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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

Ant Or The Grasshopper

Written by a former Greek slave in the late 6th Century BCE, the 725 tales which collectively  comprise - Aesop's Fables are the world's best known collection of morality tales and the source of great learning. The classic Ant and the Grasshopper I have ever loved the best (see doodle).

Each one of us in life faces this 'A & G' dilemma....called in psychology as 'dilemmas of intemperate choice'. Effectively it means that each time a person puts-in efforts in direction of achieving one goal instead of another, it involves a conscious or unconscious tradeoff. Choice of decision thence becomes complicated. 

When one has to take decisions involving efforts or expenditures, our mind focusses on weighing be an Ant or behave like a Grasshopper - the option between 'early gratifications' or 'delayed rewards'. In conflict situations of choice, the mind is ever engaged evaluating options, their costs and benefits before it decides. 

What is critical is to remember that the human mind has a built-in design that favors 'pleasure at the present' option and which tends to devalue future options. 

Early gratification - pleasure now is the natural mantra of choice unless the future choice is overwhelmingly big or the price of future pain excrutiating.

This is the big bug in our human neurological software. We are designed to be like grasshoppers. We learn to situationally behave like Ants.

Leaders face such 'A& G' dilemmas every day. Thus it is critical for the leader to closely read the situation, hold-back natural prompts for early gratifications and then decide his choice - Ant or the Grasshopper ?

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