Every decision you make will have its consequences. When you say yes to one thing you say no to others. There are no circumstances to blame. Decision and consequence are the two sides of the same medal - someone once said.
Today, I see the victimhood mood wins over the world of responsibility and ownership. I feel like society is getting sick somehow, blaming and shaming have become “the thing” nowadays. However, still, self-help books often start off the first chapter with one sentence: "life does not owe you a thing". But it would be easier if it did, no? Let's ponder on this through a story I have written. I hope it will get you to reflect on your own choices.
A goodnight story about the little condor who did not want to hunt…
Little condor returned to the nest and said to her mum, “I can’t hunt, Mum, hunting’s not for me. I looked for the frogs, I looked for the mice, but I did not see any. It’s not for me. Maybe I am just the type of condor that will die of despair and hunger when you’re not here. Maybe it is not my journey to be the well-known condor you wanted me to be. Maybe you are the greatest condor, and there can’t be another one. Maybe I am just a loser who will never be able to hunt.”
The mother condor looked at the little condor and said, “You flew around the fields, around the meadows and forests, saw the waters as empty with no opportunities, maybe you even saw the human hunters using all their tools and skills, and you gave up. Then you came back and told me that you couldn’t do it. But let me ask you now: Have you searched all the fields? Did you stay for hours and hours hiding in the trees, waiting patiently for the sneaky snakes or fast frogs? Did you come close enough to the snakes and take a risk to give it a go? Would you have the courage to pluck it from the wolf’s mouth? Did you try to observe the other strong eagles? Did you do and try everything that you could to prove to me that you can’t hunt? Did you fly very high to see the fields from a distance and use all your energy and could no longer fly? Did you watch so intently that your eyes were itchy and not able to look any longer? Did you wait so patiently that the dawn came and disturbed you? Did you train your wings so you're the fastest flyer in the field? Tell me, little condor, did you take all the lessons I gave you carefully? No, you did not. And you’re too proud to say it. You think that it’s easy, you come back after a lazy flying attempt and you tell me that you can’t do it. You are a little condor. Your mind is small, your wings are weak, and your willpower is sluggish. Small, weak and sluggish are your choices. Now you need to make a decision. Are you staying there? Are you going to blame the circumstances, blame the fields, blame the mice and frogs that they are just not there at the right time for you? Will you blame me that I did not train you enough? These are your circumstances and your decisions. You don’t own your circumstances, but you should own your decisions, baby condor. You’re a young condor and you can own how you train, how you fly, how you prepare. You can make your own decision how to respond to the uncontrollable. Own it. Be who you want to be. Do what it takes. Try. Once you have used all the lessons I taught you, then come and tell me that you can’t do it. Then come and tell me that you were not born to fly high, fast and sharp. Then tell me it’s not for you. But until you try hard enough and don’t put the blame on what’s around you, you don’t know what you can and can’t do. If you don’t want to follow my route, it’s fine. You can be the average condor that one day will starve its wings that were born for high mountains. Or the one from whom other smart, disciplined eagles will pluck the food in the fields before you manage to open your eyes. Or the one that a smarter human will shoot. You don’t have to stand out. You don’t have to be me. But whatever you decide, own it. Tell me I want to be as I have CHOSEN. Tell me, I am happy to be the average little condor, I am okay to starve at times, sleep at times, eat the leftovers. I just want to get by. Then, I will understand that this was your choice, the choice that you own. It takes a lot of effort to fly high. You don’t have to follow the high-flyers’ route but CHOOSE and don’t tell me ‘I can’t’. You can, but only if you want to, if it’s your decision.”
The little condor listened to the wise old mother condor and did not understand the talk yet. The mother condor was, however, one of the greatest in the valley in which they lived. She flew to the mountains and showed her her fast wings again, the speed, the swing, the flair of an condor’s wings and how far and fast she could fly. She shouted, “Come, try it once, follow me, try the high speed and high mountains, and then tell me if it’s really not for you!”
The little condor did not understand but she followed the wise mother condor.
She turned around and saw her little one flying slowly, at her own speed, higher and higher, faster and faster, opening her eyes wider, sharpening her sight, and the wise mother thought, “No one really wants to settle for mediocrity once they have tried the high speed, seen the views of tall mountains, used the wisdom of their own wings to their full capacity… no one; at least, I doubt it.”
And so she wanted to show the little condor what was ahead, what was possible, how wide and fast her wings could be. But then after the wise lessons, she left the little condor to herself, to decide how she wanted to live.
Make a decision. Own it. You truly don’t have to fly high, see the tall mountains, do more than is needed to get by. But own your decision and don’t blame the circumstances.
This story has been inspired by amazing Colca Canyon condors. A wonder to watch. Picture was taken in 2016 - Peru, Andeas Condors.
PS. Enjoyed the story? I'd appreciate it if you re-share with your network.