By Engr. Carlos V. Cornejo
I came across a video in YouTube that got me fascinated. It talks about the virtues of eagles that we can apply to our lives. Animals by the way have certain characteristics that relate to values or virtues as well as vices. Our Lord Jesus Christ used an animal analogy for example when He persuaded His followers to be wise with the ways of the world and at the same time not to be contaminated of its wayward practices or not to be worldly. “Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)
In that video it teaches us seven virtues that eagles possess that we can imitate:
1.) Eagles Fly Alone at High Altitude
The video says eagles don’t fly with ravens, sparrows or other small birds. It means we ought to stay away from narrow minded people or those that bring us down. Eagles only fly with eagles, thus, we should only keep good company or people who are like minded with us that cherish the same values and principles that we have, because as the saying goes, “Bad company ruins good morals.”
2.) Eagles Have a Vision
Eagles have the ability to focus on something even as far as five kilometers away. No matter what the obstacles, the eagle does not remove his focus from the prey until he grabs it. The lesson is to have a vision and to have that focus in one’s life towards our goals regardless of the obstacles or challenges along the way. We should not to give up until we reach that prized goal in our life. Remember that without focus we cannot make any progress in life.
3.) Eagles are Fearless
Eagles don’t shy away from opponents that are bigger than them, or surrender their territories without giving a fight. Thus, no matter what the size of our problem might be, first we should not run away from it and second, we should have the persistence in overcoming it. Successful people face problems head on. I always associate running away from problems as one of the major causes of addiction. Addiction to substances or to any other vice is a lack of courage in facing life’s challenges and seeking refuge to a pleasurable activity. Life’s challenges have a purpose which is growth in character.
4.) Eagles Ride on the Storm
Part of their being fearless, eagles make use of the strong winds of the storm to make them fly higher. Eagles are not afraid of storms while other birds hide from leaves and branches of trees. Eagles then are able to rise above the clouds and glide because of the tailwinds that pushes them. Thus, resting its wings while gliding. Eagle-minded people make use of challenges and use them for their profitability. Even if their challenges bring them failure, successful people use those lessons from failure to propel them to greater heights.
5.) Eagles Never Eat Dead Things
Eagles don’t scavenge dead meat unlike vultures. Eagles look for their prey, catch them and bring them home alive. It’s a lesson on self-reliance and hard work and not relying on others effort in making a living. It’s also a lesson on not relying on past successes (dead things) to solve today’s problem because each challenge is unique in itself.
6.) Eagles are Growth Oriented
When the right time comes, mother eagle removes feathers and soft grass in the nest so that kid eagles don’t get comfortable anymore and are forced to fly. It’s a lesson on leaving our comfort zones because there is no growth there. The growth is in the “courage zone.” Bo Sanchez would call it the “courage zone” because it requires courage to get there but it’s worth the effort taking in new challenges or conquering new frontiers because it fosters growth, and makes life more exciting.
7.) Eagles Renew Themselves
When an eagle grows old, its feathers become weak and could not make him fly as fast and as high as it should. This could make the eagle weak and die. So, he retires to a place far away in the mountains. And while there he plucks out his feathers, and breaks his beak and his claws against the rocks until he is completely bare. It is a bloody and painful process. He stays in his hiding place until he has grown new feathers, new beaks and claws. Then it comes out, and starts flying again higher than ever before. The lesson is to shed off those bad habits that hinder our progress or add no value to our lives. It might take time getting rid of those comfortable habits and could be painful in the process, but the important thing is to let go of them because they are an obstacle to our growth in career, relationships, spiritual life, or health.