On my way into work yesterday, I happened to look up as I swiped my key card. I saw an ordinary bird perched atop the building’s roof, without a care in the world. Thinking back, I don’t know why this less than impressive scene caught my attention. Like you, I have seen thousands of birds in my lifetime, perching in places of varying heights. After all, that’s what birds do. Nothing to see here, or so I thought.
This week, as I begin my journey to actionalyze (i.e. turn my dreams into reality), one goal I have set for myself is to seek daily to find meaning in the ordinary, light in the midst of uncertainty and edification in the seemingly mundane. But, what profound lesson could a bird perched atop the roof of an ordinary commercial building mean for my life? What could it mean for your life?
As I pondered this vague thought, my mind began to race with a thousand analogies until, after a minute or two, I knew I had stumbled upon a precious little gem. The message was simple and quite emphatic:
“If you choose to learn to fly, you won’t have a fear of heights, ’cause if the worst were to happen, you will fly instead of falling.”
Repeat this phrase five or six times to see what it stirs up in your mind. For me, its connection to my past was very clear. For many years, I suffered from a fear of failure. I second guessed myself many times and shied away from taking the chances necessary to change my life in a meaningful way.
I saw genuine compliments as patronizing and wondered why the world was so condescending. So metaphorically, I had a fear of heights. I always questioned, “what would happen to my family if I didn’t succeed”, “what if no one were interested in my work”, “what if I were unable to pay my bills” or “what if I were not as talented as I imagined?”
The doubts I harbored in my life led me to stay close to the ground, because in my mind, the closer I was to the ground the safer my life would be. I did not realize that the opposite was also true. That the closer I stayed to the ground, the farther I was from my dreams.
I have begun a journey to change my mindset. I have chosen today to learn to fly. Bit by bit I plan to master it, little by little I hope to succeed. Some may laugh and others may bicker, some may say I’ve gone insane. But one day I know I’ll get there, fit to perch among the stars.
What in your life is keeping you on the ground? What is the fear that is holding you back? Take a second and perform an evaluation. Take some time to find out why. I know you have something to offer. You are here for a simple fact. Something special lives inside you. Get it out and change the world.