I have a habit most people probably find a little strange. I like to save worms. Short, long, skinny and fat—I rescue them all.
When I’m not on the road as a motivational speaker, my morning ritual is walking my chocolate Labrador. I do this come rain or shine, but I prefer walking in the rain. It’s so refreshing.
Have you ever noticed that after it rains there are a bunch of worms wriggling around on the sidewalks and in the gutters? The moisture confuses them, and they’re able to travel much further from their habitats than they normally would. They’re lost and in danger.
Whenever I come across a worm struggling, fighting for its life and squirming away from some soft lawn, I pick it up and gently place it back on the nearest patch of dirt. One after another, I crouch, pinch their bodies, lift them up and drop them back to earth.
There’s a pretty short window of time to reach them before they dry out and die. I like to think I’m giving these worms a second chance at life. Just because they lost their way doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have another shot.
There have been times I’ve picked up so many worms that I lost count. I want to save every one I can. If I’m saving all the others, it feels wrong to skip one. My wife will ask me why I was gone so long. It’s hard to say, “I was picking up worms!” It feels a little daffy.
People looking out the window of their home, or those driving by, probably think I’m a little crazy. They ask, “Why is he picking up worms? They’re just worms, right?”
It’s my own version of the starfish story. If you haven’t heard this inspiring tale, the short version goes like this: An old man walking along the beach comes across a young man tossing starfish into the ocean. The tide is going out and the sun is coming up – if he doesn’t, these starfish will die. The old man looks up and down the beach and sees thousands of starfish. He says, “It won’t possibly make a difference.” The young man tosses another starfish into the water and replies, “It makes a difference to that one.”
I have to believe the worms I rescue are excited to have another lease on life. I bet they’re glad to be back in soil. It must be tough squirming around on the concrete looking for that place in the ground that protects them and makes them feel secure.
Isn’t that just like real life? We’re blasted by storms and tossed out of our familiar environment. We struggle and squirm around, trying to find the way back to our comfort zone. Away from fear, anxiety and pain.
When we lose our way, we often end up getting further and further from home. We’re disoriented by distractions, vice and temptations that rob us of our spiritual wealth.
As a motivational speaker, my job is to help others discover, nurture and utilize the tools they need for personal and professional success. Just like the worm, I lift you off the ground and inspire you to never give up. I help you find your way home.
In the end, we have to take responsibility for the direction of our lives. Never give up discovering and developing your strengths. Persevere, and you will surprise yourself. Keep exercising your most important muscles: faith, courage, determination and patience. These are treasures that lie within you. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’ve lost your material wealth, you’ll still have this inner wealth. Tap into it and rebuild your empire.
Continue to work on yourself when you feel the world is against you, or your back is against the wall. Tap into your personal power, your doggedness and sense of self-worth. Seek help when you need it, and don’t hesitate to help others when they need a hand.
Sometimes we’re the worm being rescued; sometimes we’re rescuing worms.
Derek Clark – Motivational Speaker and Inspirational Author of 6 Books.
Find out more at www.IWillNeverGiveUp.com