It has been more than 06 years since I first made a conscious effort to learn about the life style of eagles while I was developing a training module on leadership development. While accepting the fact that each animal/bird has a unique lifestyle, eagles display a unique behaviour that human beings can learn from especially with regard to personality and leadership development. Although substantial amount of literature was not available at that time, I never stopped searching for more information as I was so enthusiastic about learning about it. Surprisingly, all most all the leading business schools in the world and leadership development programs use the life style of eagles extensively to inspire their participants. As far as my interest is concerned I have divided the life style of an eagle into two major areas, personality and lifelong learning. I will only concentrate on the personality of an eagle in this posting as there are so many elements that we can learn and apply in our day to day life.
Focus – An average grown up eagle has a sharp eye sight and a focus. Its eye sight and focus is so sharp that an eagle can spot and focus on a prey even from a distance of 05 KMs. Once a prey is spotted an eagle can swoop down in one quick swift motion and claw/seize the prey. Eagles rarely lose its prey once it has been spotted.
Dealing with adversities – Eagles demonstrate a matured approach in tough times in day to day life and it is amazing as to how an eagle adjusts its approach to a specific situation. If there is a storm, an eagle can glide on a strong breeze. It would fest its wings and enjoys the storm and the challenges associated with it.
Impression Management – If you want to learn about image and impression management eagles are one of the ideal natural examples that can be cited. It is very clear that an eagle is very much a part of the bird population yet eagles do not mix with the other birds but it soars high on its own. I have no sufficient information to justify whether this is true when it comes to other birds. But eagles have their own standards which are by and large superior to the other birds.
Relationships – The mating behaviour of eagles is very fascinating especially female eagles, make a conscious effort in selecting its mating partner. Before mating a female eagle tests its partner. It picks up a twig, soars high into the sky and as the male follows, it flies around and suddenly drops the twig. Before the twig falls to the ground, the male swoops down and catches the twig in its beak and returns it to the female eagle. The female eagle once again flies around and drops the twig. The male eagle repeats its act. Only if the male eagle succeeds consistently, the female allows the mating to happen.
Developing Others – Eagles’ behaviour in parenting is commendable and of course should be benchmarked. Eagles continuously remind their eaglets that life is harsh out there and they have to be able to adjust accordingly in order to survive. Eagles teach eaglets the harsh reality eaglets have to deal with every day and how strong they should be. We take this for granted that these natural instincts are inherited in their DNA but actually it is very much part of their upbringing. Eagles lay eggs on a cliff or by the edge of a high peak by making a nest of grass entwined with thorns. When the eggs hatch, the weight of the eaglets makes it uncomfortable as the thorns start pricking. Then the female eagle pushes the eaglet out of the nest. As the eaglets are about to fall to the ground, the male eagle swoops down, picks them and brings them back to the nest. Meanwhile, the female removes the upper layer of grass so that the eaglets have to sit directly on the bed of thorns making the nest very uncomfortable. Eaglets are repeatedly pushed out of the nest till such time they are able to foresee the danger of falling and start using their wings. Slowly, they realize the purpose and use their wings and start flying. One amazing thing that I noticed is that eagles teach eaglets to take responsibilities early in their life.
As human beings ,how can we learn from the behaviour of eagles and what difference these behaviours can make in our day life if we are to apply the same in our life?
Have you spotted your goals and can you focus on your goals like an eagle? Can you swoop down on your target with such concentration so that you would never miss your goal? How often do we lose our focus due to so called externalities? Surprisingly, we become enthusiastic even justifying our failures.
Can we enjoy the adversities in our life and convert them into challenges? Can we enjoy the storms in our lives that can happen anytime and learn to glide through the storm higher than ever, enjoying it throughout thinking it is part and parcel of life?
Can you be a part of the crowd yet soar high on your strength? Can you be a part of the average yet be above the average? Do you look at other people and prefer to stay down or do you leave them down and soar high? Everybody has to make sure we all maintain a healthy level of self-esteem and it does not mean being arrogant or ego centric. We have to draw a line in our day to day life, not to be segregated from others but to ensure unnecessary people do not get into your life and disturb your equilibrium, your inner harmony.
Can we test before trust? Can we distinguish the difference between the genuine people and those who are pretending to be genuine? Can we use our own judgement to arrive at a conclusion rather than believing in what other people say? Imaging how much time we spend in buying a new pair of shoes or a pant. Why is that? Because we know it has to look good on us without making us look like a clown. Can we have the same approach in selecting our future partner that we are going to spend the rest of our life with? It is very important that we follow our heart when it comes to relationships but it does not mean that you have to decide blindly. Even your heart can be disciplined through a rational decision making process.
It is very important as a parent or as an adult that we teach our children to make use of their abilities. If you have to teach them the hard way, we must. Otherwise, they will never learn. The wisdom of nature is such that there is no better way to teach hard lessons. Can we learn from our mistakes instead of justifying what we have done? Can we learn from our difficulties instead of complaining about them? It is true we love our children and make them comfortable and be there whenever they need us. But it does not mean that you are going give in to all of their whims and fancies. Especially, we have to be careful as to how we behave in the presence our children. Because they spend their entire childhood with us as parents and they learn by observing us. If you complain about your children it is time to transform your behaviour.
Adversities are like divine surgeries. There is no use of resisting and complaining. They expect us to use our imagination, discover new knowledge territories, expand your experience portfolio and upgrade your skill set. Those who have faced the maximum difficulties in their early life are the ones who would have strived to grow not only physically but also spiritually. Psychical growth is inevitable but growing up mentally is optional. Most of us do not make that decision consciously and we take it for granted thinking that our mental growth is synchronized with our psychical growth.
Can you bring a similar commitment and discipline to strive for excellence in every aspect of your life for your own betterment?