Arthur C. Clark said this, “If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run – and often in the short one – the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative.”

This isn’t just true of history.  It’s true for you individually too.

Our most daring goals and plans fall embarrassingly short of what we’re really able to accomplish in this life!

The people who achieve great things in life have the audacity to attempt big, bold things.  And what is the result?  Many times they achieve their goals or some goal of equal value.

Steve Jobs is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.  Listen to what he said this in his Stanford Commencement in 2005…

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. … Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

What many of us don’t realize is that the way we see ourselves is too limited and the potential we believe that we have is much too small.  Because of this, we live lesser lives and attempt lesser things than we could.

Let me share with you a story that is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.  It’s a strange story I came across about an eagle that didn’t know he was an eagle.  

Pay close attention, because you are about to see a “picture” of how we live lesser lives.

While walking through the forest one day, a man found a young eagle who had fallen out of his nest. He took it home and put it in his barnyard where it soon learned to eat and behave like the chickens.

One day a naturalist passed by the farm and asked why it was that the king of all birds should be confined to live in the barnyard with the chickens.

The farmer replied that since he had given it chicken feed and trained it to be a chicken, it had never learned to fly. Since it now behaved as the chickens, it was no longer an eagle.

“Still it has the heart of an eagle,” replied the naturalist, “and can surely be taught to fly.”  He lifted the eagle toward the sky and said, “You belong to the sky and not to the earth. Stretch forth your wings and fly.”

The eagle, however, was confused.

He did not know who he was, and seeing the chickens eating their food, he jumped down to be with them again.

The naturalist took the bird to the roof of the house and urged him again, saying, “You are an eagle. Stretch forth your wings and fly.”

But the eagle was afraid of his unknown self and world and jumped down once more for the chicken food.

Finally the naturalist took the eagle out of the barnyard to a high mountain. There he held the king of the birds high above him and encouraged him again, saying, “You are an eagle. You belong to the sky. Stretch forth your wings and fly.”

The eagle looked around, back towards the barnyard and up to the sky.

Then the naturalist lifted him straight towards the sun and it happened that the eagle began to tremble.

Slowly he stretched his wings, and with a triumphant cry, soared away into the heavens.

It may be that the eagle still remembers the chickens with nostalgia. It may even be that he occasionally revisits the barnyard.  But as far as anyone knows, he has never returned to lead the life of a chicken.

What I am telling you today is to look at the goals you have for your life and your business again and ask yourself, “Are these goals really worthy of me?  Are these really all that I can, or should, achieve?”

You don’t want to live your whole life rooting around on the ground and find out you were meant to soar.

Photo by: snuzzy