Oh, it’s so cool to go to Yellowstone National Park.
And there’s a thousand reasons why. But I’ll tell you a big one.
It’s the fun of going on safari. There’s Big John! There’s the “beginners” vs the advanced!
Let me explain…
The Beginners Element
When you’re new to Yellowstone, it’s the coolest thing ever to spot bison in a field or near the road. You may stop the car, take some pictures, enjoy the unique experience. Then you may see another one later on with an even better backdrop.
And then, you might see another, then another, then one right in front of your car, then one just beside your car. Then a whole herd in the distance. Then a whole herd crossing the road. And before you know it, you realize they’re everyone! Whether in a group, or one seemingly strategically placed in every overlook point.
Then, a shift happens…
So then you keep driving. You think, “Eh, it’s just a bison.”
And you get on this whole competition about what’s more exciting and rare. You see others stopped on the side of the road snapping a solo bison and you think, “Oh, how cute. They’re newbies!”
Before you know it, your goals have changed. It’s not the bison you want to see – it’s the wolf! And the moose! And the mountain goat! The things that are more difficult to see.Â
And then you come across the pros. The men and women who devote hours upon days, and a whole lot of money on equipment to see the fancier things. The people who will get up before dawn for the chance to see a far-reaching view of a wolf in the distance. The ones who will stand in the cold for hours, searching the horizon. Searching every brow of every hill, hoping something exciting will emerge. And the more rare, the more exciting!
[Nature fact for you: moose are not easy to spot in Yellowstone. They moved out a couple decades ago when Yellowstone experienced severe forest fires, and haven’t come back.Â So seeing a moose gets these wolf watchers really excited, too. Even if the sighting is really far in the distance.]
No sighting is guaranteed. That’s part of the thrill.
And then there’s the community. The walkie-talkies at work as one wolf watcher hears from another to head to the next turnout for a chance to see a lone wolf.
Then there’s the antelope. Same thing as bison. Really, really exciting to see at first, but if you’re talking to the pros, they’re not so interested. “Meh. Good for you, you cute little beginner.”
And that’s the cycle that happens.
How does this relate in the world outside of wildlife watching?
Well, same thing. You may be really, really eager to do one thing, but realize it’s less exciting when you get into it and realize – oh wait! It’s easy!
Then it’s all about the next goal. Okay, you’ve seen a bison. Nice. Now, how about the next level: let’s find an antelope.
And finally, the fancy exclusive stuff: the wolves! They steer clear of humans, they’re small in population, so it’s a lot harder to see them, especially in close enough view for a good photo.
Likewise, you’ve taken the first step in shaping your career and personal life. Now, what’s he next step you can do?
What’s your bison? Speaking up for yourself? Taking the leap on a side business? Getting out of your house to meet a romantic partner?
What’s your antelope? Declaring time for yourself on the weekends rather than go with whatever your family has carved out for you? Making a cold call?
What’s Your Wolf?
What’s your wolf? What’s that harder to reach goal? The one that seems so far in the distance, so coy, so hard to spot? Making millions in your job? Finding your soul mate? Whatever the case, it’s exciting!
Keeping working at it. The more bison and antelope you see, the more prepared you become. And then before you know it, the wolf will come your way.
Keep on trucking, because soon you’ll find that there’s lots of bison in the fields, and there’s a whole lot of antelope, and when you’re ready to do the extra step in waking up early and connecting with he community of wolf watchers, you can see them, too.
Enjoy the safari of your life!