The Anvil Moment

When I was growing up, I loved to watch those Roadrunner vs. Coyote cartoons. They were my favorite Saturday morning cartoons.

The Coyote, ever the trickster, was always out to “get” the Roadrunner. Coyote came up with all these elaborate schemes to kill “poor little Roadrunner.” Frequently these schemes involved trying to drop an anvil on Roadrunner's head. Somehow, Roadrunner always knew the “Anvil Moment” was at hand, and would leisurely step aside. Without fail, Coyote's plan to harm Roadrunner would boomerang, and only bring further insult and injury to Coyote himself.

While our lives are not cartoons, Coyote (the trickster) seems to always be following us around, doesn't he? And we definitely each have our own “Anvil Moments”. We look up, and out of the clear blue sky it seems disaster is hurtling directly toward us. It's not a question of if we will have an “Anvil Moment”,  it's a question of when.

How do we emulate the unshakable Roadrunner, and avoid the anvil? I think there are three valuable lessons we can learn from this lovable cartoon character:

  1. Be aware that Coyote is after you. (I think he goes by a different name, but whether you think we're talking about Satan, or entropy, or just plain old “bad luck”, Coyote is real. Whether you believe in him or not…)
  2. Don't walk in fear of the schemes of the Coyote. But do be on the lookout for the danger.  As Will Smith's character said in the movie After Earth, “Danger is real. Fear is a choice.”
  3. Know ahead of time what you're going to do in the “Anvil Moment”. Don't be a drama queen. When you see the anvil drop, simply step out of the way.  Because you knew it was coming.

And the next time you thwart one of Coyote's schemes, don't forget to give him a heartfelt “MEEP – MEEP”.

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at