As I was driving down the road the other day, I was listening to one of my new CDs, “Even Eagles Need a Push” by Dave McNally, I remembered one of my favorite quotes by Mark Twain: “Comfort makes cowards of us all.”
Yes, even eagles need a push from time to time, especially when they are young. They need that first little nudge out of the nest in order to fly. There is a lot of preparation for this first flight. The adults will help in this process. In the beginning, eaglets move around the nest, first walking, then running or stomping for a short distance to strengthen their legs and feet. They need powerful feet and talons to spring into flight, to land on a branch and perch, and to grasp prey and carry it out of the water.
Eventually, the eaglets walk out alone and perch on a branch outside the nest. Perching on a branch could be seen as building strength and confidence in the young eagles. And once they fledge, it is up to them. From that point on, they have no one to push them, to encourage them. Instinct takes over.
Unlike eagles, we are not instinct driven. We often get comfortable at certain levels and don’t soar as high as we could. Our comfort makes us stop soaring to new heights. We listen to others who are afraid to try new things and take refuge in their “comfort” too. Others have allowed comfort to make them cowards; they have stopped challenging themselves, stopped moving forward.
I believe it is your job to continually nudge yourself. Yes, sometimes you need to give yourself a nudge to keep from getting comfortable aka complacent. If necessary, find people who will give you a nudge when you need it. Find A Way, a goal buddy, a group, a team. Give yourself a nudge, prod, shove, push. Challenge yourself to go beyond! As for me, I plan on nudging myself until I am old and gray. (Okay, so I am a little gray now.) Okay, until I am old and gray at the same time. And I mean, old, like 103, just like Jiminy Cricket. And if I live to be 103, I’ll be nudging myself all the way. I will not let comfort make a coward of me.