The long night ended
Happy New Year, 2020!
The long and challenging night of 2019 has ended. Vacation time almost or perhaps over, and you’re heading back to work before you know it.
Many love their jobs, numerous others don’t; they’re just there because they have to make a living, and their contributions at whatever work they’re doing is at the bare minimum effort. If the latter describes you, 2020 will be another misserable year.
The reason is quite obvious, your motives are wrong. You will habitually come late to work or goof-off work as and when you feel like it, and are an expert in making excuses for not getting things done. You are on the payroll but nobody really knows what exactly you achieve in a given day, week or month.
And you are the kind of employee employers don’t like in the workplace. But because your management is weak, and supervision and discipline are next to nil, you prey on that to your advantage. You are basically on holiday at work. In an organisation with great visionary leadership, you’re the type of candidate that perfectly fits a fantastic warning letter, followed by suspension, and eventually, dismissal.
On the brighter side
Most employees are not like what has just been described above. They are committed, hardworking, cooperative and fulfill all or almost all the qualities an employer wants to see in a great worker. With more experience and on-the-job training they are polished into beautiful gems that help to grow organisations, deliver great products and services. An old scholar named Paul refers to this as ‘striving for the Mastery’. Wise King Solomon also once said, ‘whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going’ (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
Irrespective of your position in the organisation (a Cleaner or an employee higher up the ranks), you can soar like a beautiful eagle in 2020.
The eagle and the turkey
There is an old proverb that reads, ‘birds of a feather flock together’. The same applies to people. We have a tendency to associate with people who make us feel good, etc. Of course, we do and must associate with people all the time. But so many times we (young people in particular) surround ourselves and hang out with people who are capable of taking us in only one direction, backward.
There is nothing wrong with looking back in life from time to time especially where challenges and difficult experiences of the past have helped to shape us into better people. But there is that ‘backwardness’ that one must avoid like cancer. Compare two distinct birds – the Eagle and the turkey. There are several differences between them in terms of how they live and how they communicate.
Writer Melvina Harrison once wrote this about Turkeys. ‘Turkeys…are considered to be bird-brained. They are not as intelligent as the Eagle and in many cases will peck each other to death if they don’t receive proper care. Turkeys can be downright mean at times and can drown in a rain storm. They hear the thunderstorm and usually look up with their mouths open, and after swallowing too much water, they drown.’
Story of the Eagle that grew up with chicken
Harrison relates a story that brings out some very interesting lessons between the two birds.
An American Indian once found an eagle’s egg and put it into the nest of a prairie chicken. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them.
All its life, the changeling eagle, thought it was a prairie chicken, it did what the prairie chickens did. It scratched in the dirt for seeds and insects to eat. It clucked and cackled and flew in a brief thrashing of wings and flurry of feathers no more than a few feet off the ground. After all, that’s how prairie chickens were supposed to fly.
Years passed and the changeling eagle grew very old. One day, it saw a magnificent bird far above in the cloudless sky, hanging with graceful majesty on the powerful wind currents, and it soared with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings. “What a beautiful bird!” said the changeling eagle to its neighbor. “What is it?” “That’s an eagle — the chief of the birds,” the neighbor clucked. “But don’t give it a second thought. You could never be like him.”
So the changeling eagle never gave it a second thought. Throughout its entire life the changeling eagle pride itself as being a prairie chicken and it died thinking it was a prairie chicken.’
This story describes a lot of us.
Soar Like an Eagle
Keep in mind that we have personal differences and very unique gifts given us by God. In order to soar like an eagle, we must surround ourselves with Positive experiences and Positive People. Of course, no one wants to end up like the “Eagle who thought he was a Chicken”.
Just as the Eagle, when placed in an inferior environment we become inferior. So not to be inferior or less than what we ought to be, it is imperative that we surround ourselves with people who can help us grow, motivate us, point us in the right direction, help us up when we stumble and give us hope when we are down.
Whatever you do in life, never ever surround yourself with people that are negative but instead make it a point to surround yourself with people who will encourage you to reach your Highest and Greatest Potential.
As old Isaiah once said, ‘…those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’
Bottomline is, you can’t soar like an eagle when you surround yourself with Turkeys.