I am still working on the effects of some powerful training last week as the result of Ray Higdon’s interview with Russ Whitney. Both of these men are on a quest, each their own. And wouldn’t each of us want to have an understanding of the quests that are waiting to be tapped into in our lives? The focus of Russ Whitney’s life journey is to help people find their “Purpose” and from that purpose is derived ones passions or if you are an a highly driven individual, your “burning desire.”
Maybe you are already filled with your burning desire. I know I have at various stages in my life been filled with a great passion to accomplish things, but as I get past 51 years of age, I would like to know how ‘connecting the dots of life looking backwards’ (refer to Steve Job’s Stanford University commencement speech) can better reveal my purpose and design, that which, if understood more clearly could either magnify your desire or possibly alter your course or how you are running your life or your business.
So how do we get to turkeys?
In lieu of Whitney’s new book, “Inner Voice,” (which I do not have yet) I decided to come back to a book I am still working myself through and that is Stephen Mansfield’s “Mansfield’s Book for Manly Men.” Not that the book isn’t very engaging, it is, but I’ve been so busy.
Through the book Mansfield highlights several characteristics “manly” traits and how they can be applied to your life should you be seeking some void filling. One of the traits is one of QUEST. QUEST seems invariably tied to Purpose. Throughout the book he reveals several lesser or unknown but very powerful stories about famous historical figures and shows how they overcame tragedy and diversity.
Here, I wanted to draw upon his description of turkeys. Not only is it historically relevant and makes a great little story to read to my children but it also serves as an alert not to become one of the domesticated kind.
“QUEST” (the chapter introduction from Stephen Mansfield’s “Book for Manly Men”)
IF YOU ARE A HUNTER, YOU MAY ALREADY KNOW WHY SOME OF our founding fathers wanted the national symbol to be the turkey rather than the eagle. As beautiful as they are, eagles are scavengers.The founding fathers were men still taming a wilderness, and they knew this. They weren’t impressed. They were impressed with the turkey. If you have ever hunted turkeys, you were probably impressed too.
They are unbelievably fast creatures, capable of running twenty-five miles per hour and flying at speeds up to fifty-five miles per hour. They are also smart and constantly on the alert. Hunters like to say a deer thinks every hunter is a tree stump but a turkey thinks every tree stump is a hunter. They can be hard to find, harder to kill, and then, just to be ornery, turkeys make themselves hard to clean after they’re dead. There are as many as fifty-five hundred feathers on an adult turkey.
This is the wild turkey, though. The domesticated turkey is another story. They are idiots, perhaps the dumbest animals alive. Domesticated turkeys will eat themselves to death unless someone stops them. If thunder frightens them, they will often bunch up in one corner of their pen and suffocate each other.
Interesting, isn’t it? In the wild, turkeys are amazing. When domesticated, turkeys are so stupid they have to be kept from accidentally killing themselves a dozen different ways.
Gentlemen, let’s admit it: most of us are tragically overdomesticated. We have hardly any connection to the wild or our wilder selves. Words like adventure, exploit, and quest no longer apply to us. It is why we are soft, whiney, and bored.
(Here Mansfield launches into a few relevant quotes and for the sake of space and time I will offer you the last which is from a woman, Helen Keller. I wouldn’t want to to think that women are neither capable nor culpable to the same strengths and weaknesses)
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
– from Helen Keller, from The Open Door (1957)
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