Snakes aren’t found atop the “favorite animal” list of
many people any person, but we can learn from their slithery ways.
About a dozen times per year, snakes shed their skin and leave their old skin on the ground for someone else to clean up (I’m looking at you, park ranger). One way to live like a snake is to be messy and make other people clean up after you. Call me an optimist, but I think we can find a nicer way to live like this hissing reptile.
Why Do Snakes Shed Their Skin?
You are better than a snake. You know why? Yes, there are multiple reasons. But one interesting reason is that as we grow, our skin adapts and grows with us. This is not so for a snake.
When a snake outgrows its skin, it must ditch it. Therefore, the more a snake grows, the more skin it leaves lying around. And snakes grow for their entire lives. And therein is the life lesson we can learn from snakes.
How To Live Like A Snake
1. Like a snake never stops growing, continue to grow as a person until you die.
People can get so comfortable with life they don’t try to grow any more. What ultimately happens then is boredom, discontentment, and unhealthy coping habits like drugs. Successful people are the most susceptible to this, as they may reach what they feel is the pinnacle of their field (and life). This is a fallacy.
Nobody ever perfects any part of their life, and nobody reaches their full potential before they die. There is always room to grow, more to learn, and more to conquer. It’s not that we should pursue obligatory bucket list items to complete a list. In the same way snake does not stop growing by its nature of being a snake, our growth should come from our nature as curious and intelligent human beings who are born to (and thrive most when we) explore, create, and learn.
2. Like a snake sheds its skin, shed your past as needed to grow.
Snakes are good at literally leaving their past behind them. They “renew” themselves as needed to accommodate growth. It’s just about automatic with them, but not with us.
Previous failures and emotional baggage can prevent us from growing as people for long periods of time. We too, then, should “renew ourselves” as needed to leave our past behind us, which allows us to grow. If instead you carry “dead skin” on your back, it gets emotionally heavy fast and looks like my back after visiting Hawaii.
But before you start skinning yourself, here are some human ways to shed your past (if you are a snake, do NOT try these):
- Plan: Nothing’s more impactful than a great plan that’s well executed. One of the best ways to leave the past is to create a great present and future! If you’re not sure what that would look like for you, map out your life focus levels!
- Replace: When snakes shed their skin, their new skin underneath looks more vibrant. They upgrade! We can do the same in our lives. If you’re hung up on an ex, for example, find a better replacement! That sounds weird and harsh, but there are 7 billion people on earth. You’ve got options, and I doubt your ex is the best for you out of 7 billion, even if it feels that way.
- Symbolically shed your past: One study found that when people wrote down their thoughts on paper and threw them away (I recommend burning it, but whatever), they “discarded them mentally” too. It would only take you a minute to do this, so why not give it a shot?
3. Like a snake bites, bite other people if they make you mad. 3. Like a snake eats mice, swallow various rodents whole for nourishment
Hmm…it seems not all snake-like activities are useful for us. But we can at least live like snakes by always growing and shedding unneeded baggage that holds us back. In that very specific way, the snake is a good role model for usssss and we’d all do well to consssider living like snakesssssss….