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Monday, 29 October 2018 09:35

The Eagle and the Mouse: A Lesson on Perspective

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Growing up in Oklahoma I was lucky to be exposed to both the histories and the teachings of the area's Native American/Indigenous People's cultures and beliefs. From a personal and a religious standpoint I have always found great insight in the stories and teachings that have been passed down through the centuries within both the tribes, the nations and the individual families of these groups. The symbolism found in the lessons taught through storytelling can be strengthening, guiding, comforting, encouraging, humbling and more. 

One of my favorite stories that teaches us about maintaining proper perspective and attitude involves The Eagle and The Field Mouse

The Field Mouse went throughout its day, running to and fro with rapid speed, always looking for a crumb here, a morsel there. The mouse strained with its ears to hear of any danger, its heart often racing with fear about all the bad things that could happen. He complained frequently about running into obstacles that had to be scurried around or burrowed under. Life, for the mouse, felt desperate, challenge-filled, a daily-struggle for basic sustenance and at the end of the day the poor mouse believed that the Creator had made him for suffering and strife. 

The Eagle, on the other hand, spent his days soaring majestically through the clouds. His elevated height allowed him a greater perspective on his surroundings which provided him more opportunities to both progress and to avoid the problems that the field mouse so frequently cried against. When a sharp gust appeared out of nowhere The Eagle rode the drafts and used them to rise higher in the sky. His sharp eyes looked at all the Creator had made for him and he spent hours each day studying the beautiful mountains, the green trees, the brightly colored flowers, the flowing streams and lakes and the vast meadows. 

Both these animals were the work of the Great Creator. Both lived in the same environment, although they lived there very differently. The Field Mouse passed his days in fear, scrambling from place to place with little foresight or planning. He was too busy crying about his problems to notice all the blessings the Creator had given him. He was focused only on the basics, never dreaming of a bigger life because he believed that the obstacles that stood in his way would never allow him to be more.

The Eagle, however, spent his days confident in his place in the world and his heritage as one of the Creator's masterpieces. He passed his time at greater heights, elevating his perspective and attitude to match the station of life that he wanted. He faced into the adverse winds and used them rise even higher and fly even faster. He looked at and for the beauty around him and kept his sharp eyes open for anything that might bring him down to a lower plane and therefore endanger his well-being.    

Attitude and perspective can make all the difference in this world. I have seen scrappy athletes become champions while naturally-gifted individuals let poor decisions ruin their career. Powerful CEOs who appeared like eagles on the outside let their spirits fester and wither away through fear and selfishness. Happy marriages get bogged down in the natural challenges of life. 

I want to challenge you to soar like The Eagle and not live in the mud, scurrying around like The Field Mouse. Set goals, learn from your mistakes, embrace the adversities of life. Know that you are of the Creator and that there is beauty all around you. Take a moment to take a breath, let your eyes see the good in your life and not become so focused on the challenges that you forget how amazing life is and how incredible your future can be. 

Soar high, dream big, love intensely.  

 

Jeremy C. Holm

Author & American athlete Jeremy C. Holm has spent over half his life in the fast-paced winter sport of bobsled, including as the Head Coach for the US Adaptive Bobsled Team. He has a degree in Journalism and is pursuing a degree in Military History at the American Military University. In addition to motivational speaking and corporate appearances around the world, Jeremy is the author of three books and spends his time camping, hiking, writing and trying to make history, one day at a time.

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