A young mind recently asked me… 

“Do you ever feel like everyone around you thinks they know what's best for you?"  

I responded… “Great question let’s talk about Crows and Ravens”

What’s the Difference?

A wise person once asked me… “What’s the difference between a Crow and a Raven”?

I had no idea, so I said, “I don’t know, is one of them bigger or something?

He explained that both crows and ravens have small feathers under their wings called “pinions”.  These pinions evidently help the birds stabilize themselves when flying.  A crow has seven of these pinions and a raven only has six pinions. 

He then said something that forever changed the way I listened to people.  He shared that the difference between a crow and a raven is simply a matter of “a-pinion”.   

Opinions Matter

The point of the story is that everyone has opinions.  Some of them matter.  Some of them don't.  

Opinions provide us an opportunity to learn.  As humans, we’re wired to grow, create and build.  To do this effectively, we need to embrace learning.  Every day is an opportunity to learn and learning is an ongoing exercise in the game of life.

Good leaders embrace ongoing learning.  They are constantly working to make choices that are in their best interest and the best interest of those around them.  Good leaders understand, that to grow, they need to embrace the different perspectives and opinions around them.   

Good leaders embrace both the crows and the ravens. 

The Zoo around You

As humans, we want to learn.  We want to be confident, successful and able to navigate the tough times as well as the good times in life.  We want to live happy and fulfilling lives with a sense of purpose.  We want to live OUR lives and be inspired by the leaders in our lives.  In general, we want to be good humans, and we want to be ourselves.

However, today we live in a world where information flows and our lives are impacted at a far greater pace than at any point in the history of this world.  Opinions are everywhere.  We see them on the internet, in the people around us, on the news, on our phones, etc. 

Today, we live in a world full of crows and ravens. 

Pause for a Moment

I asked the young lady… “What world are you building for yourself?”

She thought for a moment and replied but her answer was vague and bit unclear. 

To manage the zoo around us today, we need to know our personal brand.  We need to know our values and have an understanding of what’s important to us.  We need to be precise and focused on what we’re building and creating for ourselves. 

To grow, we need to know our unique strengths and we need to understand the unique strengths in those around us. We need to position ourselves to clearly articulate who we are, where we’re headed and why we want to go there.  We need to position ourselves to manage the noise and opinions around us.

Pause for a moment. 

  • What’s your unique strength?
  • What’s your vision?
  • How do you define success?

Do you feel confident that you can articulate to others, with clarity, the answers to these questions?  

Get Your Focus On!

Life is game that will continuously throw you opportunities and obstacles.  Problems and opportunities will always coexist.  So, will opinions and the perspective of others. 

When your vision of the type of world that you are building for yourself is crystal-clear, you will position yourself to manage the noise around you.  You will clearly be able to see what is important and what isn’t.  You’ll see what matters and what doesn’t.

Pause... focus on yourself for a moment.  Answer the questions above.  Focus on what you have control over.  Give yourself the gift of time to learn who you are, where you want to go and why you want to go there. 

Take the time you need to build yourself a plan.  When that plan feels authentic to you, then act and go.  Get comfortable with the fact that you are on your own unique journey.  No two people are the same.  Let go of what you can’t control.  Noise, information and opinions will still flow.  Use the good and let the rest travel on by.

Enjoy your journey and focus on creating your world.

Embrace both the crows and ravens.  Maybe they're both trying to help you.  

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