The first image is that of a tree frog. Ordinarily, this little frog lives high in the treetops in the tropical rain forests. Hopping is rather precarious in this situation, so the tree frog has sticky pads on its hands and feet (do frogs have hands and feet? It seems odd to call them paws) that let it work its way from branch to branch. Every now and then, the frog has to beat a hasty retreat to escape from hungry birds and snakes. It needs to put as much distance as possible between itself and the predator, and it needs to do it quickly. So the frog takes a dive. It lets go of the branch it's on and goes into free fall.
Suicidal, right? No. Remember the sticky hands? The frog just waits until it sees a better leaf or branch, puts out its hands, and grabs on. Some tree frogs even have webbing between their fingers and toes that acts as a kind of parachute, buying them more time to look for their next perch on the way down.
Jumping requires letting go. No second thoughts about how far you're going to fall before you land again (or splat). Leaving behind all the tasty tidbits on that branch you worked so hard to climb up to. Once the frog lands, it finds itself in a new situation. New neighborhood, new sunlight patterns, new locations for the food and water, new neighbors to adjust to (or flee). No regrets, life's different now, move on.
The second daring amphibian is the pebble toad, who lives on the rocky heights of the Venezuelan mountains. Again, this is a neighborhood where hopping is an iffy proposition, so the toad climbs the mountain slopes. In one particularly dramatic video clip from the BBC, one of these little guys makes his way to the top of a ridge, only to meet a tarantula coming at him from the other direction.
So the little toad goes rigid, leans back, and bounces down the mountain, off a cliff or two, and into a waiting pond -- more like a puddle, actually. The pebble toad is so small and weighs so little that all the bouncing around doesn't hurt it. It doesn't stop to grouse about all the lost status and progress, it just does what it needs to do and begins again. That's life. This kind of strategy doesn't work if you're one of the big guys. When you're higher up on the food chain, if the free fall doesn't kill you, it will certainly incapacitate you and make you easy prey for something else.
People aren't frogs and toads. We do, however, find ourselves in situations where the real danger is in clinging to the familiar, clutching our hard-earned status, hesitating at the thought that we might fail utterly. Letting go requires knowing how to use the advantages that we carry with us and having the willingness to start all over again in a new situation.
I get up, and nothing gets me down.
You got it tough. I've seen the toughest around.
And I know, baby, just how you feel.
You've got to roll with the punches to get to what's real
-- Eddie Van Halen, "Might as Well Jump"