Lessons from the Bird in the Tree

selfBe yourself …they say
Do your thing …they say
Put your best foot forward …they say
Let your light shine …they say
Don’t worry about the naysayers …they say

The world needs that special gift that only you have …they…
…well, ok, Marie Forleo says that

Yes, “they” say a lot.

Sometimes encouraging words can help lift us to push forward.But sometimes detracting words can help to deflate our drive.

Doing Your Own Thing

When you start doing your own thing, people will have their opinions of what you’re doing. One way to not let the naysayers get you down is to become detached from the effects of people’s opinions. It doesn’t mean give up and don’t talk to anybody and be a hermit. Just change your default reaction to other people’s comments. If bad comments come your way?  Be detached from them.

But also…
If good comments come your way – Also be detached as the default.

After recognizing good comments, sure, you can soak them in after the fact, but still keep a detachment.


Because the core reason for doing your own thing is you.
Not what other people think.
Not to get good comments.
To make yourself better.
To improve.
To make the world around you a better place.

So yes, even if a good comment comes your way, sure, enjoy it, soak it in some.  But be detached just enough so that your reason for motivation is inside you and don’t be dependent upon what other people think.

The Bird in the Tree

An analogy paraphrased from Elliot Hulse.

So early one morning, the sun is rising and way up in the tree, a tiny bird is just singing its little bird heart out.  Chirping it’s melody that anybody can hear.

A person passing by hears the bird singing.  This person really likes the bird’s song.  And the person exclaims,

“Oh bird, thank you so much for your melody, I just love your chirping bird-voice and the song that you sing!  Your singing has truly made my day!”

[Sidenote:  So we’re not in a Disney movie where birds talk or anything, this is reality.  Go out one morning, find a bird that’s singing a beautiful song, and tell the bird what you think of the song, then come back here and report what the bird replied to you.]

So yeah, the bird…the bird doesn’t care that the person heard the song.  The bird doesn’t care that the person liked the song.  The bird doesn’t care that the person gave them wonderful compliments.  The bird doesn’t care how many “likes” they got like or how many Twitter followers they have. bird3

The bird is motivated from inside.
The bird is just doing what the bird does.
He’s a bird.
And he makes songs.

Then a second person walks along and hears the bird.  This person doesn’t like the bird’s song.  This person exclaims,

“Bird! I hate your song! You woke me up this morning! Why don’t you go sing and chirp somewhere else! I can’t stand your stupid bird-song that you sing over and over again!”

The bird doesn’t care.
The bird is detached enough from the comments of the world.
The bird is still motivated from the inside and sings its little bird-heart out just as much as before.
The bird isn’t affected by the person’s comments.

bird1Example of a Bird doing his thing despite
a couple of people objecting to what he is doing

Be the Bird

So as you go and do your thing.

Some people will like it.
Some people will hate it.
But you go and do your thing because it is your path.

Sure, we care about other people.
But our motivation, our drive, we do it because it’s inside of us.
And not what other people think.

A caring bird.
But not being affected by a grouch

Now go and do your thing.
And do it the best you can.
And sing your little-bird-heart out.


A Dance. Or Two. A Night on the Water Under the Moon.

A young man set out from his hometown to experience the world.  He was seeking answers to life, some answers to questions that he could not quite verbalize.  As he traveled from town to village to town, he watched the different people and asked and wondered about how they came to their place in life.

Upon entering one village, he saw a man, somewhat older, but it was the way the man carried himself that caught the younger man’s attention.  He was able to catch up to the man in conversation one day and he asked him about life and how the older man was able to have an air of experience, depth, and maturity about him.

The older man chuckled, “Oh, I don’t think we have enough time for all of that, but I can tell you a tale.”

With a twinkle in his eye, the older man began…

There once was a younger man, not unlike yourself, questioning his place in the world.  This man had been through experiences of many types, worked in many villages and areas. He had created, improved, made a dent in the world in some ways.  He had loved and lost.  He had tried to be honorable.  And he wanted to discover more.

One trip he was hunting well out away from his home, but not having much luck, when he found himself in an unfamiliar wilderness.  There was wildlife with which he wasn’t familiar.  Being in new surroundings, he found the refuge of a cave to wait things out.  But while in the cave, he pondered his situation and said to himself,  “I am afraid of no man or animal, I am going back out there!”

Back outside, it was now dark.  He could hear the other wildlife, but in the distance, he saw a light flicker.  His previous fears were no longer an issue as he continued toward this flickering light.  As he got closer, he realized it wasn’t just a light, but he beheld, an angel.  A beautiful angel, as she wore a flowing dress and had a flicker in her eyes.  He took her by the hand as they went for a walk.  And under the shimmering stars, they could hear music.  They moved together, as if in a dance.  It was as if the wilderness, the wildlife, any of it, was no longer there.  As the music came to an end, they walked and talked.  Then the music began another time, and they danced once again.  After this, the man said to the angel, “I would like to see you again.”  Her eyes sparkled and she replied, “Oh yes! I’d like that!”  Meet me back here near the fountain.

The next day, the man traveled to the fountain, looked around, but did not find the angel.  He called out to her, but no reply.  A second day, he made a second trip to the fountain.  He looked again, called out again, but again, nothing.  A third day, he traveled to the fountain once again.  But at the fountain he did not find her and calling out to her brought no response.

The man stopped, paused, and cried out as if in a prayer saying, “A dance. Or two.  If this is living, then I have lived. And I cherish these moments.”

Just then, he hears a voice.  Her voice!  She’s calling out to him.  He calls out to her, “I can’t see you!”  Her voice is coming from the fountain.  She explains that she is not able to be with him right now, but is able to talk to him briefly.  But in a few days, she would be able to return to see him once again.

Each day, he travels to the fountain, calls out to her, and they converse once again, counting the days until they may be together again.  They talked about many things, one of which was her situation.  She explained that although she dwelled in another place, she could come visit him, and wanted to.  But also, the day would come at some unknown time in which she would even leave her current place and travel to a far off realm to where she used to be.  He would not be able to go with her to this new realm, but in the meantime they could be together.

moon_waterAfter several days, the meeting day arrives.  He arrives at the fountain and this time finds her.  They take each other hand in hand, just as before and walk together.  They come to a lake and on the shore of the lake is a small boat.  They ride out in the boat as she describes different things of nature to him.  Things about the ducks, the other animals, and more.  The sun is setting just perfectly, a waxing three-quarter moon is clearly visible in the night sky, an Italian love song can be heard across the lake, all seemed perfect.  The angel, sitting next to the man, relaxed slightly and snuggled up into his arms ever so slightly.  The sun finally set, the stars came out, the temperature was perfect, the water on the lake still as glass as they floated across…together.

Upon reaching the shore, they walked some more, back toward the fountain, talking so easily as always.  At the fountain, the man said, “I’d like to see you some more.”  Once again her eyes sparkled as she replied, “Oh yes! I’d like that!”

The next day, he traveled to the fountain again and called out to her, but no reply.  A second day, he made the trip again, but again, no reply at the fountain from her.  On the third day after being together with her, he went out to the fountain, and called upon her once again.  This time he heard her voice as it was sweet to talk to her once again.  But something was different.  She said that the unknown time for her to travel to the far away realm had arrived.  It wasn’t expected, but she had to leave to go back to where she had been before.

And with that, she was gone.

The man dropped to his knees, cried out in a prayer, this time with a tear in his eye, but a sweet remembrance of their time together.  He said, “A dance. Or two.  A night on the water under the moon.  If this be living, then I have lived! And I cherish these moments.”

The young man stared across the table at the older man in silence.  He didn’t know what to say.  Where was the happy ending?  Where was the solution?  What about the future?  Or was the gift in the present moments at the time?

The younger man thanked the older man, continued on his journey, but now…

…he had new wonderments he hadn’t contemplated.