Life can be often challenging. It could be easy to get bogged down in the difficulties and problems of life. We face various challenges at work, at home. We could be facing financial difficulties, relationship breakdown or other life problems. Things happen to us all the time and sometimes unexpected. When the problems pile up we can feel overwhelmed. When this happens we usually get stressed, tired and demotivated and can easily switch to survival mode. Focusing too much on the problems makes us become short-sighted.
I like the metaphor of the eagles and the chickens. Eagles soar high above the clouds majestically and free while chickens are unable to fly and only scratch on the ground. When we get entangled in the small details of life and lose sight of the bigger picture, we become like chickens scratching the ground, instead of soaring in life like an eagle.
The difference between an eagle and a chicken is that when the storm comes, the eagle will ride on the wind above the storm and use the strength of the wind to fly higher and higher. If you have an eagle’s mindset, when you face the storms of life, instead of fearing and drawing back, you will take the opportunity to learn, to grow and raise higher in life.
A chicken, on the other hand, does not have the ability to fly. When the storm comes, the chicken will go running trying to escape the wind and the storm. They look for a safe and comfortable place to hide and create their own happy little world. People with a chicken mindset are narrow-minded and have a limited vision. However, the eagle will find a vantage point to see far the distance.
Very often, people going through life challenges get so overwhelmed with problems that imperceptibly lose their motivation and adopt the narrow-minded ‘chicken’ mentality. The good news is that once we become aware of it, we can change and adjust it.
You can choose the way you look at life and what kind of mindset you want to adopt. How you see your life and what you see depends on your scope of vision. Some things are hidden from view because something else is blocking the line of sight. If you move or change your position you will see things from a different angle. It is similar to buying a ticket for a concert or a theatre. If you buy the cheapest ticket you will most likely be sitting somewhere with not the best view and you might not be able to see some of the actions on the scene. If you want the best vantage point where you can see the whole performance, you would have to pay a little extra to sit on a central seat.
In a similar way, it is important to look at the problems in your life from a different perspective. Try to look at them from a different angle. For example, try to see them through someone else’s eyes. What does your spouse/mom/best friend think of it? What would they advice you? Then, try to look at it from a distance. Take a ‘vantage point’ and see it from an eagles view. You will be surprise to see how small the problems look from above in the background of the bigger picture.
If you feel muddled and confused, living day by day without a clear vision for life, it is time to step back and make a personal life inventory. Often, in order to find the best ‘vantage point’, you need to take a longer break from your activities and find a quiet place for reflection. Try to spend more time relaxing, walking, reading. Rejuvenate your mind and soul. The best way to do that is walking in nature. The fresh air, the natural colours and beauty have a tremendous restoring effect on the soul.
Once you feel your mind clearer and your body restored, you will be able to think and reflect on your life. I encourage you to take a pen and a diary with you and go somewhere quiet and private. You can take a walk in the park or sit by yourself with a cup of coffee and a quiet music. Prayer and meditating on the Bible or your favourite read often gives us insight and a new revelation. Close your eyes and try to see your life from a distance, from an eagles view. Think about your life as a whole. Who are you? What are your priorities? What is the most important for you? What is your biggest goal, your final destination? Where are you now in regards to your life goal?
Then start working your way from back to front.
Ask yourself, What’s clouding my vision now? What’s getting on my way? How can I see things differently? What is the most important thing to focus on right now that will give me the breakthrough? Which things do I need to let go of?
Write your thoughts and your insights in your notepad. Share them with a spouse or a close friend and try to look at things from their perspective.
Now, after you found your ‘vantage point’, look back at your life and at your problems.
What do you see?