Jonathan Livingston the seagull
Some books transform when we read them again. These include Richard Bach's bestseller *Jonathan Livingston the Seagul". A beautiful book that evolves as we evolve. There is hardly any other fable that describes the path to success so well. The advantage of the fable: It is "only" a story. It only speaks to us if we want it and allows it.
Jonathan Livingston the Seagull is about the outsiders of human society. From the successful. And many, especially in Europe, do not dare to belong to these outsiders. They'd rather blend in with the crowd. But is that why we are here in this world? And don't the masses have other, more banal, boring problems?
You may know the book, but I encourage you to read it (again). If you already know the story, you will certainly read it differently today. It may not be a new book for you, but it will certainly have evolved. Just like you. Now, let's pick out some key points from this book.
Jonathan Livingston the seagull is no ordinary bird. For them, flying is not just a means of getting food. Just like working is not primarily to make money. Rather, Jonathan wants to realize himself. And in doing so, he risks not wanting to be the way everyone else would like him to be. Which his parents see with great concern.
Especially the parents try to convince Jonathan that he is not made for success. And when it comes to defeats, Jonathan has doubts. Maybe his parents are right. Maybe it's all just folly. Jonathan is tempted to give up. Giving up also promises a great advantage: there would finally be a rest from all ambition, from all learning, from all striving. Finally one could only live. No more disappointments ...
By following the development of the seagull Jonathan, we realize: that these doubts are perfectly normal. You don't disqualify us. Everyone has weak moments. Everyone has hours of self-doubt. Yes, not just hours, whole phases. But we mustn't let that bring us to our knees.
After Jonathan swore in a weak moment, to live like a normal seagull from now on and not to do any more flight exercises, he breaks this promise without hesitation. We can cast off oaths and resolutions that restrict us without hesitation. Why should we let them hold us captive in a prison?
Jonathan says wisely: “Such oaths are only for seagulls that are content with mediocrity. Once you have experienced the extraordinary, you can no longer be bound by the norms of the average. ' What a beautiful sentence. And indeed, Jonathan is learning to fly better. He reaches new speeds and realizes: This is power, beauty, and pure happiness.
With the first success, Jonathan recognizes something very important: Flying high can be learned. Translated for us: Top performance can be learned. When we finally break free from working to make money. When instead we work to benefit others. With what we are particularly good at and what we enjoy. Only with that. Of course, those around us didn't see it that way at first.
Jonathan is accused of irresponsibility by the Seagull Council and he is expelled. Does that make Jonathan sad? no The only thing that makes him sad is that he can't explain to the others what they're missing. He continues to train, his skills are perfected. He no longer has to fight for waste to feed himself. He gets the most delicious treats and he paid a price for it, yes. But he now lives a truly livable life. We can say: That practically on the side he is doing better and better.
And then something happens that every successful person has experienced at some point in their life: Great teachers and coaches come into Jonathan's life. Suddenly they are there: two beaming birds that can fly just as well as he can. No, even better. And they say what all coaches say: we came to take you higher, we'll take you home. Isn't that a beautiful sentence too? I call it: Become the person you are.
Suddenly Jonathan has new goals, and again they seem out of reach. He understands what his new teachers are saying: one apprenticeship is over, and the time has come to start anew in another. Isn't that the case in our lives too? When we become masters, we become disciples again. Jonathan realizes: He can fly even higher. It's time to go home. He simply says, "I am ready".
Jonathan makes a quantum leap. He can double the best performances of his "earth days". And for the first time, he comes to a point where he no longer wants to accept any limits. Before that, he just pushed the boundaries. advanced. Now that he's in performance heaven, he doesn't want any limits. Do you know that feeling? Is something like this realistic?
And oddly enough, this new desire to live without borders finally makes Jonathan feel at home. Everyone is like him up here. No one accepts borders, so none of them have any. He feels welcome. Of course, Jonathan doesn't stop practicing. He keeps going. Lifelong learning. You know that. But now he feels understood. Everyone here is like him: they strive for the highest perfection.
As painful as the separation from his family and crush was, heaven is merciful. Jonathan forgets everything before. Only very rarely do the memories come up and then he asks one of his teachers: "Where is everyone? Why aren't more of us here?” And then comes an answer that all successful people have to accept at some point: “You're the big exception. Most only live for the moment. You must understand that there is more to life than eating and fighting”.
I still remember the first time I thought: I want to be able to do my job fully. For me, it was about speaking on stage. Mind you: not error-free. I never wanted to be perfect, but to enchant. Enchanting in the sense of Encouraging people to question the laws that limit their own lives. If I could do that, I would be a little closer to perfection. Is that measured?
Jonathan realizes: that perfection knows no bounds. And again a new door opens for him. So far he just had to practice. He didn't have to believe in success. If he practiced enough, he could learn it. But now he realizes: "You can go anywhere, you just have to want it."
Suddenly it's not about doing anymore. It's about being. The wise teacher says to Jonathan, "Perfect speed, my son, means being fully there." It is no longer a question of achievement. Now it's about faith. Being where we want to be one day. Flight of thought in Jonathan's language. Translated for us: We strive our whole lives to achieve things. Until we someday have the really big experiences that we're just in.
"To fly at the speed of thought, you must know before you begin that you have already arrived there." To achieve this, we must stop seeing ourselves as prisoners. Jonathan learns his last great lesson. Finally, he has accomplished the flight of thought. His teacher says: “Of course, it worked. It always succeeds when you know exactly what you want.”
Isn't that a wonderful goal? Isn't it worth learning and training all your life to experience this feeling - at least from time to time? Maybe that's what Whitney Houston means: "One moment in time... I will feel eternity...", that one moment in our time when we touch eternity. Jonathan realizes, “I am. I am a perfect seagull, boundless by nothing.” No Boundaries (pp. 56-67).
Anyone who has learned so much will want to pass on their knowledge. Jonathan realizes: If he had known then, in the beginning, only a tenth, only a hundredth of what he knew now, how much more meaningful his life would have been! And he wonders if there might be another seagull down there trying to overcome its limits. Jonathan must share the truth he has come to know.
And so the story begins again. Again there is someone different from the other seagulls. Fletcher Lynd. He, too, has been mistreated by the crush because he doesn't want to conform to the norm of the average. He doesn't want to listen to folk wisdom, which has only one purpose: to keep people in the middle and thus make them manageable. In this way, they ensure that the average person does not have to feel bad. Because if everyone is only average, then the individual can be too. Jonathan begins coaching seagulls who want to be different: Free!
Again Jonathan encounters fears, doubts, and the desire to give up... This time not from himself, but his students. So he wants to give them spiritual tools. After the daily flight exercises, he explains the important things to his students: “We have to leave all limitations behind us.” But his students fall asleep. None of them can believe in the flight of thoughts. And so they initially miss the most important thing of all: “Break through the limitations of your thinking.” That is the key message in every serious coaching.
Jonathan begins with the simple things: that we live to fulfill our purpose in life. (That seagulls are for flying, not flying for food.) That the true nature of our being is freedom. And that we must discard everything that stands in the way of this freedom (mores, customs, and any restrictions).
What do we experience when we want to pass on this knowledge? Jonathan's disciples answer: "How can you expect us to fly like you? You are a chosen one…” Jonathan responds, referring to other students who are already doing well: “They are no different from us. No different from me. The only difference is that they are beginning to see their true nature and have started to act on it.” Another wonderful sentence!
Jonathan muses, "Why is it so difficult to convince a bird of its freedom?" But that, too, takes practice. Everything is practice. And it never stops. For some, this is discouraging. But maybe you can see it differently: As long as it doesn't stop, we're alive.
Fletcher eventually takes Jonathan's place. He becomes a teacher. And when he gives his first lessons, he realizes that Jonathan was not "more divine" than himself. "The path to knowledge was trodden. The struggle in constant learning had begun.”
Abundance is your birthright.
- If you don't own the book yet, buy it: Richard Bach "Jonathan Livingston Seagull”.
Read or listen to the book when you are calm. Only a few pages. And write down your findings. The book is too good to just read as a story. That's why I took the liberty of pointing out one or the other point to you.
- Who can you give the book to? Who can you discuss it with? When are you a student, and when are you a teacher?
- What is the unattainable flight of thoughts for you at the moment?
Note your limits. We can only dissolve borders if we first honestly recognize them as such.
- Do you think Jonathan's fable describes the path we all take? So yours too? Why do you think that? Or: why not?
- Make a note of when you want to read the book again – in about a year.
- What have you learned in the last year? (success journal)
- Note five successes