Lessons from the Eagle 


Today, in line with our efforts at inspiring one another, we want to examine seven of the characteristics of one of the most astounding creatures of the Almighty – the eagle. The eagle is so spectacular that even the scriptures – God’s own very word – makes profound reference to this bird.

So let us take a look into the attributes or principles of this creature called the eagle, as culled from the December 2003 edition of the newsletter of the defunct Standard Trust Bank, before it went into a merger arrangement with UBA Plc. 

  1. The eagle flies alone at high altitudes

The eagle is not found among sparrows or mixing with other smaller birds. The cliché that birds of a feather flock together is true here. No other bird flies to the height the eagle does. Eagles cruise at altitudes at which only eagles cruise. And they never cruise in a flock. The Bible records that when Moses went to commune with God on the mountain, he left the crowd at the foothill and went alone. Stay away from sparrows and ravens. Eagles fly with eagles.

  • The eagle has strong vision

Its vision is said to focus up to five kilometres from the air. When an eagle sites prey –even a rodent – from this distance, he narrows his focus on it and sets out to get it, no matter the obstacle. The eagle will not shift his focus from his prey until he grabs it. Have a vision and remain focused no matter what the obstacle is, and you are on your way to Success Land.

  • The eagle eats no dead thing

Rather, he feeds on fresh prey. Vultures eat dead animals but not the eagle. Steer clear of out-dated information. Do your research well always and have a listening ear to the ground.

  • When clouds gather, the eagle gets excited

It is said that the eagle is the only bird that loves the storm. The eagle uses the wings of the storm to rise and is pushed up higher. He rides higher against the storm, not with it. Once he finds the wings of the storm, the eagle stops flapping and uses the pressure of the raging storm to soar through the clouds and glide. This gives the eagle an opportunity to rest his wings. In the meantime, all the other birds hide in the leaves and branches of the trees. We can use the storms of our lives (obstacles, troubles, etc) as stepping-stones to rise to greater heights. Achievers relish challenges and use them profitably. No cross, no crown; no pain no gain!

  • The eagle tests before he trusts

When a female eagle meets a male and they want to mate, she flies down to earth with the male pursuing her and picks a twig. She flies back into the air with the male still pursuing her. Once she has reached a height high enough for her, she lets the twig fall to the ground and watches it as it falls. The male chases after the twig. He must reach it and catch it before it falls to the ground, then brings it back to the female eagle. The female eagle grabs the twig and flies to a much higher altitude pursued by the male until she perceives it high enough, and then drops the twig for the male to chase.

This goes on for hours, with the height increasing until the female eagle is assured that the male eagle has mastered the art of picking the twig, which shows commitment. Then, and only then, will she allow him to mate with her! Whether in private life or in business, one should test the commitment of people intended for partnerships. It is on record that the eagle maintains only one sex partner throughout its lifetime and lives for about 120 years!

  • The eagle prepares for training

When about to lay eggs, the female and male eagles identify a place very high on a cliff where no predators can reach.The male flies to earth togather thorns and lays them on the crevice of the cliff to protect the nest from possible intruders. He then flies back to earth again to collect twigs, which he lays in the intended nest. He flies back to earth, pick thorns and lays them on top of the twigs. He flies back to earth again for soft grass to cover the thorns, and then flies back to pick rugs to put on the grass. When this first layering is complete, the male eagle runs back to earth and picks more thorns, lays them on the nest; runs back to get grass and rugs and lays them on top of the thorns, then plucks his feathers to complete the nest.

Both male and female eagles participate in raising the eagle family. She lays the eggs and protects them; he builds the nest and hunts. During the time of training the young ones to fly, the mother eagle throws the eaglets out of the nest and because they are scared, they jump right back into the nest. Next, she throws them out and then takes off the soft layers of the nest, leaving the thorns bare. When the scared eaglets jump into the nest again, thorns prick them. Shrieking and bleeding, they jump out again, this time wondering why the mother and father who love them so much are torturing them. Next, mother eagle pushes them off the cliff into the air. As they shriek in fear, father eagle flies out and picks them up on his back before they fall too far, and brings them back to the cliff.

This goes on for sometime until they learn to start flapping their wings, getting excited at this newfound knowledge that they can fly and not fall. Until then, the father and mother eagles support them with their wings.

The preparation of the nest teaches us to prepare for change; the preparation for the family teaches us that active participation of both partners leads to success; the act of being pricked by the thorns tells us that sometimes being too comfortable where we are may result into our not experiencing life, not progressing and not learning at all. The thorns of life come to teach us that we need to grow, get out of the nest and move on. We may not know it but the seemingly comfortable and safe haven may have thorns; the people who love us do not let us languish in sloth but push us hard to grow and prosper. Even in their seemingly bad actions, they have good intentions for us.

  • When the eagle feels weak, he retires to a place far away in the rocks

When the eagle grows old, his feathers become weak and cannot take him as fast as he would go. He thus retires to a place far in the rocks and while there, he plucks out every feather on his body until he is completely bare. He stays in this hiding place until he has grown new feathers, then he can come out. We occasionally need to shed off old habits and items that burden us without adding to our lives and come out with new ideas, perceptions and practices. It is called a paradigm shift.

We would do well to learn from and imbibe some of these traits, nay, all of them into our lives as we pursue self-development and a fulfilled life.