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Nick Powills: Worms Don’t Learn that the Early Bird Catches It

If you want to win in life and in business, you better stop being the dumb worm.

Worms, like people, often fail to see a pathway to success that’s staring them right in the eyes.

Think about the worm. Each morning, nature has taught them to leave the comfort of their underground home. Why? They need oxygen to breathe, so when the soil gets flooded, they leave the ground to catch a breath. Early morning precipitation influences this outcome. Makes sense.

The problem for the worm is not the flooding, it’s the bird.

Over time, the bird figured this out. The bird knew the cause (flooding and the requirement for oxygen) and effect (worm needs to breathe) that was forcing the worm out of its safety net and onto the surface – and then into the bird’s mouth. Event one required oxygen. Event two required a different outcome to protect life.

Why doesn’t the worm learn?

Why don’t we all learn?

If a worm were to be disruptive, it would stop waiting for the flood to get the oxygen. It would rearrange its cycle to come out when the bird wasn’t waiting to eat it. It would change course, extend its life and elevate smarts. Over years and years and years of the same problem, the worm has remained dumb. Dumb and dead.

Often, we as people run into the same issues. We know the neighborhoods we should avoid. We know the foods we shouldn’t consume. We know drugs are bad for us. We know cigarettes can cause cancer. Yet, in many situations, we’re the dumb worm.


Well, certainly change and adaptation are tough. We all struggle with them. Also, many of us don’t learn from the lessons of those before us. Why? Maybe it’s our sense that if we don’t learn it for ourselves, we will never learn. And disruption is a term that's limited for the few. Because of community, circumstance and opinion, doing it the way we have always done it seems like the path of least resistance.

But if you want to win in life and in business, you better stop being the dumb worm. And frankly, there are more dumb worms than smart worms, which, presents the opportunity.

The early bird catches the worm.

There is nothing novel about being the early bird. It is just a matter of doing it and having the mindset that you are going to be on top of the world. The early bird isn’t suggesting you get no sleep, it is suggesting that you find your once inch of difference. Do you want to be fat and happy or hungry and frustrated?

Some will choose the latter. It’s OK. Those who want to be rock stars in whatever they do will find the gaps, seize the opportunity and be seen as a disrupter. It isn’t hard, it’s simply a matter of having the mindset to want to do it.