The louse and the flea

Committing to something is easier than sticking to the commitment.

One tip to get better at meeting your commitments to yourself: pick things that you are certain you can complete. Small, short term challenges, so you slowly build up confidence in yourself. Don’t go for the big one time score. Instead:

“Practice at a measured pace that you can sustain For example, a louse proceeds at a modest pace but never stops, so it soon arrives; whereas a flea takes great successive leaps and then stops, so it never gets there.” – Tsong Kha Pa, 1402

A louse and a flea?

1:wingless usually flattened blood-sucking insect parasitic on
warm-blooded animals

n : any wingless blood-sucking parasitic insect noted for
ability to leap

Source: Definr Dictionary

Leaping is hard to maintain. Even 700 years ago, they knew that a louse beats a flea.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Interesting point of view. A lot of people like to convince themselves that they can change overnight especially when the cause is something they’re very attached, too. Unfortunately, success in such cases is very very rare. The same goes for sticking to commitments. If you’re someone who has never really finished anything that requires time and concentration, it’s better to take baby steps. It might save you more time and energy in the long run.

  • Incremental progress over time is the way to go. The idea of things having a gestation period and then arriving fully evolved is more appealing to me. I enjoy Jim Rohn’s parable of the sewer and the analogy of the seasons. People in our business would be doing themselves favor if they listened to that on a regular basis.

    Problem today is that the attention span of many people is short – reminds me of a joke that says Vagner’s music is long and life is short – Puts a “ring” around the flaws (and the fleas) in our business and how people are attracted to the big bucks without doing their due diligence. (excuse the Ring pun but couldn’t resist). Juliette Gray

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