10 Lessons from a Spider About Achieving your Dreams

spidermanThis article comes with a health warning!

Some people are averse to Spiders, but by the time you have read this post, you may well love them!

Last night I saw a beautiful sight. Well, beautiful to me anyway.

Right outside my front door, I saw a giant spider’s web. Just to clarify the web was giant, not the spider, which was perhaps no more than an inch in size.

The giant web was about a metre high and almost the same in width. So believe me, it was giant! And right in the middle of it, beavering away was my new spider friend.

It was easily the biggest spider’s web I have ever seen.

Check out on Facebook the photos I took of my new spider friend.

What I saw last night was to me a masterpiece, a wonder of nature, a work of art.

Okay, spiders may not be your taste (has anyone ever even tasted one?). They may not appeal to you, but they can certainly teach you a few life lessons.

Like them or not, tiny or giant, spiders are incredibly powerful and awe-inspiring. If you ever get a chance, watch how a spider spins its web.

Nature at its most awe inspiring.

That’s what spiders do. They build webs. They are master engineers and they create engineering miracles.

What do humans do? They dream. But only a few of them go on to make their dreams come true.

Will you make your dreams come true? What will it take for you to be the engineer of your life?

Here are some life lessons spiders can teach you about achieving your dreams:-

1. Get Started!

A spider doesn’t look for the absolutely best location nor does it do any navel gazing before starting on creating its web.

It instinctively knows where the insects (its food) are hanging out, so it just gets started and once the first few strands have been spun, there is no looking back.

So get started today with whatever you want to achieve in life – don’t wait for that perfect day which will never come.

2. Believe in Yourself and in What You are Building

A spider’s web is incredibly fragile and yet so strong. Last night I tested it by gently blowing on it and it shook quite precariously.

Spiders know what they are capable of spinning. They get started and believe in their natural ability.

In the same way, start working on your dream today and know that you can do it.

Be creative and do the best you can.

3. Think Big and Cast Your Net Wide

The most impressive thing about the web I saw last night was just how big it was. I am sure the spider would not have thought of starting small and then one day thinking big.

You too can think big  – cast your net high and wide.

4. Persevere With Your Dream

The web I saw was clearly a lesson in perseverance and must have taken some time.

I am sure that by this morning the web will have been destroyed – either blown away by the wind, or “cleaned up” by a neighbour.  And yet the spider will continue to build and start again today and tomorrow.

Be prepared for knocks and challenges – and start again tomorrow.

So start with your dream and don’t worry about it being blown away.

5. Be Diligent and Hardworking

I have no idea how long the spider took to build its web last night. Maybe just a few hours but in that time, the spider would have worked non stop and diligently until it had created its masterpiece.

You too can learn to be focussed. Work diligently on your dream until it becomes reality.

6. Build Every Day

A spider builds a web every day – or every time the previous one gets blown away, destroyed and simply needs rebuilding or repairing.

Outside my living room window a spider created a web three months ago and I have watched how it’s kind of now settled into that spot. But I am sure if necessary it would start again everyday and build another web.

In the same way, you too can build on your previous days efforts every day.

Don’t stop and don’t get complacent. Remember the principle of Kaizen and continuous improvement.

7. Create An Extraordinary Legacy

Would I have even noticed the spider last night if it had created just a tiny little web in one corner of the garden?

Instead, it had created a masterpiece right bang along side the stairs to the front door, so the whole world could see it. Granted, that was probably also the best place to catch its food, but you get my point.

So why be ordinary, when you can be extraordinary?

8. Go Alone if Necessary

As far as I know, spiders always build their own web and on their own.

So you too can build your dream single-handedly. Of course, do seek out help and guidance from others, but do not rely on others to get started. Don’t wait till you have your “dream team” to start on your dream

Forge ahead on your own – and people who can help you will show up.

9. Don’t Seek Approval from Others

A spider doesn’t go around seeking approval of its creation, or crave awards from some design council in the insect world.

Just get on with the daily actions that will take you towards your dream. Don’t worry about what others think of you.

10. Start Again and Again if Necessary

So often in life, you will face some knocks and setbacks. But don’t let that hold you back.

A spider doesn’t give up and sulk in a corner every time its web is destroyed. It starts again and again.

In the same way, you too can start again – learn from your experience, remember the lessons learnt and next time do it even better.

“What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.” – Mother Teresa.

Follow your Dream

Remember that building anything worthwhile takes time, effort and dedication. Learn from our spider friends and create your own wonderful web in your life.

And if you are still scared of spiders? Then just remember what they can teach you!

Image courtesy of Daren Higham

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Comments

  1. Arvind,

    This picture of spider man made me smile as he is my 5 year old’s favorite hero, along with 10 other superheros. I think we can a lot from spider, ants as they are amazingly hard worker, making a web or gathering food together as a team, I am scared of them that is besides the point, I am still trying to learn positive from it.

  2. Great pictures, Arvind, and nature is awe-inspiring. So, having read your inspiring post, I will pick up my web spinning again after taking a rest. Spinning does take energy!

  3. It’s wonderful the lessons you can learn and the insights you get from animals and even insects…watching and ant or a bee. Some excellent points. Yes we much follow are dreams and build our legacy.

    • Greetings again Jai Kai.

      I am glad you too agree with the legacy point. Our dreams become more inspiring when we tie them to a great legacy beyound us.

  4. Nothing more fascinating than watching a spider construct it’s web.
    I often wonder who taught them or how they know exactly where to spin their web.
    They catch their food and often other non edible objects but they know the difference. This is similar to what happens to our dreams and aspirations. We often catch things we don’t want but be like the spider. Either ignore them or keep waiting for what you want.

    Have you spun your web to catch your dreams or are you entangled in the web of something else?

    • Great question Andre!

      I am going to tweet that right now:-

      “Have you spun your web to catch your dreams, or are you entangled in the web of something else?”

      And yes, fascinating watching spiders spin their web. They taught themselves of course!

      They learnt via trial and error over millions of years. But we don’t have that much time to spin our dream. So let’s get on with achieving our dream today:-)

  5. Hey Arvind!

    Awesome post. Nature has some incredibly beautiful creations, and even something as scary as a spider is actually a wonderful little creature.

    I like how you made the link to apply lessons from a spider!
    Pity you didn’t post the photo’s on here, but I’ll go check em out on Facebook!

    Cheers!
    Diggy

    • Thanks Diggy – what I have learnt is that we can write about almost anything that we experience in our daily lives.

      There are inspiring lessons to be learnt – we just have to look out for them.

      I decided not to post my spider images here since I didn’t want to upset any sensitive readers:-)

  6. fabulous article Arvind….much love…Gul

  7. Hello Arvind,

    What brilliant photos! I like spiders, I have a little one which lives in the wing mirror of my car, I have become quite attached to him, despite the fact that my friends think that’s a little odd!
    I love the way you have written this article, when I saw the title my first thought was about perseverance – if spiders gave up everytime a web was blown away or destroyed, spiders would have been extinct a long time ago! Imagine a spider procrastinating? Just get on with it, if it falls apart, start again. And again, and again.
    They can also teach us to appreciate beuty in things we often want to get rid of – I think you are in the minority to see an amazing web and want to learn from it – not get out the duster and hope it doesn’t come back.
    Many thanks for making me smile:)

    • Hi again Katie.

      I love the concept of a spider procrastinating! If it did, it would starve to death quite quickly.

      If nothing else, spiders are definitely an example of perseverance and tenacity – and like you, I also think they are a thing of beauty. Hope your buddy spider in the wing mirror teaches you many more lessons:-)

  8. Wonderful life lessons, Arvind. Seems we bloggers can find them anywhere – babies, spiders, etc. I, too, have a house surrounded by webs and now that I’ve seen your hard working spider video on how much effort goes into spinning one, I feel badly that I can sweep away all that hard work in one swipe of a broom. I guess that’s like life, so fleeting.

    • Katie, you are so right – there are life lessons to be discovered and shared all around us.

      And yes life is fleeting – just in the same way that we can brush away a spider’s immense work with a sweep of a mop, our own lives can change in an instant.

  9. Very inspiring post, Arvind! I loved your creativity – how you equated the spider’s spinning, his hardwork, his perseverance, his big spinning – with what we can do to achieve our dreams.

    Nature is so full of inspiration. And that’s the reason we should all take some time to observe the nuances of nature – to unlearn a few things, to add a new perspective and to think out of the box!

    The sight of a spider has always given me the creeps. But, now, I think I will look at them with some admiration!

    PS: The pictures are awe-inspiring!

    • Rashmie, glad you liked the post and the photos on Facebook. Maybe I should have put up a couple within the post itself!

      I am hoping that just like you, a few more people will now see spiders in a new way with some admiration:-)

      Nature is indeed our greatest teacher.

  10. Oliver (age 4) said “Spiders make honey”
    I said, that it was bees who make honey.
    “Ah.” he said, “Spiders make webs”
    “That’s right” I said.

    It reminded me that all life has it’s place in the tapestry of creation. ‘Fear’ of spiders is a learned response. The natural response is that they are there, just like bees, or cows or cats or elephants, with their own uniqueness.

    Oliver also sings: “Spiderman, Spiderman, he does everything that a spider can”.
    It’s the ‘spider’ who is amazing, ‘Spiderman’ just does the things the spider can naturally do…

    • Ayd, thanks for sharing Oliver’s insights on life and spiders.

      I love what he said about spiders being amazing, not spiderman. A very wise young man indeed!

      Fear of spiders is indeed a learned response – and can be unlearned in a matter of minutes:-)

      They are unique and as I have shared above, they have a lot to teach us.

  11. Phyllis Alesia says

    I think this is one of the best posts I’ve read by you, Arvind. It might be because I love spiders and spider webs, I don’t know. Morning dew on a beautiful web is one of the most awesome things to me. A spider automatically and beautifully does what it needs to get its needs met. I believe if we succumb to the best in ourselves and learn to BE that best self every day, we, too bring beauty into the world in the most simple and profound ways.

    Thanks!

    • Well, thank you Phyllis!

      I am chuffed that you think this is one of my best posts – high praise indeed:-)

      As a fellow spider lover, I can see where you are coming from – many morning I have marvelled at the glistening dew on spider’s webs.

      As you say, if we can just succumb to the best in ourselves and learn to be our best self every day, we too can bring beauty to the world in the most simple and profound ways. Amen.

      Thanks Phyllis, for sharing such wise words

  12. Sherrill Leverich-Fries says

    Arvind,

    A terrific post, as usual, and wonderful, insightful comments. Thank you for this!

    (And congrats on getting past 1666 🙂

    Sherrill

    • Thanks Sherill!

      Thanks too for noticing that I have now gone past 1666 subscribers – phew! It seems I was stuck on that number for a few days, thanks to the vagaries of FeedBurner:-)

  13. Satya Colombo says

    I’m so intrigued by spiders. I love the way they just weave their web and wait for the bugs to come to them. That’s the biggest lesson for me there, you do the work to the best of your ability, and let go of controlling the outcome. Tonight, I’m getting all the lessons i need from my favorite bloggers…! I’m a lucky bug 🙂

  14. Hello Arvind,

    How are you? I pray that everything is well for you.

    You presented this analogy of a spider wonderfully! It’s intriguing we human have a lot to learn from nature! And they say human is the most intelligent and smartest living being!

    Thank you for a good lesson here.

    Take care, and have a blessed weekend.

    • Alex, good to hear from you again – all is indeed well with me:-)

      Humans certainly have a lot to learn from nature and the animal kingdom.

      I once read somewhere that though we humans may be the most evolved, we are one of the few species that kills it own kind.

      We sure have a long way to go.

  15. lol

    Very motivating this article.

    Thank you Arvind

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