The following true story happened to Eckart von Hirschhausen, a German doctor who became a comedian:
Many years ago after an unpleasant engagement on a cruise liner I visited a zoo. I looked at a penguin on a rock and thought to myself: “You are such a poor creature… your wings are too small, you can not fly and worst of all: The creator didn’t even give you knees… My mind was made up: poor design!
After walking down a little stair way I looked through a glass pane into the pool. Suddenly my penguin jumped into the water and now he was flying… Wow! He was in his element…
Later I did a research: Penguins are ten times more streamlined than a Porsche! With the equivalent amount energy of one liter fuel they can swim 2500km. Penguins are excellent swimmer and hunter and they enjoy being in the water. They are more advanced than anything built by humans. And I thought: poor design!
Like the little penguin needs water to be in his element we all need an environment where we can develop our strengths. This story is in a way a metaphor for Eckart von Hirschhausen life itself. He realized that the hospital is not the best environment to develop his personal strengths. He jumped into the cold water and changed his environment from the hospital to the stage. Today he is a very successful comedian, speaker and bestseller author.
Think about your strengths for a moment? Are you in your element right now?