The Snail and the Jellyfish

Have you ever heard or read the story about The Snail and the Jellyfish? This story was part of the gospel teaching last Sunday. Although I had listened to the story many times, it seems like it hit home more so now than ever before.

Here is a quick summary if you are not familiar with it. The story starts when a jellyfish happens to come upon a young snail and swallows it. The young snail has a hard shell which the jellyfish cannot digest. The snail then attaches itself to the inside of the jellyfish. While there, that snail starts eating from the inside of the jellyfish. Once this tiny snail is fully grown, it has consumed the entire jellyfish from the inside out!

Once we got home, I reflected on the sermon for a couple of hours. Thinking about how many people today have a “snail” growing inside of them. Our world has been turned upside down. Many challenges that most of us have never had to face before are front and center. I asked myself, “Do I have a snail-eating me from the inside out? Could it be fear, depression, insecurity, worrying, or even anger? What about unforgiveness? Could that be destroying me from the inside out?”

The answers came quickly. No, none of those are living inside of me. Saying this with confidence comes from doing massive research, leaving no stones unturned.

Now, how does this all relate to business? It connects in every aspect of a business. We, as business owners, can’t have that “snail” living inside of us unless we want to implode. Holding on to any of the problems mentioned above or others not mentioned is a recipe for disaster. All of those will wear us down.

So, what do we do to go forward without that snail-eating away at us? We must first recognize, address, then conquer each of those “snails.”
Most business owners use different techniques to deal with their issues. There is the “fake it until you make it” attitude, which is challenging at times within itself. Having a great attitude, being willing to consider alternatives, and a willingness to try new processes will propel a business to reach a level of success that most only dream to be possible.

I am a firm believer that passion and perseverance are two attributes that help steer any business in the right direction. First, being passionate allows for 100% focus and the desire to learn everything connected to the company/business. Perseverance is the glue that allows a business the time needed to come to a fully operational entity that can stand on its own. The time also provides for redirection when required.


About the author

Erline is an experienced and efficient leader who oversees ongoing operations and procedures of Compumatrix and Networks International. As a key member of the senior management team, she maintains control of diverse business operations. She has excellent people skills, business acumen and exemplary work ethics.


  1. I love this analogy Erline. Sometimes we are the Jellyfish, allowing our insides to be devoured by worry and stress; and sometimes we are the snail, we feel like we are moving so slow and we will never get there! We can take away a few lessons from this and they are all good!!

  2. Excellent article, Erline! I too love the analogy of the snail eating the jellyfish from the inside, if we’re not careful. This really is a metaphor for some of the more dire dis-eases of our society, is it not? And as usual, you’ve given us all food for thought, with how we should and could wisely use our “waiting” time in positive, uplifting and self-nurturing ways. Learning more about the business and interacting in this way, is definitely one of the best ways to spend this time!

  3. Great article Erline thanks. I would have thought that you would have written about Shrimps instead of the Snail and the Jelly fish.Jelly fish also called Man of war do fall pray to the Snail if not being too cocky and believe that they are it. The speed at which Snail moves just like the Parable of Hare and tortoise should teach us the virtue of patience and be devoid of any Stresses in our lives.

  4. Very interesting article Erline! We never allow anyone to dominate in our life and work . We have to get rid of these negative thoughts and move forward with positive thoughts and with this belief. Just as Sunil ate jellyfish from the inside, so we must avoid the canker in society that thinks of destroying us.In compumatrix If anyone has negative thoughts in business, we should not support them. We want to move forward with the belief that this business will one day take us to the heights of the sky.This is my belief.

  5. Wonderful blog Erline, with many built-in thought-provoking lessons. As human beings, we sometimes fail in some of the lessons, but thanks to strong, inspiring leaders (you are one of them), we can easily get back on track. I am very grateful for all the lessons in “great attitude, being willing to consider alternatives, and a willingness to try new processes”. We WILL Succeed!

  6. great read Erline — not big on the actual part anything eating from inside out but thats just me — but so agree with the business part and how similar business and life are and if you Do Not Want something then you will not have the Passion to Persistently stick to the process for success — Truth is ultimately Truth —

  7. Well put Erline, the process may look groomy, without end and I love the way it connects to that story, we don’t look far but scrutinize ourselves and find out what is making us not to have the will and zeal to success. lets have that attitude that we can do it and we will make it.

  8. This is a new story for me, Erline…and I love the analogy. From my own experiences in life, I’d say that snail was named “stress,” and it comes out in all the ways you mention, and then some. So often we don’t realize we’ve swallowed it, especially in these unprecedented times we’re all living in. Yet if we can slow down, look carefully before we swallow any fear and tap into our own intuition, perhaps we can prevent that stress from growing within us.

  9. Great read Erline , there is a saying “Forgiveness is Not for the person whom hurt you”,” Forgiveness is to set yourself Free”.
    I have never heard of this story about a Snail and Jellyfish until now. I can see how this applies to Business,
    holding on to any of the undesired emotions mention in this blog can make a “Grumpy” business owner,who wants to work with or for a “Grumpy” employer? Not saying it would cause your business to fail, however with the change of Attitude could bring about a more successful business and or partners.

  10. Very good point, Erline. I strive to live each day being grateful for what I have in my life and not allowing worries to consume me. It’s not always easy when things don’t go exactly as planned, but, as you said, I try to find alternatives that will help reach my goals. We are all here at Compumatrix working as a team to reach that final finish line. Can’t wait to get there!

  11. That is a picture and parable that will stay firmly in my mind – I surely don’t want any snails eating me from the inside out – fear, depression, insecurity, worrying, unforgiveness, anger are a few named. Though some of the above can creep into our lives, as long as we are aware and keep assessing, we can work on not allowing any to stay within! By not bringing these snails into our Compumatrix business, we can steer our business confidentially down the road.

  12. Thanks for posting this interesting story. I had never heard this story before, but it really does parallel to business and life in general. Anything negative we hold in eats at us. It is always in the back of the mind, popping up at times and making us feel uncomfortable or depressed.
    Worry and uncertainly are bad enemies to have. They deprive us of our joy and inspiration, and hold us back from our potential.

  13. Erline, this is a good story that serves up delicious food for thought. We would all be wise to evaluate our own lives with a focus on finding and eliminating any potential “snail” that may be living inside of us. The advice you provided about recognizing, addressing, and then conquering those so-called snails is spot on. Doing so can improve one’s success rate in business and in life overall.

  14. Nice post Erline. You mentioned that one of the snails might be forgiveness. Once you let forgiveness linger it kind of just starts slowing eating you up inside. I remember one of my dorm mates in college really offended me. I couldn’t get over it. When I told my mentor(who led me to the Lord) all about what the person did to me, and kept going on about it, he turned to me and said, ” your resentment, is not hurting him at all” It’s only hurting you ! “. After fully and truly forgiving him, I felt that old snail inside just totally vanish.

  15. Great awareness Erline. What a powerful story of being aware of our thoughts, then actions. I set my alarm every hour to close my eyes and feel gratitude in the moment. I find it helpful in stopping the ‘snail’. Not suppressing the snail or ignoring it, yet sending it love and choosing to let it go. Then focusing on success. Thank you!

  16. Thank you Erline, I haven’t heard that story before, but it makes perfect sense.
    35 years ago when I was 26, my family whom I loved turfed me out of my home and out of the family business because I was rebelling against their belief systems. It also meant that every family I had grown up with and ALL my family members and friends, from that point on disowned me. I remember sitting in an empty room surrounded by 8 boxes that had been dropped off, which represented my entire life.
    I went back to what I knew and trusted and that was a simple prayer “guide me, help me and keep me safe”…I felt a warmth in my heart as if I was being hugged.
    Over the next 6 months, I felt those ‘Snails’ eating away inside of me…the injustice, the guilt etc. and I remember having the realisation that this was ‘my’ story and not the fault of anyone else. I learned to forgive myself and love who I was, and I said ‘thank you’ every day for that opportunity that set me Free.
    I no longer have any Snails inside of me.

    1. Wow! Thank you for sharing your personal story. It really touched my heart. Sometimes we need to go through very trying times to get where we need to be. I am proud of you and very happy that you have found your place in life and that you are at peace with your decisions. Our personal struggles like our business struggles are something most of us have to deal with daily. There is nothing that can compare to the feeling of being happy with whatever decisions we make. Hugs

  17. I feel like a snail at the moment. Just waiting for things to speed up so that I can enjoy the next tastty morsel that comes along Come on HJB I am hungryT

  18. Good point with the comparison always good to be sharp and focused on nothing but your business, empty your mind of all negativity so you can concentrate on what you are doing
    Above all keep up with the material,files,transactions and especially updates, study study before you click,also better to be in your own office alone so there is no distractions.

  19. Excellent article, Erline! I have never heard of this story and it really makes me think. I work hard at not being the jelly fish but sometimes it does happen. With us being our of work and moving to a new place brings on new and exciting times of our life. But it also brings stress of finding jobs and restarting our life. I really like the analogy of this story. Makes me really stop and look at myself.

  20. The more i read this, the more i see myself by allowing things that are out of control to eat us up, its not always easy but we can choose the right path to walk on, the analogy there really brings the message home, we will benefit by what we focus on and see it working rather than snail kind of.

  21. It appears that I may be misdiagnosing my problems, whether all or one. This lesson is really a good one. The first problem I had was determining if I had a problem. Once I determined that I had a problem, I had the problem of deciding if I wanted to be the jellyfish or the snail or is that a choice I even get to make. Then I realized that no matter what I did or thought, or whether I was the snail or the jellyfish, that I was already learning a lesson from all of this. It seems there is more than one way to address the issue at hand. So, let’s say my problem is that I have a relationship decision at such an old age. Do I want to eat my way out of it or jump in and do my best to enjoy where I am? So, I will be the snail and crawl inside and take my clothes off. It would seem that the worst that could happen is that I would die naked. I think I will start over. I may have missed the whole point of this subject.

    1. Bill, you have me laughing the whole time I was reading your comment! It is priceless and made my day. Laughter makes everything seem better. There is so much hurt out in the world today so taking the time to just laugh can heal so many small wounds. “Remember You are Dust and to Dust You Shall Return”, so being naked means you are dressed just right! LOL

  22. Very interesting blog article Erline.It teaches us a lot of things to be resilient and patient when it comes to mainly doing business,as with our company Compumatrix.Which I believe will bear fruits for years to come,by the Will and Grace of God Almighty.

  23. Fascinating topic Erline. It brought a smile to my face at first as I thought on that little snail overcoming the Jellyfish. By reading on, I saw the destruction of the small snail growing, more prominent and more empowered as it ate away at the host it was indwelling. People can get so blinded to there selfish, hatred, defeatest ideas that they do not see the damage these attitudes do them inside and how that nature comes out to affect all those who are around them. Not only does it destroy the host life, but It can also destroy those who love and care for them. Yes, we need to clean our thoughts from within, that we are free, and are more open to receive this gift that is Compumatrix.

  24. Sometimes we are the snail and sometimes we are the jellyfish. It’s part of life.. Recognizing the jellyfish role is key to taking action to re-ignite what drove the snail in us in the first place. Then re-applying the passion and persistence we had at the beginning. Great post. Will open many eyes.

  25. A very educative post by Erline. Many a time we feel that our movements are very s-l-o-w but going at a snail’s speed could have benefits for us in the long run, provided that we are on the right path. Our daily problems do give us stress and tension but this is all part of life. Overcoming struggles gives us new hope and we shall all be rewarded for our persistance.

  26. So true Erline. So many dreams have been dashed because of the inner implosion in people. Unrealized greatness never saw the reality of the vision within.
    The opposite is true for many heroes in the past, some of who are my role models in personal, faith and business. Not giving up after trying 1000 times. Waiting for years and years for a promise to be fulfilled when it was impossible. Going bankrupt a number of times before becoming a wealthy person. Personalty I believe, there are important lessons to learn and an appointed time to be trusted with riches and wisdom.

  27. Very true Erline. How many times have we been knocked down with stress and fear? Waking up in the middle of the night and wondering what are we going to do. My brother had an interesting way of looking at this. What are they going to do, eat you? With stress, fear, and financial problems eating away at you, consuming you ever thought. That the snail attacking you. Only you can stop this in its tracks. Time is on your side, all things will pass leaving only a memory that you control. Not the worries of life.

    1. You are right Ron. The sleepless nights spent worrying helps no one. Having a handle on our “snail” is important today more than ever before. Once we conquer our fears head-on, the rest is a piece of cake. Our personal and business lives become manageable once we can figure out what position we sit in.

  28. Thanks Erline for sharing the story about The Snail and the Jellyfish, I really liked this sentence, “we can’t have that “snail” living inside of us unless we want to implode” that’s really the meaning of forgiveness, its very important to lean how to forgive others, really we are bringing our blood pressure down, which is much healthier for our selves. Which will teach others the same. I also agree that passion and perseverance are two attributes that help steer any business in the right direction. Thanks again for that great post.

  29. had to come back and read and then read again — there is just so much in this writing and honestly as i look back and comprehend the Truth of this Blog posting — wow is what I have — if we put Perseverance and Patience into our mix of Business Philosophy and we realize that as we continue to push Forward towards Success — some parts of our journey will have pieces that if we let them win will eat us up from the inside out — or as Miss Erline says — implode — just great stuff!!!! thank you — rj

  30. Thank you Erline for the great blog, its true staying positive is key or that snail will eat you up and that’s it. The crazy times got me and I had to stop and meditate think of positive things, build others up having these issues it helps them and you. We are all brothers and sisters no matter what.

  31. Thank you for the great story Erline, I didn’t know it had such a profound meaning and it’s so true in our lives. I think this can be applied almost to any situation in life; business, relationships and even politics. We can get consumed with what happens directly or indirectly to us and it’s up to us to decide what to do with it. As many who have suffered tremendous financial losses, heart brokenness, separations, family disputes and many other problems, we are survivors and became snails at the end. The lessons learned in my life have left me with gratitude to my creator and appreciation for life.

  32. Great blog, Erline! I had a pretty good childhood, but as I got into young adulthood circumstances and situations became difficult and I morphed into a worrying and troubled adult. It took me many years, and a patient wife, to dig out of the hole that negativity had put me into. Now I am annoyingly optimistic and positive, even in the face of overwhelming and negative situations. I thought I was being realistic, but I was only creating my own negative realism. Today I understand that the words I say, and the thoughts I entertain, determine much of what my reality truly is.

    1. The idiom “Behind every great man is a great woman” used since the mid-1940s, seems to fit here. For a man to share his vulnerable side is a big man in my book. For anyone to recognize the importance of moving away from the negative with or without the help of another fellow human being goes up another notch in my book. Thank you for sharing and for giving us a glimpse of the man you are today. Now I know why I have always admired and appreciated you over the years. Thank you and a hug to your wonderful spouse.

  33. Wonderful analogy Erline!! We all have been, or perhaps still are the Jellyfish, and those issues of the world eat at us and we dwindle in our attitudes towards growth and rebirth!
    As Henry inspires and his attitude is always on growth and positive energy, that leaning is part of the over all equation, I am reminded of Sam Walton (met him once when our local store was opened #67), and then a few years later I got, and read his book; he failed many times, but as he put it he learned, and moved on to a better way, and always looking to help those lesser than himself as part of the over all goal… what a legacy that is; even if present day people have changed his goals to selfish greed. We at Compumatrix will never see that happen, for we are all an integral part.

  34. Negativity feeling attitude is a destroyer, which consumes us from inside out like this snail did
    But it was not the snail that enters, it was the jellyfish that ate it.
    Fears, stress, worries, other emotions are not part of us, but we invite or swallow them.
    In facing hard times, it’s ok to feel stress, sadness, anger, fear, even death, but to not let it start eating you.
    Prayer, Love, Forgiveness, Hope, even laughing changes one’s heart

  35. Very interesting the jellyfish analogy with the snail. I didn’t know. Sometimes we are jellyfish, sometimes snail. But the important thing is to always have faith, hope and resilience. And in this moment of Pandemic, when we, and everyone, are going through, nothing better than being faithful, hopeful and resilient!

  36. The snail could any mental mindset that hinders us from making progress in our business or life. They are more difficult to recognize than physical hindrances. The help and grace that God can give us through the Lord, Jesus Christ can enable us to correct and mindset that sets us back in our lives and business. We just have to ask for the grace we need persistently.

  37. Erline that was a great analogy. I have never heard this story before. In life, I have to think we always have a snail inside us eating away. We have to decide if that snail will push us to do better and accelerate the fire inside of us or will it hinder us. It probably depends on the timely circumstances we are living through. The year of 2020 has made many feel that snail is feverishly eating away. When I feel that way, I usually need a break from work and add a little fun to redirect my mind.

  38. ‌I never heard about The Snail and the Jellyfish, but it is for sure not a happy story.
    Compared to humans I would not like to have one of those living inside of me.
    Our business is driven also by passion and perseverance and hopefully, we will see those final results sooner than later. Felling like a snail sometimes is not what I want or need right now,. Negative thoughts are not productive.

  39. this is such a great story to come back and read thru again and put more of it into the thoughts of my day — and so much agree in this part without Passion please don’t start — you have to have Passion to focus 100% on the Biz or Venture — without the Passion to do everything else literally does not play into it — jmho and 45+ years experience in Biz world — thank you again Miss Erline —

  40. I know that some snails are edible, but after hearing a story like that, I could see a little hesitation in wanting to feast on any. There are some people that can’t let go of anger or hurt if they feel as though someone has wronged them and come to a point where they let it ruin friendships. I knew of one individual that routinely ended friendships when the friends had failed to pay back twenty dollars that had been loaned to them.

  41. I believe in most situations I try not to get myself in situations where I hold on to resentment.
    I don’t expect my friends and acquaintances to be perfect and I hope they don’t expect me to be perfect. If I have done something or wronged someone in some sort of way, I try to do better and learn from my mistakes.

  42. as i come back and retrace steps and further the learning and getting the understanding more and more — realize that back thru time there have been times where the snail or ?? has taken its toll on my menu — but with the Strength of His Truth and perseverance –Life has been perty darn gratifying and Fulfilling — and again much Appreciation for such a great Blog !!! Ms. E

  43. Thank you for this truly insightful post, Erline. I feel we always learn so much from you and your wisdom. Just as Sophye said above, sometimes I feel like the snail and everything I’m trying to accomplish feels insurmountable, and sometimes I’m the jellyfish and realise the snail has been mostly self-doubt. So here’s to us all recognising, addressing and conquering our inner snails, whatever they may be for each of us.

  44. Great Blog Erline. This is so true so many dreams have been dashed because of the inner implosion in people. Unrealized greatness never saw the reality of the vision within. The opposite is true for many heroes in the past, some of who are my role models in personal, faith and business. Not giving up after trying 1000 times. Waiting for years and years for a promise to be fulfilled when it was impossible. Today I understand that the words I say, and the thoughts I entertain, determine much of what my reality truly is.

  45. Passionate and perseverance certainly two of the most important words in the English language. We should all be passionate in what we do and say and that helps to shape our personality and relationships. Perseverance means we should stick at what we believe in through thick and thin.
    A most enlightening article and how appropriate are those two words when it comes to Compumatrix?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *