I’m a big fan of Gumby & Pokey (I know, I’m showing my age!). I used to watch the show all the time, and have had the toy characters on my shelf for years (hey, I was a children’s pastor – kids loved to play with them in the office!).
Beyond being TV characters & toys, Gumby & Pokey can teach us some valuable life lessons:
4 Lessons I Learned From Gumby (& Pokey)
1. Flexibility matters
One of the reasons kids love to play with the toys is because they are flexible. They can bend them into different shapes & forms without breaking them.
In life & leadership, we need this characteristic, as well. Life is hard & leadership is messy. We all make mistakes & deal with the mistakes of others, and being flexible is critical.
And have you noticed that change happens? Constantly, and never more-so than in this day & age. If you’re not flexible, you’ll quickly become frustrated and, worse, irrelevant.
2. Friends are vital
Gumby & Pokey are inseparable friends. They share life together, solve problems together, and face whatever comes their way – together.
I’m not naturally a “relational” person. I’m shy, but driven, and tend to be too focused on tasks – not a great combination for cultivating friendships. But I’ve learned the value of friendships. We all need them, and when we don’t nurture them we can become dull.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17
3. Fun isn’t a 4 letter word
I loved the TV show when I was a kid because it made me laugh. It was FUN to watch.
As we grow older, sometimes we lose the “fun-factor” in life. Kids laugh 300-400 times a day, but adults laugh only about 15 times a day. There’s lots of reasons this might be the case, but the primary reason comes down to this: kids laugh first & think second; adults think first & laugh second.
I think we need to get back to being kids sometimes! Fun isn’t a 4 letter word!
4. Failure doesn’t define you
Don’t you hate failure? I do. But I’ve learned it’s not final. Gumby & Pokey were always messing up. But guess what? The next episode always started out with them being just fine.
We all fail, but our tendency is to believe that it’s final, that it defines who we are. Nope, it doesn’t – unless we let it.
How about, when we blow it, we take the Gumby/Pokey approach, deal with it and move on to a new episode in our lives?
Flexibility. Friends. Fun. Failure.
How are you doing in these 4 important areas of life?
(please share in comments below)