Saturday, July 17, 2010

Want To Be A Chicken Or An Eagle?

I always felt our thinking plays such a huge role in how we operate on a daily basis but seldom do we realize it. There are many people who will never experience the joy of success, all because they have already decided that, success is going to be too hard for them and that it is only there for a few lucky people.

Once after my training session got over, a participant came over and said, " I will never be able to speak like you". You know, he is exactly right! He never will. Not because I am any better or smarter than he is. But because he has already made up his mind. His thinking controls his actions, which in turn will control his outcomes. His mindset has determined his end result.

To make things clear, let me share with you a simple but powerful story. Once upon a time, there was a large mountainside, where an eagle's nest rested. The eagle's nest contained four large eagle eggs. One day an earthquake rocked the mountain causing one of the eggs to roll down the mountain, to a chicken farm, located in the valley below. The chickens knew that they must protect and care for the eagle's egg, so an old hen volunteered to nurture and raise the large egg.

One day, the egg hatched and a beautiful eagle was born. Sadly, however, the eagle was raised to be a chicken. Soon, the eagle believed he was nothing more than a chicken. The eagle loved his home and family, but his spirit cried out for more. While playing a game on the farm one day, the eagle looked to the skies above and noticed a group of mighty eagles soaring in the skies. "Oh," the eagle cried, "I wish I could soar like those birds." The chickens roared with laughter, "You cannot soar with those birds. You are a chicken and chickens do not soar."

The eagle continued staring, at his real family up above, dreaming that he could be with them. Each time the eagle would let his dreams be known, he was told it couldn't be done. That is what the eagle learned to believe. The eagle, after some time, stopped dreaming and continued to live his life like a chicken. Finally, after a long life as a chicken, the eagle passed away.

The moral of the story is very simple, we become what we believe we are. For this, we need to be aware of who we are, what we are capable of doing, rather, define our identity which will keep us focused as we set our priorities, organize tasks, deal with emergencies, and accomplish challenges in our personal and business lives.

How can we make ourselves realize that, we are not just chickens but we are eagles both in our personal and professional lives? Let me share with you some simple tips :

1) Believe in ourselves : Allow only positive thoughts to dominate our thinking such as, I am worthy, I like myself, I am strong & self secure, I can handle what comes my way & I know the future holds opportunities for me.
2) Overcome fear : Fear creates stress, panic and anxiety. Fear defeats our plans and goals. Over come it by building self-confidence. Identify our fears then take action. Once we start to do something, our fears will disappear.
3) Build on failures and mistakes : Socrates once remarked that there is more risk in buying knowledge than buying food. He is correct. If we purchase spoiled meat, we throw it out, not allowing it to harm our body. But ideas imprinted on the mind are not so easily dislodged. Once we learn from our failures and mistakes, they should be discarded like spoiled food.
4) Welcome challenges : Challenges are opportunities to break out of the routine of our job and expand our skills. Challenges can be spring boards to professional growth if they are welcomed as opportunities rather than tolerated as nuisances.
5) Take pride in achievements: As we progress in life, it is important to take pride in our achievements. Though we cannot overlook the problems of tomorrow, we should not forget to celebrate the successes of today.
6) Visualize success : As clearly and vividly as we can, we should visualize the rewards of our success in our mind. Make it such a good picture that we'll do almost anything to be part of it.
7) Be flexible : Sometimes, lack of self-motivation is because of failure to adapt or change. The solution to this may be flexibility- a willingness to adapt goals so they more nearly fit our values and skills.
8) Start now : Get in motion as soon as possible, and as our momentum builds, so will our motivation.

I believe, in life, what we focus on is all that we will see and gain. If we believe we cannot, we never will. It's time to unleash the potential inside us, realize who we are, what we are capable of. We can choose to live as a chicken who will always look up and envy the mighty eagle or we can be an eagle and enjoy the thrill of soaring in the sky.

Time to decide, Chicken or Eagle - choice is all yours!