Last week was a week of choices for me professionally and personally. It was a week to make decisions based on the unknown and expectations for the future.
It reminded me of the story we tell at the end of personal development training. I have posted the story below from the Website Mockingbird Education
In a valley between two mountains lies a small village. In this modest village lives a man known throughout the area for his wisdom. He knows when it rains and thus when the village should plant crops. He can predict the frost and thus when crops should be harvested. He knows how to treat illness and prevent impending sickness. Well respected, people travel from afar to seek his advice and counsel. People bring questions and the wise man provides answers.
In this village, a young boy is struggling to find his place in the world. Internally, he is suffering. He has, in his mind, not proven his value and worth. He struggles for the respect of others. In frustration, he decides to challenge the wise man believing that if he defeats the village’s most respected person, he will take his glory and respect. The boy crafts a plan and shares it with his friends.
He says, “I will take a baby bird in hand and offer it the great man of knowledge. I will ask the wise man two questions. “What do I have in my hands?” and “Is it alive or dead?”
The boy’s challenge lay in the second question. “Is the bird alive or dead?” Should the wise man answer ‘alive’, the boy tells his friends that he will crush the bird to death with his hands and throw in on the ground.
Conversely, if the wise man answers that the bird is dead, the boy shares with his friends that he will open his hands and let the bird fly free.
The boy is pleased with his friends’ reaction and sensing victory, he travels through the village to the wise man’s hut. Along the way, he gathers a crowd of followers.
Upon arrival, the wise man graciously acknowledges the young boy and encourages him to speak. With defiance, the young adolescent thrusts the bird held within his closed hands before the man and asks—“What do I have in my hands?”
The wise man looks at the boy’s hands and says “ why, you have a baby bird in your hands.” With this answer the boy quickly asks– “Is it alive or dead?”
The wise man reflectively locks eyes with the troubled boy and looking down at the boys hands and back into the young man’s eyes replies “ why, that answer lies in your hands”
Bird in Hand
One of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary”
Stay tuned to learn more. One thing I am certain of, it will not be much of the same!