Don't Send Your Ducks To Eagle School
Featured is a thought I learned in a Jim Rohn video, which made me laugh but it also has a strong message in it. The quote was “Don’t send your ducks to eagle school.” I mean just picture it… A mallard duck waddling up to Eagle school orientation, where it’s a fraction of the size of all the other birds, and is visibly out of place. The duck isn’t even close to meeting the physical standards of an eagle, and everyone including the duck knows from the onset that it’s set up to fail.
But what’s the underlying lesson to this idea? I think it’s a reflection on self-awareness. In what areas of our lives are we ducks, or working with others who are ducks, but the expectation is to perform like an eagle? Then when we don’t meet up to that expectation, how do we disappoint ourselves and others? It’s human to have many strengths and many weaknesses, and it’s important to know which are which for you and those around you. If you put people out of position, in areas where they’re simply not at their best, then of course there are going to be consequences. Sometimes we try to force fit things or expand roles because it’s the easiest thing to do. But that can be a disservice to everyone involved because it’s not the appropriate use of resources.
There are a few other similar phrases that elaborate on this thought like “Call a spade a spade”, or Einstein’s “If you measure a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life believing it is stupid.” Having the awareness to know when talents and skills meet needs, both for yourself and others, is an important learning.