Minute #667: A Mountain or a Molehill?

Mr. Schafer’s success was legendary at Cole Technologies. It seemed as if whatever project he undertook resulted in a profitable success story for the shareholders. After just a few months in the company’s employ, Jack Simon was impressed by the energy level of the company’s star employee.

“How do you do it?” Jack asked. “So many people here are just average and yet you not only succeed, you also motivate your team to outperform others.”

“It’s really only a matter of attitude,” Mr. Schafer explained. “When the higher-ups challenge the development teams, some see a mountain and others see a molehill.”

“What does that mean?” Jack asked.

“It’s human nature to avoid exertion. People are basically lazy and they like shortcuts and instant results. When they see a real difficult challenge, they perceive it as a mountain. I tell my team that we’ll overcome in the end, so they see a molehill that’s easy to step over,” Mr. Schafer said.

The secret to overcoming life’s challenges is to look at difficulties as small obstacles in one’s path. True, some things are more difficult than others, but at the outset it’s best to look at the challenge as surmountable and the goal as achievable. The image of eventual success is a motivator that promotes enthusiasm and results in victory. In the end, one may bask in the knowledge that what seemed small in the beginning was actually big. The feat accomplished can then be enjoyed.

The Talmud says (Sukkah 52a) that at the end of time Hashem will slaughter the evil inclination. The righteous will see a mountain they climbed to the top and the wicked will cry for failing to overcome a molehill. It’s a matter of attitude.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

If we do not take things for granted, and we appreciate them as gifts, we will feel constant happiness with all that we do have, and will not feel jealousy or anger about what others have. Before someone can try to increase his happiness he must believe he has everything he needs. If he does not believe this then he will not be content. (Gila Feder, Letters to a Friend, p. 64)