Author: Byron and Catherine Pulsifer
It started last fall when we had a beaver move in the small stream beside our house. He immediately began taking down small trees, and within a couple of weeks our small stream turned into a small pond. Everyday he added more to his damn and to his house.
We're sure you've all heard the saying, "busy as a beaver", but we never really appreciated it until we saw the work that this beaver did over a very short period of time.
With the stream now damned and his house built, we thought that would be the last of the beaver's busy activity as winter set in. But, to our amazement, he started chewing on a very large maple tree. And, we mean large. The tree is over 60 feet tall and is approximately five feet in diameter at the base. We were amazed at the challenge this beaver was attempting. Over the winter, he would come out and chew a bit more. He had setbacks as we faced major winter storms and freezing weather. We thought that he will never chew through this tree. But sure enough, when the weather allowed, he kept coming back and would chew a bit more.
With spring finally arriving, we went down to see the beaver's progress and sure enough the tree is going to come down soon!! Our beaver has now almost completely chewed around and through the entire tree.
The beaver's original goal was survival – to build a home for the winter. Working every day with that particular focus in mind, he achieved that goal. But the large maple tree he started chewing on last fall was a future goal – he wanted the large tree for the spring, to provide new food and branches to continue damning in anticipation of the spring thaw. And, even with the setbacks he faced over the winter, he never gave up.
Our point in sharing our beaver experience with you is to remind you that sometimes we have a goal to just survive, but we also need to set goals for tomorrow. And sometimes, just surviving seems to occupy all of our time – working everyday, looking after our family, going to school, and so forth. But, if you do just a little bit when times allows, and keep focused on your future goal, you will achieve it.
It is also vitally important that when faced with setbacks in achieving a goal, you need to stay focused and not let the setbacks discourage you.
We know what it means to face setbacks along the way because we were once just like the beaver. We worked it seemed just for our survival, but we also had a future goal and we constantly kept moving forward to achieve that goal. Sometimes, though, weeks would pass before we could work on our goal again, and many times we had to deal with some sort of setback. While at times we felt we would never reach our goal, we never gave up and we never lost our focus. But, over more than 5 years, we did achieve our goal.