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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Never Try to Teach a Pig How to Sing


Ducunt fata volentem, nolentem trahunt
The Fates guide those who go willingly. All others they drag.

Are You Trying to Teach a Pig to Sing?

It's a drag--that person who does things so differently from you really irritates and annoys you. So you take it upon yourself to fix him and show him how to do it your way--the right way. It works, right? Wrong.

Just as Rocky said to Bullwinkle (at the beginning of each cartoon when Bullwinkle said 'watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat'):

"That trick never works."

That trick doesn't even work if you attempt to fix yourself so you can fit your square or squiggly self into that round hole to please others.


 Stop wasting your time trying to make you or others into something you're not. As Robert Heinlein said:

 "Never try to teach a pig how to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig."

Does this mean people can't grow and change? No. It means there are many ways to accomplish things and we need to accept the differing gifts in ourselves and others with grace, compassion, and understanding. A pig can easily learn how to hunt for truffles but try as they might--they can't learn to sing.

It never works to attempt to make people over to be like you. It always works to encourage others become their own best selves.

"Never try to teach a pig how to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig," means we need to accept the realities of life. You can't make a pig sing no matter how hard you try--and no matter how annoyed the pig gets.

So the next time you try to take on another person as your make-over project, know 'that  little piggy' doesn't want to learn how to sing your tune or dance in step with your timing--so stop wasting your time and annoying her!  Let her learn her own dance and tune.



Stop Wasting Your Time and Annoying Others

We all have 100% natural, healthy, effective ways we prefer to deal with the world around us--and all of them are perfectly sound ways to get things done. You can stop wasting your time and annoying others by acknowledging these differences and learning how to make a constructive use of them.

  • Where in your life are you trying to teach a pig to sing?
  • Who are you annoying most--you or another person?
  • Do you want to continue wasting your time or being annoyed?
  • Are the Fates guiding you? Or are you being dragged to the obvious conclusions?
I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
Winston Churchill

**A special thank you to Vicki Brown, a member of Linkedin MBTI discussion group for sharing "Ducunt fata volentem, nolentem trahunt"


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For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

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1 comment:

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Another fabulous post, Sue! You're a good teacher. I love the way you make serious points in an amusing way. And THIS is such an important thing for everyone to learn. I know of several marriages that could have been saved if they had only learned to not try to teach a pig to sing!