Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 58 seconds

As I left my office in the dark, (not a rare occurrence) I discovered a large smudge on a window I had cleaned just a day before. It looked like a bird had hit the glass really hard. Rather than get upset or clean it up quickly, I left it there as a sign, I decided to work on figuring out the deeper meaning after sleeping on it.

Better prepared in the morning light, I approached the scene of the crime like a crash reconstruction specialist. I was able to find a few small feathers on the ground that had not blown away. Once I fully grasped the magnitude of what had happened, I was able to ponder the big picture. Here is my recap of the incident and what I learned from it.

The impact

Oh my god!

Oh my God!

There must have been a tremendous thud as the oblivious pigeon hit the window. Stunned and dazed it looked like she was in full flight. A pounce pattern left by the impact was exact, made by some sort of natural powder from the feathers and scratch from the beak and talons. She must have flown off because there was no bird carcass to be found.

One can merely speculate what was said in bird at that moment of realization. Luckily, the tempered glass held its ground. Was a lesson learned? Oh, I guarantee it.

How often do we unexpectedly end up hitting the proverbial wall? When I do, it’s time to recalibrate my sights, learn from the experience, catch my breath, shake it off and get right back to being engaged in and living life.

This bird clearly did not see the glass until it was too late.

  • Perhaps she wasn’t paying attention.
  • Perhaps I cleaned the glass too well.
  • Perhaps it was startled by something and distracted.
  • Perhaps this is a first time encounter with glass.
  • Perhaps the seeds it was eating were so damn good that the risk to reward ratio was skewed.
  • Perhaps she casually scouted out the clean getaway instead of doing her homework.

I know in my life, things have been rushed lately. The signs are always there, taking the time to see them and interpret them has been scarce. In my new model I am slowing down to figure things out a bit more before I fly off in an unfamiliar direction.

Things I have learned from this bird’s crash.

  • Intense pushy people are a rotten fit for me and my company.
  • There may in fact be a pony in the dark shed of horse shit. I clearly don’t need that pony, let it be.
  • There are people capable of lying to my face, when caught and confronted don’t see it as a big deal.
  • Calm mature professionals with experience are a godsend.
  • Listen to my trusted advisers, they have my back.
  • Many good people are inexorably tied to my vision of success.
  • I do my best creative work when I am focused, plan ahead, am not distracted, or startled.
  • Being the best at what I do is a worthy endeavor.
  • Being fully involved in doing what I love is priceless.

As far as life lessons go, this was a wakeup call. Like the rock climber doing an ascent, I took a “mental drink of water” to interpret the signs which allows me the luxury of figuring out my next few solid moves. I am a wealthy man in that I have the time to ponder, and wisdom to learn from mistakes.