I was born and raised on a ranch near a large reservoir on the beautiful front range of Colorado. The reservoir’s primary function is for city water. However, there is something unique about this reservoir in the Denver Metro Area. It is home to a pair of bald eagles.
Standley Lake Regional Park in Westminster, Colorado has preserved a nesting site for these eagles since 1992. Oddly enough, this is the same year I was born.
Preserving bald eagle nesting sites is important because they mate for life and reuse their nests. Once an endangered species, our respect and preservation for this extraordinary bird have been successful. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the bald eagle was removed from the endangered species list in 2007 and is flourishing across the nation.
So at this point, you may be asking, why is a Product Development Engineer writing about bald eagles?
Well, this month has been quite a bumpy ride in my entrepreneurial journey. If you are familiar with Paul Graham’s Start-Up curve, you are familiar with the Trough of Sorrow and Crash of Ineptitude.
I hit the Crash of Ineptitude this month. Hitting the Crash of Ineptitude is an important part of an entrepreneur’s journey, so I have not been discouraged. I like to see it as a right of passage to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
This month has also been unique in the fact that I have seen over 10 bald eagles, six of those sightings occurred within a week of each other. Reflecting back on my life on the ranch, I’d be lucky to see one a year!
So what does this mean? Why are all of these bald eagles appearing in the sky? Did the population of bald eagles dramatically increase in the past year? Have I been blind to bald eagles in the past? Or is there some level of spiritual significance to this influx of sightings?
I’ve always believed that there is a level of energy interacting with humans that we cannot directly prove or understand. Whether or not this level of energy comes from a higher power or an alternate dimension is a separate discussion. But from my perspective, there is something beyond what us humans can comprehend.
So let’s explore what these bald eagle sightings mean.
I jumped onto the internet and did some research into the Native American culture surrounding bald eagles. The eagle is sacred to the Native American people and represents leadership, courage, wisdom, and strength. Across all cultures, the eagle has routinely conveyed these attributes. History suggests eagle sightings have commonly been a symbol for strength throughout mankind.
Now, I’d like to connect my own dots from symbolic eagle methodology to modern entrepreneurship.
An eagle is the leader of its class
The eagle is the largest predatory bird in the world. It is considered the chief. Entrepreneurs should strive to be the leaders in their class. The business world is cutthroat, and not everyone will survive. Those most likely to survive, are the ones large and strong enough to face difficulties when the competition or environment is working against them. Aim for the top, because chances of survival are easiest from above.
An eagle has extraordinary vision
The eyes of an eagle are eight times sharper than that of a human. Their ability to see far distances allows them to conserve energy and make decisions from further away. An entrepreneur should always look ahead and gain insight before making decisions. Long term vision will guide you even when the present is tough. Risk and moments of attack are better executed with long term planning. Patience, risk-aversion, and efficient decisions can all be achieved with extended vision.
An eagle has freedom
The eagle’s ability to soar above other birds and its sheer size limit the number of threats that can detain it. Entrepreneurs have the freedom to take their business wherever they want. However, with freedom, comes great responsibility. Entrepreneurs must be self-accountable with their decisions and use of time. Too much vacation time or laziness with decisions will at some point lead to failure. Use freedom wisely by fostering the eagle’s strength and vision.
An eagle is an excellent symbol for entrepreneurship and life. I believe that analyzing this bird can lead to greatness. But all this analysis still begs the question: Is there truly a meaning behind my increase of bald eagle sightings in the same month I hit the Crash of Ineptitude? I believe so.
A quote from Trish Phillips in her article titled Fly Like the Eagle really hit home for me:
“When Eagle appears to you it means that you are being put on notice. Eagle totems appear to inspire (push) you to reach higher and become more than you think you are capable of. They tell you to be courageous and really stretch your limits and see what you can do. They bring a sense of courage and a desire to explore and grow.”
“The lesson of the eagle is to take a look from where it sees. You must have the courage to relinquish stale and comfortable habits and beliefs to soar into unknown realms and new realities - continually expanding your view. Now is the time to take full responsibility for your life and be prepared for instant destiny. As your spiritual awareness increases, the positive and negative ramifications will become more immediate and have greater force.” - Trish Phillips, www.pure-spirit.com.
This year, I will use the symbol of the eagle to guide my business. I believe that the most recent eagle sightings are a signal to persevere and have courage through tough times. I want to be a leader in Product Development, and the lessons from the bald eagle will help get me there. I encourage all entrepreneurs to use the spirit of the eagle for success. The eagle represents the United States of America and the American Dream for a reason!
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