■ Realistic appraisal of goals
■ Attainable goals
Feeling hungry, a fox set out in search of a meal. He hadn't gone very far before he found a mouse sleeping under a tree—an easy and certain catch. What good luck, thought the fox, a nice, tasty little meal just lying and waiting for me, already. That will make a nice breakfast.
The fox was just about to pounce on the mouse and gobble it up when a rabbit came hopping by. Seeing the rabbit, the fox forgot about his easy breakfast and greedily thought, What luck, a rabbit is bigger and tastier than a mouse. If I catch it, I will have enough food to last all day.
He raced after the rabbit and was just closing in to make his catch when a deer that had been grazing nearby was startled and took flight. The fox greedily set his eyes on the deer. Despite feeling a little tired from chasing the rabbit, he thought he still had a fair chance to catch the deer. What luck, he said to himself, a deer is bigger and better than a rabbit. Catch that and I can eatfor a week without any more running around.
He had used so much energy chasing the rabbit that he started to lag behind the speedy deer, but it didn't seem to bother him because just then he saw a horse. He was tired. The horse was big and fast but it didn't deter the fox. What luck, with a horse I could eatfor months without doing any work.
The horse didn't even bother to run. With a couple of well-placed kicks, it would have smashed the fox's skull if the fox had not dodged in time. Deciding he was trying to bite off more than he could chew, the fox thought, Oh, well, at least I can turn back and look for the deer, but it had disappeared into the forest long ago.
Maybe it has to be rabbit, today, he thought, but by the time he got back the rabbit had long gone as well.
Mouse for breakfast, then, he muttered with disappointment and returned to the tree, expecting to easily catch a sleeping mouse—but the noise of chasing the rabbit, deer, and horse had awakened the mouse. It was gone!
The fox thought to himself, What a pity I didn't take the opportunity that was available rather than trying to chase something beyond my reach. Sad, he lay down under the tree and felt his empty tummy rolling with hunger.
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