Kermit talking: “Hi, ho! Kermit the frog here. Hmm. Doesn’t seem to be anyone around. Perhaps … a song?
(Singing) “♫ I got no strings ♫ To hold me down ♫ To make me fret ♫ Or make me frown ♫ I had strings but now I’m free ♫ There are no strings on me!”
Kevin: “Hey Kermit?”
Kevin: “Isn’t that the wrong song for you?”
Kevin: “How do you sing without moving your mouth?”
(Introduction Animation) I think there’s probably a reason why so many of the people we consider to be really an ultimate success on so many levels of life seem to be in the minority relative to the rest of the population. It has to do with trading in your strings for a mirror.
We can use Kermit as an example. He taught us it’s not easy being green, but long before I remember that word – green – being associated with the environment, I thought about Kermit. I thought that being green meant that you weren’t afraid to be different, to stand out, to make a difference, to be a leader.
Now, Seth Godin might call that being purple, or a “Purple Cow” to stand out. But green, purple, or any other color as part of the rainbow connection, they all have a similarity to another character: Pinocchio.
Do you remember him? He wanted to be real boy. Part of what that meant to him was he didn’t want to be anybody’s puppet; nobody’s marionette. He didn’t want anybody pulling the strings for him.
That’s a familiar refrain that I’ve heard from a lot of people, maybe even most people I know. They don’t want any strings. Or so they say. I wonder if it’s really the case, because to have no strings, I think, makes you purple. Makes you green, and as we know, it’s not easy being green.
Freedom From The Strings
(The scene switches to Kevin holding Kermit, who now has strings attached to his arms and legs).
You can see what’s happened to poor Kermit now, can’t you? Uh-huh. He’s my puppet. I’ve got strings on him. Don’t worry. I love Kermit, so I’m going to give him what most of us say that we want: total freedom, all of the strings to be removed. I could use any number of metaphors for each of the four strings, but I’ll just choose the four. Let’s take them one at a time.
String 1: Okay, Kermit, don’t sweat it, little buddy. Let’s get this first string. You’re all tangled up. We’ll take this one, we’ll call it “relationships.” I hear a lot of people complaining that oh, they’re always being locked down, or the expectations that are being put on them, or if I just didn’t have somebody nagging at me all the time, so okay (cuts the string), there you go. We’re free from that one.
String 2: How about we call this one “fear?” A lot of people say that holds them back. Fear of heights, fear of public speaking, fear of people that are different, situations that are different, fear of failing. Fear of succeeding. (Kevin cuts the string) You’re free of that one.
String 3: Along the lines of fear, a close cousin, how about security? Control, having to be right, that one’s got poor Kermit by the right arm. Hang on, little buddy, let’s get you loose from that (Kevin cuts the string). There, you don’t have to be right anymore.
String 4: Just one left, but it’s a good one. Let’s call it supervision. Authority, The Man, Big Brother. It could be parents, could be a teacher, could be the government, could be the boss, could be anybody in any of the categories of the strings we’ve already cut. Don’t want any more authority? That’s what people say. All right, hang on, Kermit. Give me just a second (Kevin cuts the string). All right. You’re on your own.
Taking Total Responsibility
Once you’ve effectively cut all those strings, congratulations, good news, guess what? You’re free! You’ve traded in all your strings for, well, a mirror. Why a mirror? Because you’ve taken total responsibility, ultimate accountability over your own experience, and not just that, but for that of a lot of the people that are close to you as well that are maybe now looking up to you, looking to you for guidance, because they wish that they could do the same thing. They view you as a leader, are you ready for that? It’s doable, but easy?
So many of the people that I know, including yours truly, have always said we don’t want any strings attached, we don’t want anything weighing us down, we just want to be free to do things our way. But do we really? Purple cows don’t follow the herd, and it ain’t easy being green.