ant


“The Ant Philosophy”. A man who passed away, but influences me greatly, Jim Rohn, talked about the Ant Philosophy. I will share a few thoughts about it now. Much of this is paraphrased from his own words – with my own thoughts intermixed.

An ancient story that you should study is the “Ant Philosophy” – especially lazy people.

Lazy people? When I first heard about this, I had to listen to it again several times. After all, I’ve been the king of lazy before in my life. I wonder what he will say next? And I knew from past experiences that ants were annoying little critters, crawling on me when I was outside playing as a youngster.

Ants – they never quit! Try and stop them, and they will look for another way. They will climb up, clumb under, climb around. They never quit looking for a way. If they are headed somewhere, they will get there. Never quit looking for where you are supposed to go.

This is sheer relentlessness. I’ve seen ants be relentless. We get ants at the bottom of the stairs to the porch on our house. There is a crack in the stairs where the ants come out. When we try and flush them out with water, they do all they can to get out of the water and get away. It seems every time we flush them with water, they get away and come back. They are persistent little buggers. This tells me that I too should be a persistent little bugger.

Ants – they think winter all summer long. This is an important philosophy. Don’t think nice when it is nice. Things are easy in the summer time. It’s warm. Resources are readily available. But the ant is thinking about gathering and working during this time. You can’t think sand and sun in the summer. In the summer, ants are thinking storm and preparing.

This is always looking ahead and never being content or satisfied. Imagine your website or a project you are working on starting to have some success. The easy thing to do would be to sit back and relax. Never be content – always strive for more. Always seek to do the maximum because a winter can hit at any time.

Ants – they think summer all winter long. They say, “This won’t last long, we will soon be out of here.” When the FIRST warm day comes, the ants are OUT! FIRST warm day and… the ants are OUT! They can’t wait to get out. They can’t wait to get at it. They will dive back in if it gets cold. But they are right back out when it gets warm.

This is preparing while things are going slow. Perhaps your earnings are low and you are living frugally. This is the best time to create an action plan with new and innovative ideas. Eventually there will be opportunities. Winter does not last forever. The summer will come!

Average people look forward to getting off. Successful people look forward to getting on with it. The doing and activity is the key here.

I used to be the person who looked forward to getting off. And there is nothing wrong with taking a break. But if your primary philosophy is getting to weekends and taking vacations, then you can’t really expect to make headway in the areas in your life you are unsatisfied with.

How much will an ant gather in the summer to prepare for the winter? As much as it possibly can! How much should you do in your life? As much as you possibly can! We’re all governed by our thinking, our evaluation, what we’ve decided and how we feel. How many books should you read? As many as you possibly can. How many websites should you expose yourself to? As many as you can!

  • Never quit
  • Think Winter during the Summer
  • Think Summer during the Winter
  • Do all you possibly can

The ant philosophy is one of persistence and determination. There is no event that will stop the ant. It will keep going until it dies. My friends: Have you had to deal with ants before? Do you believe the ant philosophy? What season are you in – winter, summer? Are you harvesting and preparing?

image by grytr

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24 Responses to The Ant Philosophy

  1. Valerie M says:

    I really, REALLY loved this post. The spirit behind this writing is amazing! And I do remember reading a fable about ants, I believe it was Aesop. You really can’t lose by having this philosophy in life, so I guess those ants really are masters.

    It’s funny because here in Florida, the ants are exceptionally relentless. They get into EVERYTHING here. And every time we spray down the house, they always slowly find themselves back in within a few months.
    .-= Valerie M´s last blog ..Why comparison can (sometimes) be a good thing =-.

  2. Jeremy says:

    Hi Valerie – aren’t ants amazing, persistent, annoying little buggers? I am constantly amazed at the persistence of ants. Ants are definitely masters of how one should live a life if one expects to be a professional.

    The ants always come back don’t they? Even after spraying or flushing them with water. They always find a way to come back. Thanks for your input Valerie!

  3. Jeremy, it’s very interesting you honed in on this concept because just today I was reviewing my numbers and they’re up. And at one point today I was guestimating how many hits I would get for the day.

    So I was thinking, “well, they seem to be coming automatically, let me take a chill for a minute.” Then I thought, “NO, that’s not what were about, whether I’m getting x amount of hits or xyx amount of hits, I should am for xyz times 10, then xyz time 100… and so on.”

    After reading your ant story, it kind of reminds me that even though it’s spring and the summer appears to be on the way, there is no guarantee that winter won’t roll back in for a couple days. Gotta work every moment I have… stay on my hustle, stay on my grind!!
    .-= Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey´s last blog ..You Know You’re Favored by God When… =-.

  4. Jeremy says:

    You hit it right on Jarrod. Traffic can be up one day and down the next. I can tell you are working your tail off – in the last couple months, your website traffic has soared and I’m very impressed.

    In my mind, it’s funny, I picture ants now, working non-stop and whenever I have a lapse, the ant comes to my mind and I’m back at it :)

  5. Ken says:

    I loved this post, Jeremy, especially since I spend much of the winter deploring it. So the phrases, “They think winter all summer long.” and “They think summer all winter long.” really spoke to me and woke me up.

    Thanks for sharing this.
    .-= Ken´s last blog ..discover-magazine-grid =-.

  6. Jeremy says:

    Hi Ken, thanks so much for your feedback. When I heard of this a few days ago, I literally had to stop right then and there and start this post, it jolted me that much. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I will now think of you when I am flicking the ants out of my kitchen since they are the most persistent buggers here in Hawaii. They can literally fall off from the counter and not die… what the heck!?
    .-= Ryan @ Planting Dollars´s last blog ..Can You Turn Your Life on a Dime? =-.

  8. Hi Ryan, it is amazing how ants just don’t quit or die. They remind me of robots, just gogogo all the time.
    .-= Jeremy Johnson´s last blog ..The Ant Philosophy =-.

  9. Evelyn Lim says:

    I definitely have the “ant” in me. I am naturally motivated to work hard at the things I am passionate about. However, I would prefer to let go of the part of never being satisfied. My problem stems from being too “hard” on myself and forgetting to pat myself on the back for the work I have put in.
    .-= Evelyn Lim´s last blog ..5 Lessons From How To Train Your Dragon =-.

    • Jeremy says:

      Hi Evelyn – you make a good point about never being satisfied. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I think we definitely need to give ourselves credit for the things we do and take some pride in our work. Thanks for sharing that.

  10. ayo says:

    hi jeremy,
    how are you?
    i love the analogy behind the ant philosophy and it’s a fact.
    we’ve got to keep working hard/smart making sure all the correct boxes are ticked and when we experience failures on the way we’ve got to stay resilient and show persistence.
    the ants always have a back up plan for any weather and it’s essential to have one for so many issues surrounding us.
    have a lovely day
    .-= ayo´s last blog ..How to Savor Every Moment of Your Life =-.

  11. Kim says:

    Hi Jeremy,

    I read this earlier and was trying to remember a quote that resonated with your statement, ‘… if your primary philosophy is getting to weekends and taking vacations, then you can’t really expect to make headway…’ I couldn’t find it so I’ll paraphrase, ‘Make your life so fulfilling that you don’t need a vacation.’

    Success definitely involves persistence and consistency. It would be wonderful if it involved passion and purpose.

    My current form of harvesting and preparing is learning and implementing. It’s a productive space to be in.

    I enjoyed your commentary :)
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..Clarity — Take Action and the Next Step Will Reveal Itself =-.

    • Jeremy says:

      Hi Kim – you are awesome – “Make your life so fulfilling that you don’t need a vacation” What a cool statement. It’s so true. Most vacations are to get away from life. But if you love what you are doing, then a vacation is not so much a getaway, but a chance to change scenery and add variety.

      Learning and implementing. That sounds pretty close to the mode I am in. I appreciate your comments Kim!

  12. Love the ant philosophy and never quitting! That’s why everybody should play sports. When your body just can’t take it anymore, your mind wills you forward and you gain that second wind and play through the pain!
    .-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..Insuring The Uninsured Is Worth It =-.

  13. Hey Sam. Definitely agree on the sports there. And everybody should run a marathon too! I found out a lot about myself in the one I did a few years ago – especially that last 8 miles :)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Travis says:

    Very interesting… admittedly I thought post was going to be about working as a team (since ants are so keen on that as well) but I was surprised (in a good way) when you talked about how dedicated they are.

    It’s actually pretty interesting when you think about it — how ants, creatures that a lot of people consider to be a nuisance and non-intelligent, can actually teach us so many different things. I think when we take the time to sit back and observe those kinds of things, we realize that there are lessons to be learned all around us, we just have to open up our eyes to them.

    PS: I like your writing style
    .-= Travis´s last blog ..Learning a New Language: Arabic =-.

    • Jeremy says:

      Hi Travis – it is interesting isn’t it? The annoying little buggers have so much to teach us – and that’s just an insect :)

      You make really good points here, about sitting and taking time to observe that which is around. The opportunities for learning are endless. Thanks for stopping by :)

  15. Therese Miu says:

    Hello Jeremy, First time. And I love it. I always enjoyed Jim Rohn’s work and loved “ant’s philosophy”. I lived in Philippines most of my life and I truly enjoyed watching ants and playing with them. They were BIG ones!!! :))
    I would follow their path and just watch in full amazement their very being. I am still inspired and happy everytime I see ant trails. It brings me back my childhood. How precious and beautiful it was having ants in little corner onto my front porch. Thank You Jeremy for being YOU!:)) Keep up the GREAT work
    .-= Therese Miu´s last blog ..10 Types of People you should watch out for when your networking =-.

    • Jeremy says:

      Hi Therese, thanks for those comments. I’d be curious to see one of those big ants. I was impressed with your videos. You have an energy of goodness about you and it’s great to have connected with you.

  16. Sanjay SANTBAKSHSING says:

    hi jeremy, it’s totally awesome to read what has been expressed by all on the mapping of ant phylosophy in our way we enjoy our life. In fact this idea of ant came up during a serious discussion on lifestyle with a cousin at the Ivato Airport of Madagascar. I am in the mobile telecoms field for the past 18 years and now working for Telma Mobile since Apr09. i have had the change to embrace different cultures in my career and i have observed the extremes, so far the successful ones, including myself, if i may say so, had a reflection of the Ants Attitude.. Restless, Enjoy life and always thinking about what is next… thanks for this valueable piece of work.. keep it up..

    • Jeremy says:

      Hi Sanjay. I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your insights. it makes me happy to hear that the Ant Philosophy has played a role in your success as well. It’s amazing to me that such a small creature can provide such a valuable insight to us all. Thanks for stopping by!

  17. Kelechi johnpaul says:

    I really appreciate the inspiration behind this the Ant philosophy jeremy you are really a great tinker God bless you I believe from now on I will be leaning from ant behavior

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