Lift. Pull. Flop.

Have you ever read “The Missing Piece Meets the Big O” by Shel Silverstein?

The Missing Piece Meets the Big O

It’s basically about a triangle shaped piece that tries to fit into a Pac Man shaped piece so he could roll along with Pac Man. But eventually he realizes that it’s better to roll along on your own and not have to depend on Pac Man to get you where you need to be.

But he’s a Triangle. Triangles don’t roll.

So he sits there for a long time and then finally decides to try rolling, but it ends up really awkward and bumpy.

Lift. Pull. Flop. Lift,pull,flop. Liftpullflop.

In time, he starts to wear off the sharp corners and starts to roll a little easier and eventually becomes a circle so he can finally roll along on his own, along side the Big O.

It’s probably better the way Mr. Silverstein tells it.


Lift,pull,flop is an awkward time. It’s awkward for Triangle and it’s awkward for anyone watching you lift,pull,flop. Lift,pull,flop is not pretty. Plus, it’s hard for Triangle. Triangle has other things to do besides lift,pull,flop, and it’s tricky to do all of it at the same time. And it’s embarrassing when insensitive Pac Mans or even other Triangles laugh, point or roll their eyes at you for even trying to lift,pull,flop.

But guess what? I have had it with Pac Man.

We don’t need Pac Man. We need to muster up our own strength and LIFT. PULL. And as much as it pains me to say it… FLOP. (Flopping is really hard for a recovering perfectionist.)

And then LIFT again. PULL again. Very likely FLOP again.

It’s going to be awkward. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be ugly at times and scary at times and painful at times. People won’t recognize you anymore as you lift,pull,flop along your path. Some people will like who you are becoming and some people will be upset about your new shape. They may even try to mock or bully or otherwise manipulate you into stopping your lift,pull,flop so they don’t have to be uncomfortable with any more of your changing.


You do not need your Pac Mans. You need YOU. You are the one you’ve been waiting for.

Be patient with your lift,pull,flop. And please be patient with mine.

— The Conscious Mom



This entry was posted in Living Deliberately, Perfectionism, Self-discovery and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Lift. Pull. Flop.

  1. momocular says:

    Thanks for this. It’s a lesson I am trying to learn! Lift, pull, flop . . . a good mantra for this week. (I have the flopping part down; it’s the lifting and pulling that need a little work. 😉 )

  2. Sarah says:

    I love this book! I need to pull it out again and read it. Keep on flopping, lol!

  3. Lena says:

    I have definitely mastered flopping 🙂 The lifting part is what I’m struggling with…

  4. melanie says:

    We don’t need no stinking PacMan!

    Such a great reminder. I haven’t read that book in ages. This week, I vow to Lift and Pull more wholeheartedly, and brace myself a little more joyfully for the Flop.

  5. Jessica Payne says:

    I love this :-)! That is all.

  6. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the reminder. Knowing that the flopping comes after the pulling and lifting makes the flopping feel more like progress.

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