What is Your Snake?

Daisy is our half-tailed cat. I found her one night, a starving kitten on the side of the road near my office. She is quite the hunter. Much to my wife’s dismay, Daisy will occasionally bring a live snake into the house through the doggie door. She plays with each snake until I can scoop it up and take it outside. I release them some distance away. (Okay, truth be known, I release them across the street near a neighbor’s yard.)

tiny pine snakeWhile this sounds alarming, I’d like to point out that these are small, non-poisonous snakes, small enough to easily fit in a common drinking straw with some room to spare.

Daisy took one of her recent snakes into the shower in our master bath. My wife grabbed the cat out of the shower and shut the shower door to “lock” the snake away until I got home. Of course, when I returned, it was gone. It has obviously found the drain to be an opportune avenue of escape.

I was comfortable the snake was long gone. As my comfort on this matter failed to properly impress by lovely bride, we ran the water for a few minutes through all the faucets, shower, tub, and toilets. Due to the large size of the drain pipes and the small size of the snake, a return back up a drain would be exceptionally difficult. As expected, days passed and no sign of Daisy’s gift.

What is most interesting to me is that for several days my wife, a logical and sound-minded woman, decided that it would be safer to use the shower upstairs.

Now, I’ll grant that this snake reappearing during a shower could cause my wife severe injury from the sprint on a soapy shower floor. Or, as she suggested, the snake might eat her foot off.

Anyway, all this lead me to ponder. What are my exaggerated fears? Do I take exaggerated actions to calm my fears? Do I do this in business, on deals, with employees, with clients?

What fears have you exaggerated? Are they realistic or just a fixation? Is it easier to just respond to the fear, like showering upstairs, than to overcome it with logic and self-discussion?

Most emotions are not logical. This does not make them any less real to us though. In the case of the gift from our cat, no real harm come from the actions that sooth my wife’s concern.

Fear will lead us to do illogical things. Sometimes there is no harm from this, but in many things in life, ignoring reality to focus on fear will do more harm than my cat’s snake can ever cause.

What is your snake?


Glenn S. PhillipsGlenn S. Phillips is the author of the book Nerd-to-English: Your Everyday Guide to Translating Your Business, Your Messages, and Yourself.  You can email Glenn directly at glennsphillips@nerdtoenglish.com.

Glenn is also the founder, and Senior Consultant, of Forte’ Incorporated, a consulting firm that works with business leaders to understand and address the often hidden technology and business risks lurking within their organizations.

© Copyright 2014. Glenn S. Phillips, Forte’ Incorporated. (205) 985-1111


About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.