Chicken Lesson

I must have been in my teens, and my brother, in his early twenties. I remember him coming home one day with what looked like a cage. Apparently, he was going to start a poultry. All through that weekend, he cleared a spot in the garden and positioned the cage in it. He bought a few hens, a rooster and put some light bulbs in. initially, it all freaked me out but I soon got used to the idea. Even now, I remember how we used to check the cage for newly-laid eggs, which we sometimes ate. The thing though is, once the eggs, are eaten, that signified the end.

As time went on, my brother was no longer satisfied with the eggs being laid and eaten, he wanted continuity and so he decided to leave the eggs for the hen to hatch. So after many days of laying eggs, it got to a point where the hen sat on the eggs. It seemed like forever and we realised that this period is called ‘Incubation’.

Don’t ask me how or why, but I suddenly had this whole experience come up in my head a few days ago and I couldn’t help but seeing some life lessons in it. I went on to research eggs-incubation-hens-chics and everything else linked to the process and I found that it takes roughly 21 days to hatch the eggs. ‘21 days’ jumped at me and I will tell you why in a minute. More interestingly is the fact that the temperature of the environment had no bearing on what was being done by the hen. As long as the hen conditioned itself to maintain a certain temperature, the chics will emerge! In other words, be it summer, winter, spring or autumn, the hen simply needed to maintain a certain temperature to condition the eggs and the chics will emerge. The success of the process of creating new life was the responsibility of the hen and no one else.

How true is this of our life? Like the egg, we are full of ideas, seeds of potential and we can either stall it or choose to develop it. When we choose the latter, it’s also interesting to see that we determine the outcome of the process – we are responsible for maintaining the right temperature! ‘Our actions today have a bearing on our results tomorrow’. Many coaches will enlighten us to the importance of developing habit; many say it takes 21 days to form one (remember my inference to 21 days above?) the great thing though is that once the habit is formed, motivation is no longer require to carry out the tasks. Take for instance, jogging – until you form the habit, it will remain a struggle. But once you do, it becomes easier to get out of bed and get going.

As we countdown to 2017, I encourage you to form the right habits and condition your potential by maintaining the right temperature.