The March of a Blogger: What Penguins Can Teach Us

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For this article I was inspired by the movie, The March of the Penguins. Spiritual leader Jacob Glass believes it's our ego that wants to multi-task and in order to succeed and fulfill our dreams we only need to take penguin steps. How would our world look today if we all followed the wisdom of the penguins? 

The following are lessons taken from the penguins.

1. Penguin Joy
What stands out in the video is the beauty and the joy of the penguins. They waddle! They take my breath away. They bask in their own beauty.

If you owned your own beauty and found joy in each moment, how would that show up on your blog?

2. Penguin Steps
Penguins don't hold themselves back. They aren't stuck in doubt and fear. They begin the large task in front of them with a small penguin step. They take another and another. For 20 day and 20 nights they move forward on their journey to find their mate.

Take your biggest task and break it down into penguin steps. Proceed forward.

3. Penguin Patience
They are in no hurry. They aren't freaking out about how fast anyone else is  moving. They know they will arrive. Their patience is a gift. It puts them in the flow and I believe it's at these moments they slide. 

Keep moving and enjoy the slide…I mean ride!

4. Penguin Focus
They focus only on the task at hand. They are on a mission. They do what it takes to get there. They enjoy the journey. Nothing side tracks the penguins on their 20-day and 20-night march. 

What can you focus on for the next 20 days?

5. Penguin Huddle
They keep each other warm. They take turns occupying the coldest and most exposed outside positions. Without huddling they would die from the combined conditions of 
 fasting, bitter cold and hurricane force winds. Breeding would be impossible.

Bloggers huddle by sharing links, guest posts, and traffic. I think this is why it's important to help newbies. Without mentors and friends new dreams die from the combined conditions of lack of recognition, fear, and self doubt. 

Invite a new blogger to the huddle today.

6. Penguin Moments
They move in the moment, one step at a time. They refuse to quit because the going is tough or slow. Part of their beauty is the present moment living. No worries, no hurries, no stress, no striving as they march. 

What worry or hurry can you let go of today?

7. Penguins Prosper
Because of the conditions of the South only 19% of the chicks survive their first year. Yet the penguins march on year after year. They are passionate and relentless.

We only need to work smart, do our best, pay it forward, and march on. I believe our blogging world is a reflection of our inner world. 

Learn to blog with joy and abandon.

8. Penguin Love
The penguins run on love like a car runs on gas. The penguin is propelled forward by their inner desire to mate and create. They aren't driven by fame or power. They don't compete and compare. They move at their own pace with love-filled penguin steps. 

Celebrate where you are on your path today. Celebrate your slow deliberate penguin steps. Celebrate your dream. Learn to love life.

9. Penguin Community

They make the most important journey of their lives in community. If they walked alone many would die on the way. Others may come upon a carcass and give up as well. 

Did you see one penguin nudge another along in the video? As bloggers when we travel in community we help each other arrive. A shared idea, friends all over the world, and a nudge or two along the way are only a few rewards of community. 

I want to thank each of you for being part of my community. Let me know if there is something I can do for you. Waddle on!

{ 37 comments… add one }

  • Lance August 6, 2010, 7:15 am

    It’s so wonderful knowing YOU!! Thank YOU…for all the penguin-like qualities you bring to life! What a gift you are!

    That penguin focus…hmmm…great point – what can I really focus on over the next 20 days? Good thoughts for me over the next couple of days!!
    .-= Lance´s last post…RAOKA- Trust =-.

  • Uzma August 6, 2010, 7:23 am

    Tess, what an incredible article. Wise and practical. Beauty is indeed in this moment, where we give, and act out of love. Our inner world does reflect in the outer, something I am learning to explore and express.
    This is by far one of my most favourite articles in the blogosphere. Thank you. A big penguin hug for you

  • Karl Staib - Work Happy Now August 6, 2010, 7:42 am

    Penguins are regal creatures. I guess that’s why they are called the Empire Penguin. ;)

    Life is truly small steps. We think we don’t get much accomplished, but with small steps every day for 365 days we will always surprise by how much we get done. I’ve been blogging for over 5 years and it’s amazing how far I’ve come. My writing was amateurish at best and now I can write a clear and entertaining piece that keeps the reader’s interest. Don’t get me wrong I still have a lot of improving to do, but I’ve come a long way.

    The connections that I’ve received from my blog has been extraordinary. It’s a gift that I keep giving to and it keeps giving back.

  • Alex Blackwell August 6, 2010, 8:40 am


    Outstanding and compelling analogy – I love it. I must admit that sometimes I hold myself back; I keep myself from being who I am. Thanks for the reminders of these important lessons.


  • Sue August 6, 2010, 8:59 am

    Hi Tess,

    I linked to your blog from Karl’s Work Happy Now blog. What a great post. I love the way you extrapolate from the penguins’ experiences to blogging. I especially liked the emphasis on community, giving, and the lack of competitiveness. I just started a blog this June and I’m lucky if I get one or two comments on it! Karl at Work Happy Now is usually one of those generous souls who leaves a comment. I don’t even worry about becoming an “A-list” blogger with subscribers by the hundreds. I just take penguin steps forward and for now just focus on getting two posts up per month.

    Thanks again for a wonderful post and for all the wisdom you share through your comments on Work Happy Now.

    Bright blessings to you, Tess!

  • Lori August 6, 2010, 11:21 am

    Hi Tess,
    I love the wisdom in this post — you’re such a giving and supportive person and it breathes throughout all the lovely points you make. I’m glad I’m a part of your blogging huddle, Tess!

    I really like your message about finding new bloggers and inviting them to the huddle. It’s much more comfy and fun in the huddle and I want everyone to enjoy the blogging experience as much as me. C’mon in, the water’s warm!

    I enjoyed this, Tess, thanks for sharing your wisdom with us.
    .-= Lori´s last post…RAOKA- Trust =-.

  • Jannie Funster August 6, 2010, 12:14 pm

    Oh, I just love, love LOVE this post!!

    I remember how much watching March Of The Penguins changed my life last year when I finally saw it. Really made me think. Made me write a poem about it and post to my blog.

    And the Adelie are down there right now, huddled, taking turns on the outside, as you say. And the daddies keeping those eggs safe and warm under their tummies — snug on the tops of their feet.

    LOL on penguins not “freaking out” to go faster to find a mate. They trust. What a wonderful reminder to trust, just keep working away and believeing in ourselves, keep putting out that great energy and knowing that all great things will continue to flow.

    Thanks, Tess. Thanks for chanelling Jacoob Glass today.

    Love you more than ever!~! Big penguin bear hugs to you. :)

    .-= Jannie Funster´s last post…“Somewhere On A Michigan Highway” — Singin’ For &amp About The G-Man =-.

  • Tess The Bold Life August 6, 2010, 12:56 pm

    Welcome back from your vacation! I’m only reflecting the good qualities within you! Like attracts like you know.

    Wow that’s a huge compliment…the best article? I’ll try not to let it go to my head! Sometimes the “way” and “truth” are right in front of us…we just don’t see it or don’t want to see it. Simple penguin steps…I can do that!

    5 years of blogging wow I didn’t know that. We should have a blogging party. How awesome. You’re tenacity amazes me. You’re a great writer and fill such a need. I’m so happy we’re friends. You’re so generous!

    Oh don’t hold back. I love your writing…I would love to love it even more when you’re 100% yourself;0)

    Welcome to the blogging world. I think I’m going to hang up a photo of a penguin on my wall to remember small steps are the best. Just be consistent and do the 3 most important tasks of the day.

    I’m thinking it’s so loving to help new bloggers and it takes the focus off the power and fame our ego would love us to go after. We forget about the process of life and the journey. When I’m only after the external it’s all focused on the end. And when I achieve what I want to achieve my ego moves the line. It’s about balance for me.
    Love your humor!

    I made you laugh! Now my day is complete. I love ya more. xo

  • Jannie Funster August 6, 2010, 3:40 pm

    Nope, I love YOU more. And I forgot to mention earlier, yep there is something you CAN do for me. Come and do my dishes?


    Waddle on, for sure!

    .-= Jannie Funster´s last post…“Somewhere On A Michigan Highway” — Singin’ For &amp About The G-Man =-.

  • Tess The Bold Life August 6, 2010, 4:42 pm

    ROFL Jannie,
    Jannie I’ll do dishes only if you serve your special donuts and beer when I finished! You didn’t think it would be for free now did you?!?

  • Farnoosh August 6, 2010, 9:34 pm

    A most creative approach to driving your fabulous point home, Tess. I loved The March of the Penguins but it was sad, so so sad – and now, I will always remember and tie the sad movie in my mind to the lessons you took away and now shared with us. Penguin huddle=a classic.
    .-= Farnoosh´s last post…Making Tough Decisions- How to Break a Commitment Professionally =-.

  • Tony Single August 7, 2010, 5:08 am

    Lesson #10: Always dress like a penguin. It makes you look cool and folks will always be attracted to you because of said coolness! :P

    Fabulous post, Tess. I can always relate to picture lessons (as I like to call ‘em). :)

  • Simon Hay August 7, 2010, 6:07 am

    Hi Tess, this is beautiful. It’s more fun huddling in a group. That’s me knocking at the door. Pillow – check, DVD – check, pj’s (oh bugger!) – check. I love you Tess.

  • Maggie August 7, 2010, 7:55 am

    This post was amazing!! I LOVE the analogy of penguins and blogging. The one that struck me most was the penguin huddle, and helping newbies. I started my blog in June, and expected either no one to read it or to receive negative comments. However, bloggers have been incredibly supportive and I have received so many positive and engaging comments. I think the blogging community is just wonderful and I have learned so much from reading others’ blogs. Thank you for sharing these ideas, I am definitely going to remember this post!

  • Evita August 7, 2010, 8:48 am

    Hi Tess

    This is the cutest thing you have ever done – oh how I love it!

    I saw the movie the March of the Penguins and just loved it! I teared up many times throughout the movie as I felt all that which you point out about the penguins here. They are incredibly focused and patient and loving. They are great teachers!

    Thanks for this Tess :)
    .-= Evita´s last post…Essential Energy with Cyndi Dale- Throwing Back the Walleye – Living From The Heart =-.

  • Frank August 7, 2010, 11:28 am

    Hi Tess,

    This post is filled with so much insight that for the first time in my life I don’t know what to say but thank you. I never would have had a revelation of this magnitude from watching that movie. I am just grateful that I was able to read this. Thanks for sharing. “Pengiun Focus” :-)
    .-= Frank´s last post…Are You Better or Bitter =-.

  • The Exception August 7, 2010, 3:34 pm

    This is so wonderful. I find that animals are just themselves and they do what comes naturally, never attempting to be anything they aren’t. Your essay sums this up so beautifully! The challenges penguins face is one that many humans wouldn’t dare to try and yet they do it, one step at a time!

    Thank you for this.

  • Joy August 7, 2010, 7:19 pm

    Hi Tess,
    I haven’t seen the movie, the kids think it is too sad to watch..
    What stands out to me is when the narrator says something like “this is the incredible true story of a family’s journey to bring life into the world”..isn’t *that* what our goal in this blogging community is? To bring *life* to the world..great joy, peace, love–one step at a time..within community, each in our own way…
    I’ve finally put fears aside and allowed my blog to be solely heart run, as my life has been…What I share in those pages is exactly how I share in life..personal stories, guest authors, great joy and love…I want us all to *soar* together…
    Your energy glows, and this is one example…thank you for sharing as you inspire me to keep taking steps to allow my dreams to be you inspire many others..Thank you for shining so brightly!

  • Davina August 7, 2010, 10:40 pm

    This is the best post I’ve read in a long time. I LOVE it! I saw the movie last year and it is one that you’ve reminded me, that I’d like to have in my collection. I was completely amazed by how the male penguins cared for the egg during the winter under such harsh conditions. And I love how you have drawn parallels to the movie to reflect on our own lives. This was brilliant.

  • Julie August 8, 2010, 4:22 am

    Fabulous!!! You were truly inspired with this one, Tess. :) Combining one of the most amazing, heroic, and delightful of animals with your succinct brand of humor is a perfect marriage for your message. The visuals you created will last—-and so will your message! LOVE this. :)
    .-= Julie´s last post…Love Song =-.

  • Eliza August 8, 2010, 12:33 pm

    My favourite line was “enjoy the slide”. It was actually more appropriate to blogging, I find, than “enjoy the ride”. Once I gave up pushing my blog forward, and worrying about stats, and where my blog was heading, and all those other silly things we worry about as bloggers, WHOOSH, I started an exhilarating slide into successful blogging.

    It now goes sort of like this. Hard upward climb on an idea .. WHOOSH down the slope of success … hard upward climb on an idea .. WHOOSH down the slope of success .. and repeat. :-)
    .-= Eliza´s last post…Balance of energies and featured jewelry =-.

  • Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord August 8, 2010, 12:59 pm

    What a freakin’ fantastic post, Tess. My gosh, I love your creativity!

    My favorite part was this one: “Bloggers huddle by sharing links, guest posts and traffic. I think this is why it’s important to help newbies. Without mentors and friends new dreams will die from the combined conditions of lack of recognition, fear and self doubt.” Some people really get this concept and LIVE IT out loud. You’re one of those people. You folded me in early, and for that I was grateful.
    Thank you, my friend, and much love to you (penguin love, that is!)!

  • Alien Ghost August 8, 2010, 1:56 pm

    Hi Tess,

    That’s a nice comparison, the movie is beautiful and inspiring and the way you make a paralel with blogging allow us to see all the nice things that come with this blog thing and all that it represent.

    .-= Alien Ghost´s last post…The Problem With Life =-.

  • Tess The Bold Life August 8, 2010, 2:50 pm

    I’m happy to add some joy to your memories. Yes the huddle who ever left one feeling bad?!?

    Now those are a little stiff for me but dress in black and white? I’m all over that one!

    You are such a reminder for me not to take myself seriously. Your humor is a gift;) What DVD did you bring?

    Well welcome to blog world! I’m happy to help answer any questions you have…that I can that is… Time for the huddle.

    Focused, loving and patient, just like you my friend.

    Wow that’s a wonderful comment. I appreciate you taking the time to tell me how you feel. I’m coming over to check out your blog.

    You do all the same and I’m happy we found each other in the big online world. xo

    Thank you so much for your good vibes and love. You made my day!

    Thank you very much!

    We were destined to meet, ya think?

    A million thanks for coming over and telling me this!

  • Keith August 8, 2010, 5:23 pm

    Hi Tess!

    I love the lessons we can learn from observing nature! Ancient cultures, without the many distractions we have today, gleaned so much wisdom from observing nature and her creatures. There is so much we can learn from the world around us and you have illustrated that with this post, and done so very well!

    I love the Penguin Passion, Patience and Focus! Oh how I want to be more Penguin-like!
    Thank you for these great lessons Tess.

  • Rose August 8, 2010, 7:36 pm

    Tess I believe this is my first visit to your blog. What wonderful wisdom can be found within your words. we should all strive to be like penguins.

  • Wilma Ham August 8, 2010, 9:03 pm

    Tess, this is genius, to see and observe all this in nature, in the penguins waddle. I have read that we can learn so much when we carefully watch nature and there you are, reading all this from their beautiful way of doing things.
    Thank you for sharing the penguin way and I love them all, they are right on the dot. it would be amazing to consider how a trailer of us would look like in comparison or would I rather not know?
    xox Wilma

  • Preeti @ Heart and Mindz August 8, 2010, 9:04 pm


    I pressed something wrong so here I go typing again. What I love about penguin is that they mate for life and monogamous, and dad takes care of baby eggs, without extra food while mom penguins work hard to bring food. Impressive indeed.
    .-= Preeti @ Heart and Mindz´s last post…Heart and Mind does Blogging Report – What not to do =-.

  • Patty - Why Not Start Now? August 9, 2010, 12:12 am

    Hi Tess – I loved that movie, but never before thought of how it relates to human life. Now, though, as I waddle through my days, I’ll remember to be patient, just as the penguins are. Because that’s a lesson I must relearn all the time. And I’m always looking for new ways to open up a dialogue about patience with people, because I’m not the only one who struggles with it. Now it’s easy: penguins are perfectly patient! Thanks, Tess.
    .-= Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s last post…Meaning Mondays- Life As Collage =-.

  • Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point August 9, 2010, 3:16 pm

    I don’t know what blogger could resist this post, Tess! And it applies far beyond simply blogging, doesn’t it? I do love the idea of penguin huddle. It’s much more fun to be inclusive than exclusive. And I’ve always gotten that feeling from you when I visit here. Warmth. Acceptance. Love. Thank you for somehow always getting your wonderfully stellar essence across these blogging pages!!!

  • Dana August 9, 2010, 9:18 pm

    What a lovely comparison, While I haven’t seen the movie, I still really enjoyed this post. We do put a big emphasis on the achievments and goals we aim for, sometimes it is easy to forget the little penguin steps we need to take along the way, not the mention the penguin huddles than can sometimes help along the way.

  • Mark August 10, 2010, 6:45 am

    I love the wisdom you have embedded here! I watched the March of the Penguins a couple of years ago. It is beautiful and sad and motivating.
    .-= Mark´s last post…Our Default Settings =-.

  • Tess The Bold Life August 10, 2010, 8:43 am

    Yes yes me too, focus, focus, focus!

    Welcome and thanks for taking the time to comment. I apreciate you!

    You’ve got that right I think I’d looking a little crazy if we were filmed on a blogging march. Yikes;)

    Thanks for reminding me of that…there may be more to learn and a part two to come.

    When I think about it I’m not so sure anyting in nature is in a hurry. Just us silly humans.

    You’re so sweet and remember I’m reflectiny your own Divine qualities.

    Yes goals without huddles are not fun!

    I need to admit here I don’t remember the sadness. I need to go back and take another look at the movie.

  • Patricia August 12, 2010, 4:42 pm

    I just enjoyed every word of this post and all the comments – This was fabulous…
    Thank you

    My reply is inadequate because I am just very tired….my husband fell this morning jogging and broke his nose and has lots of abrasions and stitched up knees….
    I believe that in bloggers I have found my tribe and they are holding me up even if I can not write or work sometimes…or need a nudge or two to get back into the slide of things…
    Oh the JOY…
    My oldest child has 100s of penguins in her room…and in her apt. in SF….she is related…

  • Vero camila August 17, 2010, 12:18 pm

    Nice to meet you !! I really enjoy your blog.
    Spiritual life lesson from the Penguins, STEP BY STEP THEY HELP EACH OTHER TO ARRIVE….
    “Together we are stronger ”
    Big Hug thanks for sharing part of your soul.
    vero camila

  • Jeanne Demers August 24, 2010, 4:48 pm

    Oh, oh and oh! How I needed this post! Thank you, Tess. I needed this part:

    “They refuse to quit because the going is tough or slow. Part of their beauty is the present moment living. No worries, no hurries, no stress, no striving as they trust the process.”

  • caren gittleman September 16, 2010, 6:42 am

    Absolutely love this post and it is soooo timely!!

    I make it a point to promote others (RT’s, comments, etc)….still experiencing some others not doing the same but I am determined to remain focused….to do what is true to ME and not what some “formula” tells me to do……

    Always remain true to yourself and your readers, forget the accolades/money…just plod along and it will all fall into place. I have to tell myself this over and over so I am not looking over my shoulder wondering what everyone else is doing!
    .-= caren gittleman´s last post…Cat Health Myths Debunked! Guest Blog By Heather Reynolds At Trupanion Pet Insurance =-.


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Welcome! I'm Tess Marshall and I’m Passionate about supporting people who want to lead a fearless and bold life.
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