It Is as You Chose It to Be

Recently, I attended the The SCORRE Conference, formerly called The Dynamic Communicators Workshop, in Vail, Colorado. It is absolutely the best training available for speakers and everyone else who wants to communicate with more clarity and power. (I liked it so much the first time I attended that I am now a partner with Ken Davis, the founder and primary instructor.)

A Small Bird in a Boys Hand - Photo courtesy of ©, Image #1926891

Photo courtesy of ©

In the last session of the conference, we heard from speaking coach and master communicator, Stacey Foster. He closed his talk with this powerful story:*

High in the Himalayan mountains lived a wise old man.

Periodically, he ventured down into the local village to entertain the villagers with his special knowledge and talents. One of his skills was to psychically tell the villagers the contents in their pockets, boxes, or minds.

A few young boys from the village decided to play a joke on the wise old man and discredit his special abilities.

One boy came up with the idea to capture a bird and hide it in his hands. He knew of course, the wise old man would know the object in his hands was a bird.

The boy devised a plan.

Knowing the wise old man would correctly state the object in his hands was a bird, the boy would ask the old man if the bird was dead or alive. If the wise man said the bird was alive, the boy would crush the bird in his hands, so that when he opened his hands the bird would be dead.

But, If the wise man said the bird was dead, the boy would open his hands and let the bird fly free. So no matter what the old man said, the boy would prove the old man a fraud.

The following week, the wise old man came down from the mountain into the village. The boy quickly caught a bird and cupping it out of sight in his hands, walked up to the wise old man and asked, “Old man, old man, what is it that I have in my hands?”

The wise old man said, “You have a bird, my son.” And he was right.

The boy then asked, “Old man, old man, tell me: Is the bird alive or is it dead?”

The wise old man looked at the boy, thought for a moment and said, “The bird is as you choose it to be.”

And so it is with your life. The power is in your hands. God has given you a great gift—your life. What will you do with it?

Will you drift with the current? Will you allow it to be hijacked by someone else? Or, will you live an intentional life—one that counts for time and eternity?

*This is a version of the story I found on the Internet.

Question: What application does this story have for your own life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Andrea Bandle

    It still amazes me when the whispers come at the exact right time. My daughter has been having a tough time in school this year, and I was just this morning, telling her that she has control over her own feelings and that the energy we put out there, (good or bad) is what comes back to us. This will be a great story for me to share with her. Thank you.

  • Charles Specht

    A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.

    • Charles Specht

      How often we wish we had more birds (a different life) when the real issue is living the life we have and making the most of it!

  • Joe Lalonde

    Love the story. Thanks for sharing.

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  • Uma Maheswaran S

    I think human being is the only living creature in this world gifted with the sixth sense. We are infact made in the image of God. In a sense, we are all special. We need to use this gift and ensure that we make use of most of the opportunities to be all that we can be.

  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    I love this story – and how true it is.  It is all about our choices – powerful….

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  • Pastor Easy Amanze.O.

    2013 is your year for divine fulfillment.
    The evidence of  (2peter 3:9).

  • Jade

    Shorts stories are always the best to get a point across, it’s a little sad but very true

  • Greg

    Do you think the Bible teaches a theology of suffering?

    • Michael Hyatt

      What do you mean by “theology of suffering?” Thanks.

  • Chris Aingworth

    Michael I wanted to say that I have learned so much from you and your blogs, book and podcasts. I wondered, flying to Fiji for Life Mastery and Wealth Mastery what I was meant to learn or receive from these courses and now I know it was to meet you and start to learn from you. I still have a long way to go but I wanted to thank you for your advice in Fiji and your continued amazing content.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thank you so much, Charles. It was such a privilege to meet you. I’m so grateful you have found value in my content. I so hope our paths cross again. Blessings, my friend.

  • Kendall Hoffman

    Oh the choices! Indecision gets me every time.

  • Nancy Bouwens

    Story stirs the heart in a way many words can not! … it is as you chose it to be.. through what lens do we view our world?

    Thank you for sharing and again reminding us to chose.. life or death is in our hands,

    Blessings -

  • Tim Enochs

    The SCORRE Conference is amazing! I love this story! I used it while speaking to a high school football team in October.