These days, I can’t help but think of the story of a baby eagle who fell from his nest high up on a cliff, and landed on the ground next to a bunch of baby chickens.
Upon hitting the ground, the baby eagle struggled to stand and cried for help.
The mamma chicken saw what happened and ran over and immediately, took the baby eagle under her wing.
For the next many years, the baby eagle grew up with a bunch of baby chickens and learned how to be a chicken.
One day, he was at school and saw an eagle soaring high in the sky …
As they all looked up and watched the beauty and power flying above, he said to everyone: ‘one day I will soar like an eagle.’
But they all laughed at him and said:
‘it’s not possible because chickens can’t fly …’
When I lived in Tokyo, one of the first friends I met was a banker.
One night this friend invited me out for dinner and surprised me with my first and only visit to a strip club.
My new friend explained he had a big expense account as a trader and loved strippers so he used the strip club to entertain his clients.
I’m not gonna lie… I will never forget that evening.
I was just a naive, sweet 25 year old who dreamed of becoming a great man.
As I chatted with two completely naked women, “Candy” and her best friend “Jezabel”, I understood very well that spending my time in such an environment would only distract me from where I wanted to go.
To this day, I can still remember that feeling of shame I felt when I walked out of the club onto the busy street in Tokyo…
I tried many times to get my buddy to stop wasting his time and money at strip clubs, but he kept telling me how he loved strippers, and they loved him.
We slowly stopped speaking and I never saw him again.
Years later, he was one of the first people to send me a congratulations message after I swam the English Channel.
I didn’t know, but he had been following my blog so knew about my swim.
Over the couple emails we exchanged, he told me he just got divorced from his 2nd wife, but joked that he still loved the strippers and they still loved him….
We didn’t keep in touch, however, the following year, he called the office in Dubai to congratulate me after I completed my “7 ironman in 7 days” challenge.
During our call he told me that everyone in his company knew about me; how he often sent my blog to people on his team.
A couple months later, someone from his office called to tell me that my ol’ buddy, a father of 3 who I know was a multimillionaire — only 48 years old… had a heart attack and died.
I’m not saying it was his love of strippers that killed him.
Just wondering out loud how things might have been had my buddy listened to me back in Tokyo…
Too many people are brought down, distracted, even held back just because they waste their time in the wrong environment surrounded by the wrong people.
NOW is the time to reflect on everything and everyone in our lives.
Is your environment and the people you spend the most time with a true reflection of who you are meant to be?
Have you become just another eagle who thinks they’re a chicken?