John's Blog

The Blog of John Gibson, PhD

The Goose Who Laid Golden Eggs

So one morning a farmer discovers that his goose has laid a golden egg. This is a startling development, but a happy one. The next day, the goose lays another golden egg. This is fantastic, the farmer thinks. Indeed, the goose continues to drop golden eggs each morning. The farmer can’t believe his good fortune. With all that gold, he becomes a wealthy man.

And then greed sets in.

The farmer grows impatient. He decides he has to have
all the eggs — now. Thinking that the eggs are inside of the goose, he kills it. But of course the goose hasn’t made them yet. There are no eggs to get. Even worse, now that he's killed the goose, he has no way to get more eggs.

Steven Covey, his book
Seven Habits of Effective People, likens Aesop’s fable to the person who continually produces (works hards) but never takes time off to rest and renew himself. He greedily wants all the eggs, even if it comes at his own expense.

The moral is simple. You can’t always be producing. Sometimes you have to relax, rest, and renew yourself. Sometimes you have to shutdown production.

Don’t kill the goose.

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