Mark Danger Powers

Are You The Lion? Or The Gazelle?

A student came into his lesson last week wearing a shirt from his school’s track team.

The back of it read:

African Gazelle Lion Quote

(click image for larger view)

In case your browser has difficulty displaying the image, I’ve included it below. No problems viewing? Read it again anyway . . .

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up.
It knows that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle,
when the sun comes up you’d better be running.

– Anon

Are you the gazelle, running to keep your head above water, overcome fears and struggles, and stay alive?

Or are you the lion, hungrily and fiercely chasing what has to be yours?


Above all else: Did you wake up running today?

(photo by Stig Nygaard)


  1. Mark,

    Good question… did you wake up running today?? I have heard this quote/scenario before, and while I like the idea, I think the scenario plays out both animals as running on account of fear or desperation– the gazelle because he might get eaten, the lion because he might starve. I think the really great animals (and/or people) are those who get up and run because they have decided to appropriate their desires in life… not to be motivated by the fear/desperation complex, but to be motivated to attain a worthy self-expression and to do the work they find which lies upon them.

    Just my two cents… but still a good question… did you wake up running today, Mark? 🙂

    • Hey, Ryan- thanks for the great comment! You do bring up an interesting point. I guess I see the lion’s hunger as symbolic of something I am hungry for in life. Something that makes me jump out of bed, anxious to attack and get to work. Perhaps it’s not something that I would physically starve without, but not having it would leave me unfulfilled in other ways. Growth in music is one such thing for me. I can’t get enough, can’t wait to get up and get more, and part of me would die inside without it.

      Did I wake up running today? Yes. Everyday . . . no.

      Thanks again, dude- your two cents are much appreciated!

  2. I woke up groggy and barely able to open my eyes. I went back to bed. I got up an hour later, and could move! Get enough sleep, and you’ll be able to run. Have a goal in mind (whatever you need/want to accomplish today), and you can run. Look forward to getting at it, and you’ll run right from the start. Be in love with what you do, and you’ll jump out of bed running. Woooohoooo, yeah!

    • Agreed, Pete! Loving what you do is important. If you’re not excited about what you’re doing, it might be time to assess that issue and see what you should be doing differently. And yes, getting enough sleep? Definitely important, as well. Still working on that one . . . 🙂

  3. damn. i’m totally a gazelle right now. geesh. that’s a bit of a downer. it’s also a wake up call. i need to start waking up running.

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