The eagle is renowned as the king of birds and is very often selected as a positive symbol and inspiration for several corporate and national emblems, logos, souvenirs, print materials and uniforms. One reason behind this is that the eagle has distinctive features and behaviours which provide useful learning points for individuals who, like the eagle, want to stand out from the crowd and dominate their space.
The eagle’s path to greatness is enabled by its awareness of its uniqueness, strength and potential. Indeed, realizing your potential is foundational to optimizing it. From the eagle’s strong beak, clear vision, firm feathers, flexible legs, speed and remarkable strength, the eagle’s awareness about its abilities sets it on the path of differentiation from other birds.
Everyone has a treasure that can command value. However, it is the treasure that you can unearth that will command value for you. The eagle clearly understands this.
Separation and Differentiation
The eagle usually prefers to fly on its own rather than in the company of other birds. Also, unlike other birds, the eagle is not known for eating dead prey. As such, rather than suffer hunger, it must learn to hunt for fresh food or face starvation and possibly, death. Interestingly, it is in setting itself apart that the journey to the eagle’s discovery and greatness unfolds. The eagle realizes that to eat fresh food, speed and skill will be required in the air to hunt and kill prey on the ground. It is not surprising therefore that the eagle is the second fastest bird only after the falcon, and one of the most powerful air predators. A high taste must drive you to a strong work ethic. You cannot aim for a good life and be poor at work.
Self-Acceptance and Confidence
Though not as gentle as the dove or talkative like the parrot, the eagle is unbothered. Though not as lanky as the ostrich, domestic as the pigeon, or water-friendly like the penguin, the king of birds is not disturbed. You can only accept yourself when you realize that you are different from others and become comfortable in your own skin. Life is not a race to compete with others. When you discover and appreciate your uniqueness and area of competence, you are more likely to build confidence. Confidence does not come by self-comparison, it comes by self-discovery, self-acceptance, self-appreciation and self-worth.
The eagle goes through a rigorous training programme that develops its capacity to become a king of flight. From a young age, its mother shows it how to fly and survive in harsh conditions and fiery winds. As it matures, the eagle spends more time alone without the supervision of the mother eagle to learn new tricks and try out new stunts.
The eagle buttresses the fact that theory is only optimized when it is applied in practice. All the knowledge gathered will serve no use if the eagle does not fly, as it is in the air that the eagle builds mastery. Indeed, the height you reach is dependent on the capacity you have built.
The eagle has strong eyesight and can see prey from miles away. The eagle can see fish under water and identify different varieties of colour of its target preys even when they attempt to hide. This strong sense of sight combined with speed and unique strength provides added motivation to hunt for prey. It is what you see that will inform your action. It is what you see that you will move towards to. Your life gravitates in the direction of your compelling vision.
Talents and Skills
Talents are natural endowments, attributes and gifts that enable us to succeed. They are freely given tools that accompany us to earth for a productive life. The eagle’s strong vision, strong feathers, firm beak and speed are some of the unique giftings it exploits to achieve its status of a leading avian carnivore. However, talent will only be optimized when it turns to skill. Everyone has talents but masters are those who work on their talents to the point that they exhibit skill. Talent is sharpened by practice and staying at what it is that you do. Eagles gain mastery by flying, soaring and hunting. If you don’t sharpen your talent, you will become irrelevant. Before you can be a master over others, first of all, you have to gain mastery of your skills.
Attitude and Altitude
The eagle shows a bold, courageous and positive attitude by its positive reaction to strong winds and storms. Rather than contend with the wind, the eagle leverages it, using the force of the wind to glide and enhance its flight at a higher altitude. The eagle becomes a master by using adverse circumstances to gain leverage. Rather than bicker in fear at the threat of the storm, the eagle flies above the storm and uses the negative from the storm to achieve positives for itself. If you don’t face challenges, you will not learn how to solve problems. In battle, victory only comes to those who fight. A lot of challenges are not as difficult as they seem if only we approach them with a positive attitude, looking for the positives we can leverage on rather than getting stuck in the negatives.
Eagles are known to fly for long periods and at amazing speeds without getting tired. The eagle does not only fly toward its target, covering long distances with great speed but also with enough strength to launch a vicious attack to grab, snatch (from other birds) or kill its prey. The strong feet of the eagle enables it to hold onto its prey and continue flying. The eagle’s remarkable strength also helps it to fight, kill and carry prey that weighs more than its size. As a result, the eagle is not afraid to take on big things. What you can take on is dependent on the strength that you possess.
Recreation and Reinvention
Dominion is sustained by continuity. If you lose what makes you dominate, you will lose out on dominion. The eagle realizes this and once its feathers and beaks grow weak, the eagle proceeds on compulsory leave and a self-imposed performance-boosting retreat. It will retreat from the public space and go to a solitary place to beat out its beaks against a rock so that a new, firmer and stronger beak can emerge. A new you may not be birthed on social media or in the public eye. The eagle plucks out each of its feathers so that newer, firmer and stronger ones can emerge. To recreate and reinvent yourself is a task you need to take on by yourself. This may be painful but it is worth the while, as the comfort zone is incapable of birthing what will take you to the next level. The sacrifice you are willing to make for the change you seek will determine how far you go, and how high you will fly.
Discipleship and Mentorship
The eagle preserves its dominion by passing the baton to its offspring. Many businesses have not been able to successfully transit from one generation to the other. The eagle realizes that after its death, the legacy of dominion will only continue when its children can also fly at the same altitude, with the same vision, power, strength and speed.
As such, it understands that mentorship is key to ensuring sustainability. If your leadership tenure does not raise others after you, you have lost the chance to extend your dominion. For centuries, the eagle has remained committed to the task of passing the baton to the next generation. The eagle is not fundamentally a unique bird only based on its natural ability but also based on a combination of mentorship, training and practice to be a star in the sky. The training and mentorship processes are the birthing and dominion processes that are transferred from one generation to the other that keeps the eagle at the top of the pyramid.
There are several lessons that can be learnt from the eagle. One of them is that there is an eagle in every one of us. We just need to discover it, give it our best shot and fly. For those who want to dominate the air, their world and show this world what makes them unique, there will always be a sky to fly in. We just need to do what the eagle does, fly.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime