The Ostrich, officially named “Struthio camelus” is the largest of the 8,600 bird species, which exist today. Reaching a height of up to 2.6m these birds can weigh up to 135kg, cannot fly, but are very fast runners.
The long-held myth is that ostriches bury their head in the sand when they are frightened. The Canadian Museum of Nature’s website states that- “If threatened while sitting on the nest, which is simply a cavity scooped in the earth, the hen presses her long neck flat along the ground, blending with the background. Ostriches, contrary to popular belief, do not bury their heads in the sand.”
The term “sticking your head in the sand” has come to mean that you choose to ignore a bad situation, and hope that it will go away on its own. The unfortunate reality is that most of us take that action (really, a lack of action) when faced with a challenge. Sticking your head in the proverbial sand also prevents you from finding out more information that might help resolve the issue.
Every day the local newspaper tells stories about how people are affected by situations, how their life has become a living horror because of something that happened to them. Unfortunately most of these situations were preventable, but a lack of action allowed it to occur.
As children we are brought up with “a stitch in time saves nine” and “prevention is the best medicine”, and these hold true for all of life’s situations. The hard part is doing something about a potential future disaster rather than waiting for it to happen and then becoming involved in a stressful situation.
When you see something on your horizon take action now. Face your fears, get information, and move yourself to do something.
All too often we look at successful people and wonder how they get all the luck. I recently came across this a few weeks ago with a gentleman I worked with. He is in his fifties and recently moved away from Calgary into semi-retirement on Vancouver Island. He had just bought a boat and a large property overlooking the water.
Someone commented to me “Well it’s alright for him. He has money!”
“Ahh yes!” I said, “but when he started dreaming about this ten years ago, he didn’t. You’re looking at his life nine and a half years into a ten year plan. No wonder it looks easy now, he’s basically at the finish line.”
No one became an “overnight success” without years of hard work before hand.
What was also interesting was how clear he could see his dreams even before they had materialised. Before he bought his boat he could visualise it, and he could even see where his dog would sleep. Having such a clear vision for what he wanted allowed him to know how to get there. He was able to take the right action because he knew where he wanted to end up. For many of us, it’s having that clear vision of where we want to go that’s the stumbling block.
When I asked the person who made the comment that this gentleman has “all the luck”, I asked her what she wanted for her future. “To be happy,” was the answer. But she couldn’t tell me what “happy” looked like.
To make your future dreams become a reality it’s important to imagine them, and see them clearly. You can’t shoot for a goal that you can’t see.
It’s time to take our collective heads out of the sand, get informed, dream about our future and face our fears.