Don’t Chase That Snake!

Dan Miller —  February 2, 2011 — 7 Comments

Looking back can keep you trapped in defeat – looking forward will release your success

When I was 10 years old, one of my best friends was Bob Queen.  One afternoon while exploring the backacreage of our neighboring farms, a snake bit Bob. Seeing the snake slither off, my immediate response was to run after the snake, track him down and repay the scoundrel for what he had done to my friend.  Bob, however, being a much wiser hunter and outdoorsman, quickly pulled out his knife, lanced the bite, sucked the blood out and spit out the poison.  The focus for him was on his own well being, not on repaying the snake.

I frequently see people chasing the snake in their own lives.  The company folds or you just simply get laid off.  The immediate reaction may include anger, resentment, bitterness, and backstabbing.  These lead to discouragement, frustration, guilt and depression.  Be aware that all of these reactions and feelings focus on the past.  Turning around and looking to the future opens up confidence, boldness, and enthusiasm.  These often lead to an increased sense of accomplishment, personal control, fulfillment and even money.

If Bob and I had chased that snake, the poison would have been given opportunity to plunge through his veins, draining his energy and perhaps leading to his death.  What are you doing in your life?  Are you chasing a snake in the past or pursuing a dream in the future?  Choose carefully; your life may be at stake.

Chasing the Snake

  • Filing discrimination suit
  • Carrying a picket sign in front of the old company
  • Focusing on unemployment qualification
  • Having gripe sessions with others who were let go

Eliminating the Poison

  • Contacting 30-40 companies about your new opportunities
  • Increasing your volunteer time
  • Spending 2 hours daily reading or listening to positive, inspirational material
  • Working out , eating right, smiling more and feeling great
  • Planning for the business you’ve always dreamed of

Are you eliminating all poison from your life, or are you still chasing the snake?

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  • Glenn Mutz

    Excellent point.. Move on to your greater purpose and calling. Do not get stuck in the past or become vengeful for this is such a waste of time talent and energy..

    • Don

      God has said, “Vengeance is Mine! I will repay!!” So, leave the past with God; He’ll punish those who have wronged you. If someone apologizes; forgive them.

  • Toni Brayton

    If you chase the snake and absorb the poison you become the kind of person that no one wants to be around. You chase away opportunities.

  • Diane Krause

    Excellent point, Dan! I’ve learned a lot about that in the past 6 months. In my blog post from last week (thank you for the feature, by the way — I’m honored), I mentioned the “journey” our family has been on. That experience has led me to do a lot of work on myself. I’m amazed at how much the 12 Step process has to offer ALL of us, and the principles there are consistent with the positive habits you espouse. I’ve also gone back to re-study Dr. Phil’s “Life Strategies,” and the same principles are repeated. The message is consistent: while you may not have created an unpleasant situation (but be willing to face it if you DID), you’re still responsible for what you do about it. So face the reality, figure out what you CAN and CANNOT control, quit focusing on what you CAN’T, then get to work on what you CAN control to change your situation. When you remove the blame and resentment from a situation and realize you have the power to change it, you gain a new sense of peace and freedom. Thank you for continuing to teach us all, Dan!

  • Suchitra

    Dan you are a blessing!

  • janice


  • Todd

    I was recently wrongfully terminated after being back stabbed by some people who should have been brothers and sisters. That really hurt. I plotted all kinds of revenge and didn’t even go to Church for 3 months because I couldn’t believe Christians would go after their own like that. I started letting go and “Eliminating the Poison” and things have been turning around quickly. New and better job, that probably wasn’t possible until I let go of the anger and resentment. I am glad I have found a way to forgive, it gets rid of poison.