The Perilous Plight of the Peppered Moths

Summary: “Be aware of your environment and be adaptable.”

It’s good to be smart and adaptable. If not, you have to take what life gives you…and if you are a peppered moth that could mean becoming a snack for a hungry bird. Here’s the highly summarized story of the perilous plight of the peppered moth. The facts:

  • Some peppered moths are predominantly light colored.
  • Some peppered moths are predominantly dark colored.
  • Some trees (where peppered moths hang out) are predominantly light colored.
  • Some trees (where peppered moths hang out) are predominantly dark colored.
  • Birds think peppered moths are tasty and like to eat them.
  • Birds are most likely to eat the peppered moths they can easily see.

So what’s a peppered moth to do…or more importantly…where should a weary peppered moth land and hang out for a few minutes of rest? You can mentally run through the possibilities and finish the story. For help with a visual image, check out this article with photos and this short video. Look closely and you can better understand the benefits of matching your characteristics with your environment and the perils of not doing so. So what can we learn from the peppered moths that can help us improve our chances of career survival and success? Let’s use the facts above related to the plight of the peppered moth as a template and apply them to humans. Here’s just one example of how the story might unfold:

  • Some people are predominantly extroverted and spontaneous.
  • Some people are predominantly introverted and methodical.
  • Some careers call for people to be predominantly extroverted and spontaneous.
  • Some careers call for people to be predominantly introverted and methodical.
  • Downsizing often eliminates people who do not seem to fit their job.

Once again, I think you can finish the story. Now let’s draw a few conclusions:

  • Moths are not smart enough to know they should adapt to their environment.
  • Some people are like moths…they land a job that calls for them to be extroverted when they are introverted or spontaneous when they are methodical…or vice versa…or they mismatch some other predominant personality trait.
  • Other people understand the implications of trait mismatches and take the time to fully explore and understand their predominant personality traits and then…they wisely select an environment and career path (or make changes to their current career path) that will most likely allow them to take advantage of their strengths and minimize their struggles.

Being adaptable and aware of your strengths, struggles and environment is a good way to joyfully participate in life.

Joyfully participate in life today…Chris


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