This devotional is dedicated to my little sister Tiara. Now, while neither of us supports animal cruelty (though she did singlehandedly murder our pet goldfish with an Aquarium net when she was four and cursed at her boyfriend’s cat for getting trapped in a plastic bag while we were on the phone the other night), after facing setback after setback in pursuit of our dreams, we’re both well-informed in the areas of resilience and sticktoitiveness. During a recent conversation with Tiara, she vented her frustrations to me about a failure she recently experienced in her acting career. “Well, what can you do about it?” I asked, being the frank big sister I am. What came out of her mouth next was so brilliantly hilarious that it nearly made me spit out my water: “skin the cat the other way.”
Sharing this story with a girlfriend taught me that not everyone is fortunate enough to have heard the saying “there’s more than one way to skin a cat,” so just in case, let me explain: there are several possible ways of achieving a goal; when one doesn’t work, try another. Tiara’s commitment to achievement by any means is testament to how imaginative successful people must be. If you’re set on only one path being able to take you to where you wanna go, you’ll likely never get there. With this bit of reality comes memories of the board game “Trouble.” Called “Frustration” in the UK, Trouble brings players face-to-face with setbacks, restarts, and losses. Because moves are determined by die rolls rather than merit, effort, or experience, pieces several squares behind the lead often gain the front spot. Sound familiar? Winning the game of Trouble requires a commitment to persistence and optimism, just like navigating life often does.
Today, as you face unwanted outcomes, trade strategy for creativity. In a world where people can become millionaires just by taking pictures of themselves on their camera phones, nothing’s fair. It’s time to stop complaining that your hard work isn’t paying off and to start skinning the cat the other way. Ask yourself what you can do instead of what you’ve always been doing without completely deviating from your soul path. Like Tiara, maybe you can become a talent agent and cast yourself for future roles instead of going through an agency? Whatever your industry and whatever your goal, stop complaining about the powers that be and become one. Inside of you exists everything you need to modify your narrative, so stop letting life happen to you and happen to it. Or, in the words of Tiara: go skin some cats.