Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World, Work

To Explore the Sky

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” Confucius

During the annual regional inter school cultural festival, one of the eagerly awaited events was the “prose recital” contest. One of the new entries in the middle school level was none other than my niece who made her first debut this year. Although she loves poetry and was selected through the school competition, this entry was an impromptu choice. Given her innate manner of being on the quiet side, her entry was in response to the challenge of being labelled as a mouse by her classmates. When the call was made for the participants at school level, she had enrolled her name. Whether it was for avoiding the labeling or improving her confidence onstage, this opportunity had opened the door to her hidden talent at declamation.

“We’ll never know our full potential unless we push ourselves to find it.” Travis Rice

Reflecting back on the entire episode, one finds themselves in similar situations across the various stages of life. Whether it is the professional, academics, family or personal life; we are limited by the lines we set internally in our minds. For the introvert who may have a hidden talent at playing music or the extrovert who is the life of a party may be an excellent writer. While the former has to acquire the confidence to face the crowd; the latter fears the label of “nerd”. Living in their insecurities, their hidden gifts may be wasted over time. These are just two of the many scenarios that one may be able to recollect, feel or relate to.

“Find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.” Deepak Chopra

Choosing to break the set mould and soar high is no simple feat. Barriers are there at each and every level. Be it lack of time, innate fears, insecurities, the diatribe of words around oneself, criticism, comments or snide remarks; they all come as we move on and ahead. Yet as long as one believes themselves and knows their true talent, keeping the inner flame alive and strong; the rest all are just flies to be swatted, avoided or ignored. No one can stop the person who really wants to explore their talent. Confidence and courage will come along the way, when the innate self-belief and assurance stays strong. If not for the latter, the eagle would never learnt to soar high. Be oneself, find oneself and test their own limits to know own potential. Don’t fit yourself in the label made by others. Find your own niche and grow the hidden potential. Take courage and fly.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man found an eagle’s egg and put it in a nest of a barnyard hen. The eagle hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life, the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he thrashed his wings and flew a few feet in the air. Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong, golden wings. The old eagle looked up in awe. ‘Who’s that?’ he asked. ‘That’s the eagle, the king of the birds,’ said his neighbour. ‘He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth – we’re chickens.’ So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that is what he thought he was.
(Author unknown) (African American folktale)

What would have happened if the running eaglet decided to fly to sit on the coop rafters? What would have happened if the eagle was taken out of it’s surroundings and given a chance to fly ? What would have happened if the eagle tried to mid flap in it’s adult life and found the courage to try and see the effect, instead of listening to the remarks around it ?

“Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.” Richard Bach