Today I’d like to share one of my favorite stories. It really speaks to how I have been feeling inside lately, and always motivates me to expand my vision and horizons—to remember who I am and to always dream bigger. Here goes.
One day a naturalist was driving past a farm when he noticed a baby eagle in the chicken pen, pecking and clucking like a chicken. The naturalist approached the farmer and inquired as to how the baby eagle had come to reside on the farm. The farmer explained that he had found the baby eagle alone and shivering in the cold on the forest ground, its mother nowhere in sight—and that he had decided to take it home and raise it among his other birds.
The naturalist understood the farmer’s good intentions, but was concerned for the baby eagle’s development. “Would you mind if I tried a little experiment?” asked the naturalist.
“Go right ahead,” said the farmer.
The naturalist picked up the baby eagle and climbed up a nearby ladder. He held the bird out and said, “You are an eagle, spread your wings and fly!”
The naturalist released the baby eagle. The bird flapped and fluttered to the ground, and commenced again to peck and cluck. Still determined, the naturalist again scooped up the young bird and climbed to the top of the barn hay loft. He stood near the open doors, held out the bird, and again said, “You are an eagle, spread your wings and fly!”
And once again, the baby eagle flapped and fluttered to the ground, and commenced pecking and clucking.
The naturalist frowned. He turned to the farmer. “Would you permit me one more try?” asked the naturalist.
“Go right ahead,” said the farmer, “but that baby eagle thinks it is a chicken now.”
The naturalist picked up the young bird, climbed into his truck, and drove to the top of the nearest mountain. He took the bird to the edge of the cliff and held it out to see the valley below and the sun and clouds above. For the third time, the naturalist said, “You are an eagle, spread your wings and fly!”
And with that, the baby eagle soared into the horizon.
Never ever forget who you are. You are not a chicken, meant to peck and cluck your way through life.
You belong among the mountaintops. You are an eagle. Act like one.
Spread your wings and fly.