Friday, August 06, 2010

Think Like An Eagle

by Jonathan N. Doringuez
Good Evening, fellow toastmasters!

What comes to your mind when you hear the word Eagle? A large powerful bird swooping down and snatching its prey? Or maybe you imagine a beautiful and noble bird with very likable qualities. Or you may say, eagles are all predators or raptors, they are excellent fliers, and they all have excellent vision. They are birds that have strong backbone, hooked bills and strong grasping feet. Actually, eagles are all of those and more.

Eagles are monogamous. They keep one mate for life and use the same nest each year. They tend to nest in inaccessible places, incubating a small clutch of eggs for six to eight weeks. The young mature slowly, reaching adult plumage in the third or fourth year.

Eagles never flock. They select the tallest trees of the forest, the topmost cliff of the mountain; and pairs live in wilderness, hunting and feeding separately, whenever possible carrying their prey to the nest so that the young may gain strength and experience by tearing at it and feeding themselves.

There are three characteristics that Eagles have that are worth emulating and should serve as our inspiration specially during testing times.

1. Eagles have excellent vision. Eagles have a keen vision. Their eyes are specially designed for long distance focus and clarity.

This reminds me of my younger brother. In 2000, he became a mechanical engineer. He loves his profession. He has a passion for design and mechanical assembly. At the start of his job-hunting he asked me, What questions do recruiters normally ask to a new graduate? I told him, How do you see yourself three to five or even 10 years from now? He answered, 3 years from now I will become a supervisor, and in 10 years, I will be working in the biggest engineering firm in the world. To his excitement, he wrote his answer in a piece of paper and rehearsed it almost every day until he was able to memorize it. On February 2001, three months after his oath-taking as an engineer, he was accepted in JGC (Japan Gas Corporation), one of the top engineering firms in the world with a branch office in Alabang. Three years after, he became a senior engineer and part of his responsibility was to supervise his junior engineers. Six years later, he got married and they had a child. Today, he is working in the US and got his job in one of the biggest oil and gas engineering firm in the world, located in Houston, Texas, USA.

2. Eagles are excellent flyers.

What do eagles do when they experience a storm? They fly above the clouds and glide, seeming to rejoice in their strength of flight and freedom of the upper air until the storm has passed. They use the strong winds to their advantage; and aided by their strong wings and great determination, they overcome whatever storm comes their way.

Last May 2010, my brother lost his job. On the first week, he seems to be okay and relaxed. He enjoyed his time with his family. His savings can make him stay for the next six months. On the second week, he asks us to pray. While talking to him, I learned he never lost his vision. I told him that, like a storm, this season is just temporary. He continues to search for a job, calling his friends asking if there are vacancy in there company. For six weeks, there was no result. He started to worry, knowing that he is paying his bills for his apartment, car and other appliances. Until one came along - his former boss called him, asking if he is willing to work in Illinois. My brother replied with a resounding yes. They talked and negotiated; and they ended up signing a work contract. My brother receives a higher salary than he used to have and because the job is in Illinois, he also receives a daily allowance from his new employer. He is now working in Bechtel Corporation, the largest engineering firm in the US.

3. Eagles have vitality. An eagle is full of life and has the power to endure. By the time an eagle reaches about 30 years, life gets hard. Its physical condition deteriorates to the point where survival is difficult: His feathers molt and fall out. His beak also falls off, as even so his claws and talons do likewise. The eagle retreats to a mountaintop, and over a five-month period, goes through a metamorphosis. This is the most difficult part of the life of an eagle - no food, no hunt and the body is aching. Each stage produces a re-growth of the removed feathers, allowing the eagle to live for another 30–40 years.

Sometimes in life, that difficulty is never meant to destroy you or harm you but to give you strength. Losers focus on the difficulties, but winners focus on how to respond to the situation. Sometimes what we’re going through is simply a stage that tells us we are about to reach our destination.

Today, you may be facing obstacles that look huge, maybe you, too, may have tried and failed. Life makes no promises that the obstacles will get any smaller but there’s one thing I’m sure of - you can get bigger, you have the power to survive the storm. Think like an eagle, have a powerful vision. Be strong, and be determined like a warrior. Believe that you can outlast every adversity that comes your way. I challenge you to go with a fire burning in your heart, become the person you want to be. Whenever you face difficulty, don’t focus on what you’re going through but focus on where you want to be. Good Evening.

- Basic Speech No. 2, Organize Your Speech, Delivered 22 July 2010

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