The noted French naturalist, Jean Henri Fabre, studied processionary caterpillars in great detail. This caterpillar is special is its instinct to follow in perfect lock step behind the caterpillar in front of it. A unique characteristic, it can also be deadly.
Zig Ziglar tells the story of an experiment Fabre coordinated, placing a number of processionary caterpillars around the rim of a flowerpot, each caterpillar’s head touching the caterpillar behind it.
Then Fabre placed the caterpillars’ favorite food in the center of the circle. The caterpillars followed each other for seven days, eventually dying of exhaustion and starvation, unable to divert their course to their favorite food only inches away.
They did something humans doe everyday. They confused motion for progress.
Motion: Ordering fitness DVDs and buying new workout clothes.
Progress: Finishing the program, losing the weight and convincing a friend to join you for Round 2.
Motion: Registering a domain name you’ve wanted.
Progress: Starting a blog and dripping interesting content often enough to get your 1,000th subscriber or your 100th die hard fan.
Motion: Buying a cookbook.
Progress: Hosting a dinner party for ten friends once a month.
Motion: Brainstorming a new and innovative project at work.
Progress: Taking the third project live and planning the fourth.
Motion: Organizing all your notebooks, pens and software, telling yourself you’re finally going to write that book.
Progress: Finishing Chapter 2.
Motion: Listening to the Rosetta Stone CD’s.
Progress: Moving to Italy for six months and learning the culture and the language.
Motion: Registering a twitter account for your organization.
Progress: Executing a comprehensive social media strategy, listening to, connecting with and engaging your customers.