Dealing with the Grasshopper Mentality

The Tragedy of unrealized potential

May I submit to you that the Cemetery is richer than the biggest vault in the world. It has songs which are not yet written, and sadly will never be composed till kingdom come. It has millionaires who died without a dime in their bank account. The cemetery has pastors who never preached a sermonette. It has presidents who never made it to the state house and farmers who never produced a single cob of maize. It houses the man who could have become Africa’s greatest innovator. It is the usual story of sad memories of lost opportunities. It is an encyclopedia of regrets excuses, and omissions.  

It all begins with perceptions

Wrong perceptions are at the Centre of all unrealized potential and basket case nations. Have you ever observed how people refuse to realize their potential by keeping wrong perceptions or dead paradigms? My heart bleeds as people frantically try to tell me how much they would love to achieve something but yet they consider it beyond them. They find excuses as to why they can’t succeed. They are so persuasive to the point of convincing everyone including themselves. They forget that ideas run the world. They wallow in self-pity. They complain about hopeless situations and never realize that what needs to be changed is not external but rather internal. The solution lies in redefining their perspective to be at the right wave length. No person can rise above his perception of an issue or event.  

The attitude of negativity resonates with a lot of people. Which is why most people on earth live in lack instead of the abundance which God has for all his children. It is all because of the attitude of fear and insecurity. This attitude resonates with the people who are recorded in my favorite book. They are called the Israelites. They were the beneficiaries of God’s most prolific and spectacular miracles. Imagine crossing the whole red sea on foot. What is better than that! These people had seen God’s finest 4D Movies and given the privilege to stare in them. They had been given access to the “Promised Land” as spies. But guess what, the perspective of fear and failure kicked in. Out of 12 men only 2 saw possibilities of a takeover and a chance for a brand new life. The rest saw themselves in a negative light, even went to the extent of considering themselves as grasshopper. 

A Brief Analysis

Joshua and Caleb were ready to conquer the promised land, but ten other leaders who had gone with them to spy out the land feared the Canaanites. They encouraged Moses and the people of Israel to not invade the land. Their reasoning is seen in their statement “we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them” (Num. 13:33). This statement illustrates their faulty perspective. A proper perspective, grounded in reality and accurate before God is essential for making good decisions. Notice two flaws in a grasshopper mentality that we see displayed in the ten rebellious spies.

Just to paraphrase they said they went to the promised land and saw the giants and they considered themselves as grasshoppers in their sight. 

The Dangers of a Grasshopper Mindset

The grasshopper mentality has two primary challenges.

First, a grasshopper mentality causes us to lose proper perspective by comparing ourselves with others. The spies were intimidated by the Canaanite peoples. They said they were giants. They thought they were a “devouring” people who would destroy them in battle

Second, a grasshopper mentality causes us to lose proper perspective by assuming false ideas about what others think of us. Remarkably, the spies didn’t only make a judgment about themselves, they also made a judgment about what the Canaanites thought about them. Somehow, they got it into their heads that the Canaanites thought they were like grasshoppers. It makes you wonder if they asked the Canaanites, “What do you think about us? Fear has a funny way of exaggerating our challenges. It is a great amplifier of negative things.

This is the challenge with a lot of people. They look at life with wrong eyes and therefore get wrong perceptions and outcomes. The truth about life is that you have to battle for your breakthroughs, the methodologies may differ but the point is that every winner overcame a giant. In fact, God has a sense of humour in that he will always give you occupied territory. When ever you see occupied territory, try and remember that giants are made to fall. God wants you to trust him

Practical tips for a victorious life style.

I am a pragmatic leader who does not enjoy dishing out criticism without sharing possible solutions.

1. Your perceptions whether good or bad define your world view. 

2. Distorted mindsets are the production rooms of chaos. 

3. If you focus on your smallness, you will remain small. Whatever you focus on you become. 

4. The greatest currency God has given you is an idea. Every organization you know is a product of a God idea which man then exploited. 

5.Pray for the capacity to solve big problems so that you can be paid big money. People measure you on the basis of the solutions you provide. 

6. Big ideas produce big organizations and the reverse is true.

7. Giants are the stepping stone to the promised land. 

8. Wrong perceptions create wrong solutions and outcomes. 

9. Stop over respecting to the point of becoming paralyzed by exalting the opposition more than your brand. 

10. Faith is the master key which you will need to use when you are pursuing. 

There is greatness inside you and all you need is to acknowledge it and empty your heart towards serving others. 

Jesus Christ remains the master leader. May the leader in you rise to conquer. 

Next level Is the only acceptable level. Let us meet at the top where you are the topic. 

Dr.Ted Msipa is a Pastor, Business Strategist, Author, Motivational Speaker and Public Teacher