The 12 Spies

The 12 Spies

Have you ever heard the story of the 12 spies? 10 returned with pessimistic predictions and 2 returned with faith. Are you one of the 10 or are you like Joshua and Caleb?

Key topics:

✔️ Perception is key. How can people see the same event so differently? Perception!
✔️ You can be a Johnny Fontane who says, “Oh, there’s no chance, no chance” if you want to, but I don’t recommend it.
✔️ If 80% of the people around you are gloom-and-doom, you don’t have to join them!
✔️ Sometimes in life, getting something you want is simple but not necessarily easy.
✔️ So many people get within inches of a goal and give up prematurely. This is not the same thing as strategically quitting for the right reasons.

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Transcription by

Hello, hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Causey Consulting Podcast. I’m your host Sara Causey and I’m also the owner of Causey Consulting, which you can find online anytime at Today I want to talk about the 12 spies. And no I’m not referring to something from a James Bond movie. I’m talking about a story from the book of Numbers when Moses sends out a group of scouts to check out the land of Canaan. Go up there, see what it’s like, are the people they’re strong or are they weak are there a lot of them are only a few What is the land look like? Is the soil rich? Is it poor? Is it wooded, is it not? So the 12 spies go off for 40 days to do this recon work. All 12 of them observe the same things, but 10 out of the 12 come back with a negative report. If you’ve ever seen Johnny Fontane and the Godfather, they’re basically like that. Oh, the land has milk and honey. It’s beautiful. It’s wonderful. It really is the promised land, but there’s just no chance. The people there are strong and powerful. There’s just no chance No chance. Again, since I played a little bit of the James Bond theme song music if you ever want a little Hollywood history, rumor has it that Johnny Fontane was based at least loosely on Frank Sinatra and the film that he was whining about really wanting to get a part in that could just skyrocket his career was From Here to Eternity. And the moment you may remember in the film when Marlon Brando slaps Al Martino, there’s a brief cutaway to Robert Duvall sitting in the corner laughing because that was a spontaneous gesture that Marlon Brando improvised. Robert Duvall’s laughter was real, but nobody was quite sure. Like, should we laugh at this? Is it a serious moment? So the laughter that you see there is genuine. If you’re ever somewhere at a trivia party, and that comes up, well, now you’ve got something new to pull out of your sleeve. So even though they’ve all seen the same things, 10 of the spies come back in full on Johnny Fontane mode going, “there’s just no chance, no chance,” hanging their heads, as though they’ve already been defeated, even though nothing’s happened yet. But two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb come back and say, yeah, we understand that it might look like things are against us, but we can do this. They’re sort of the people that rally the troops and say we got this not only should we go for it, but we should go for it straightaway. We shouldn’t dilly dally around. We should really go for this. Recently I heard Joel Osteen say, with what’s going on in the world right now, that’s about the ratio that you’re going to find: 10 out of 12 people are going to be sour. They’re going to be gloom and doom. And I mean, that’s like if you go on social media, people are sniping at each other about politics or religious beliefs. It is just a very like your gloom and doom time out there. You want to guard who you spend your time with, and what kind of media that you take in. You don’t want to sit around and just pour a lot of dread and anxiety into your brain all day long. I remember going to one of Dennis Miller’s stand-up routines at the Hard Rock and this has been several years ago, but at that time, he said the current a-hole rate in America is something like 35 to 38% I just remember laughing so hard at that. I don’t know if it’s gotten better or worse than that, but I thought It was hilarious. Sad but true, you probably will find about an 80% rate of people that are going to be naysayers. You shouldn’t sell in a pandemic. Who the hell are you to try to grow your business in the middle of all this? You shouldn’t start a business, you should just be glad you have a job. Is there anything more demoralizing that when someone who’s supposed to be your friend or a close family member, or even your boss, which is what happened to me one time, someone who is managing you says, Well, you should just be glad you have a job. Sit still. Shut up. Don’t make any waves. Don’t try to improve anything. Just be glad that you have a job and a paycheck. Nothing says you’re a number and we don’t really care about you quite like that. Unfortunately, there’s no way that you’re ever going to be able to filter out every moment of contrast, and not everybody in your life is going to support every decision that you make. I mean, remember the old phrase about opinions are like you-know-what: everyone’s got one and a lot of them stink. There’s times in life where that’s true. And if we’re going to go against the grain and do something different break with tradition or or go out on our own and make some new choices. Not everyone around us might be super supportive of that. Certainly one of the lessons that we can take from the story of the 12 spies is that they all saw the same thing. Two of the 12 decided not to be discouraged, they decided not to come back and be a couple of ears 10 out of the 12, on the other hand, decided to be Johnny Fontane, and sit there and go there’s just no chance, no chance. So many times in life, your perspective, the lens through which you choose to see the world or through which you choose to see a particular situation is the make or break factor. There’s times when we count ourselves out or count ourselves down. We haven’t even tried yet. We haven’t even attempted to do something new or to achieve a particular goal and we are a start talking ourselves out of it. I could never train for a marathon. I could never get a bigger house. I could never overcome this illness. I could never break this addiction. I’ve been a chain-smoker for the past 10 years. How on earth am I going to stop that now? Meanwhile, the person may not have ever even tried to make a different choice but they’re already deciding that they failed before they started. I have met several solopreneurs who were close. I mean, they were like fourth and goal to really exploding their business and having success and they just folded the sidewalk up. And there is such a thing as strategic quitting. I have talked about it before and I firmly believe in it. There are times in life when we need to take an honest appraisal of what’s going on. Are we happy? Is the business making money? How do we really stand out from our competitors, you can be in a position. Whether you’re at a job working for someone else, or you’re employed by yourself, you can be in a position where you’re making money. The revenue and sales are not a problem, but you’re miserable. You’re burned out on what you’re doing. Or it’s taking a tremendous emotional toll on you. And you just want to move in a different direction and do something else. And there is nothing wrong with that. There are other situations where someone is so close to having a profitable business and they just give up. They walk away prematurely and just say, you know what, screw it. I just I just don’t have it in me to fight one more day. I can’t, I can’t keep moving in a forward direction. I’ll just go back to Corporate America with my tail tucked between my legs and say this is it. It’s curious. Certainly that piece can look at the same set of circumstances and yet see them in totally different ways. There may be a situation that you’re going through that you feel like is hopeless, or the odds are really stacked against you. Maybe you’ll succeed, but it just doesn’t look very good right now, someone else could come along and look at the same set of circumstances and be like, Oh, my God, you’ve got this. People are out there with much worse odds or, or much more stacked against them than you have. And they’re making it like, pull yourself up a little bit, dust yourself off, and let’s go down the road. There is a Rabbinical prayer that I’ve heard before that says, “may you have the vision to see things as they truly are, not as you fear they are.” I wonder how many times in life that we see something that perhaps seems big and scary at first, but it really isn’t. We think about childhood. If you’ve ever gone back to a place as an adult like you, you were there as a child, and you remember it as being so big and so vast, and then you go back to it as an adult, you’re like, Whoa, this house is not nearly as big as I remember it, or this yard is not nearly as big as I remember it. It’s all about perspective. As we grow up, and we have new experiences, we realize that some of the things that may have seemed big and scary and awful and intimidating, really just aren’t. It’s a bit like the Emperor and the clothes. Once you realize that the Emperor is naked and doesn’t have any clothes on, it’s really hard to go back to thinking that he does. It’s interesting that Joshua and Caleb saw circumstances that were scary, but they were willing to overcome the fear. Feel the fear and do it anyway. The other 10 spies saw scary things were like no, we can’t do this. We we were like grasshoppers compared to these giants! If you’re familiar with how the story ends, then you know that out of the 12 spies that went and gave a report, Joshua and Caleb were the only two that were allowed to go to the promised land after the time of wandering. What a great metaphor for all of us. The person who is able to keep a positive attitude, doesn’t get defeated, doesn’t doubt doesn’t want to go off and say, Well, woe is me. Everything is so bad. I guess I’ll just throw in the towel and say “To hell with it.” The person that perseveres is ultimately the one that makes it. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please share it. If you haven’t already, take a quick second to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review for us on iTunes. Bye for now.

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