And like he said, the flea’s tiny, little, itty-bitty flea brain figures out that, you know, every time it jumps and hits, it’s hitting that lid. So, it’s going to stop a little bit before, and it’s creating this limitation. It’s creating this limitation. And so, when you take that lid off, it knows it’s this big thing, it’s going to hit the top of the jar. But the truth is it could jump out and go forever and ever and ever be free again.
[00:06:10] And so, the idea that we have self-imposed limitations was such a big one on me when I was younger, I used to see people for what they, what I believed in. And I can see past their limitations that they’re putting on themselves. So much so, I became a horrible manager. You know, I worked up through management-run companies, but I was a terrible manager. And why was I a terrible manager? Because I looked at people and I would see them putting their limitations on themselves, and I’d be like, “Why are you here? You want to go write the book? Go write the book! You want to go start a business? Go start a business!” I was coaching people away from our business. Right? And so, I’m not a very good manager because I see the limitations that people are putting on themselves. And I realize that there are no limitations. There are challenges, as Zig has told us, but there are no limitations. So, how can your attitude be so much different if you realize that you’re putting a lot of limitations on yourself? And these self-imposed limitations are just like the flea hitting the top of the box. So, over the years I’ve done a lot of sales training. I’ve helped a lot of companies. I’ve helped a lot of people understand the sales process. And in the sales process, you have sales people who normally are paid some form of commission. And this story is illustrated really well when working with them because a lot of them, what they do is they’ll hit their commission level, and they’ll stop working. They’ll get to a certain pay level, and they’ll stop working. And why do we do that? Because we put a self-imposed limitation on it. I see it with a lot of people in corporate. They’ll get to a particular level like $45,000 a year, $46,000 a year, and they can’t get past that. They self-sabotage because they put this limitation. They can’t get past the $45,000 or $50,000 thousand they’re making.
[00:07:58] And for us to be able to get past those things, we have to get away from the self-sabotage and start moving and doing the activities that are going to get us through those self-imposed limitations that we’re putting on ourselves. You know, we are marvelous beings. It’s amazing what a human being can do. It’s amazing how they can get through different scenarios and can, can, and can progress in life. You know? Every day it’s wonderful being in the business that I am of helping motivate and inspire people because I get to read so many awesome stories of victories of people that are doing amazing things. And the truth is you can do amazing things, but you’ve got to get away from the things that are holding you back. The limitations that you’re putting on yourself. And we all have them. We all have them. For the last few years, you know, I’ve put this limitation on myself that I wanted to work a 4-hour work week. That I didn’t want to work that hard. And that was kind of a self-imposed limitation that if I was going to take on a coaching client or if I was going to take on a speaking gig or I was going to do an event, it was going to cut into my 4-hour schedule. Right? And I wanted to build a 4-hour a week business, and I did that. But it was putting a limitation on what I really like to do, and that’s to help people. That’s to help people with my heart, and that’s to help people with the joy. And that’s just what I love to do. I get so much satisfaction out of helping people. And so, I need to do more of that. So, I had to be very cautious this year in changing that limitation, and thus, we’ve put the Coachcast out, the podcast out into the world now, and we’ve had a million downloads, and it’s amazing. When I started to change the way that I was thinking, how many different things changed in my life was scary. Yeah, it was a scary, kind of changed things up a little bit, but it was one of the best things I’ve done. And I’ve found that when I realize the limitations that I have and that I’ve put on myself, and I realize what once I get through those, it’s amazing how wonderful it is on the other side of those.
[00:09:59] And so, today, what I want you to think about is, you know, what self-imposed limitations have you put on yourself? What are the things that are holding you back from enjoying life? And maybe you’re not enjoying life because you believe that you don’t deserve to have some of the better things in life, and again, this is not about the material acquisition, this is about having joy with what you’ve got. Like being happy with the things that are around you. And then growing more. You know, I see so many people in suffering and so many people in emotional pain. And I look and I see, “Gosh, but you have so much potential, and you have so much already in your life. Why are you so sour? Why are you so, you know, why is this such a negative experience for you? Why are you suffering?” And the suffering is a mental suffering because they don’t believe they have enough, or they don’t believe they’ve been that, you know, they believe something’s happened to them, and they, they just don’t feel the energy that can come from that liberation of having gratitude to just be alive. You’ll hear me once in a while say that I’m from the town of La Porte, Indiana. When I was growing up, there was 30-40,000 people. Very small town outside of Chicago in Indiana. If you come around the, the kind of the bend there of, in, outside of Chicago, you’re going to run through a lot of Midwestern towns. Gary, Michigan City, you come to La Porte, and then you hit South Bend, which is famous for Notre Dame, and, you know, I always say that it doesn’t take much to excite me. It doesn’t take much to bring me joy because I’m from such a small town, and I didn’t get to travel that much as a child. And so, I’m just excited to be here. And personally, I think that’s a great way to live because then you don’t focus on the limitation and you don’t focus on trying to acquire more. You just enjoy the ride. You know, hey, it’s a fun ride to be on, and you don’t get down when you don’t get things. You don’t get that shiny little object that’s over there, right?
[00:11:52] But what happens is when you start living that way and stop worrying about the shiny objects and you start focusing on what you love and you start focusing on systems, all of a sudden, things start to work, and you start to have more joy in your life, and you realize that it’s not about all the shiny things, even though they come into your life. It’s about the connections you make and the real relationships you have and how you spend your days day in and day out. That’s the real secret. Right? So, what do they say? Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. And it’s so true. But not everybody can do what they love until they get through their limitations. Because I believe everybody can do what they love. We live in an economic time where there are people creating things every single day.
[00:012:37] Now, does that mean you get frustrated if you haven’t created the ideal life for you? Well, I haven’t created the ideal life for me yet. Every day there’s new challenges. Every day I’m trying to find out how I can have more peace, and manage my energy, and have more joy. Right? And so, I’m working on that every day. But I do know that if I get up and I have gratitude and I put energy into the day and I go out there and live my life and I look for the things that are holding me back and work on those and just to have gratitude for being alive, it’s amazing how awesome life can be. And it’s fun, right? It’s fun. Have I had the experience of flying in a private jet yet? No, I haven’t. One day I probably will. I mean, I’m putting it out there. You know? My big reach goal is to one day have a Citation X, I mean, X Plus, now. That’s my reach go. And there’s a lot of experiences that I would like to have, but I haven’t manifested yet. Is that holding me back? Am I depressed? Am I, am I concerned? Am I worried that I haven’t hit every single thing that’s on my stretch list? No. I’m enjoying this process. And you know what? If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. It is what it is. And so, I just keep plugging away and just loving what comes into my life: the people, the energy, the ideas. And that’s where I want you to be. You know?
[00:13:56] Understand, we all have limitations. We all have obstacles. And I mean self-imposed limitations. And so, we’ve got to break through those, because, as Zig Ziglar tells us, there’s no such thing as a limitation. There’s just obstacles. So, let’s break away from the fleas. Let’s not be like the fleas and recognize that, today forward, we’ve got tremendous opportunity in front of us. We just got to start taking advantage of it and be patient enough to get to that position where we’ve grown enough to expand our world to where we want it to be. And the truth is, as I started talking this week so much about Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, is that we are creating our own reality. We just got to make sure we’re managing the right energy, so we’re putting in the right places, so we’re getting the outcomes that we want. And the perception that we have on the way that we look at life needs to be different if we’re suffering. That’s the bottom line. And as we start to make those changes, life becomes better and we start to get to the top, which Zig Ziglar tells us, “See at the top,” righ? And what is the top? I’m still working towards it, but I’m having a blast. And I think if you just have the right ideal energy, and you just have the right thought process, and you just go about it every day, working to be a little more positive, you’re going to come out the other side just feeling awesome. And that’s what I want to help you do.
[00:15:13] So, get out there. Have a great one. If you get a chance, go on iTunes, just subscribe. That would be huge. Reviews are great. Anything you do to help us get this word out. You know, we’re working to get more people out there a little more positive, and we need it. I mean, we need it. So, let’s work together to do that. But you be a little more positive today. Break through those limitations. And tomorrow, we’re going to talk about PMA=OPM. So, don’t miss that show. All right? It’s going to be a great one. All right. I love you. Get out there. Have a great. I will be back with more right here tomorrow to get your day started right on MorningCoach.com.