As I drove to pick up Anderson from preschool yesterday, I saw a hawk flying with a mouse in its mouth. It had to have just taken off as the hawk was still low to the ground. What caught my eye was the frantic twisting of the mouse. No sooner did I notice that, though, than I saw the hawk bobble in mid-air.
I watched the hawk as it stabilized its course and rose into the air, bound for a tall tree in the distance, it seemed.
I’d never seen a hawk just after it caught its meal. How the hawk took off with a wriggling creature in its mouth never occurred to me. Not even once in all the time I’ve spent admiring the graceful flight of a hawk.
But it now dawns on my caffeine-riddled brain that I – and a lot of my clients – are like that hawk. We eye a prize, we strategize, we attack, we dive headlong into the fray, then we victoriously snag our prize and lift into the sky on exultant wings.
Only to bobble in mid-air.
We plan our path for securing the prize – best-seller list, number of copies sold, which publications to secure coverage in – and we zealously set off on our mission. Yet we forget to plan for victory. What will we do when sitting across the couch from Ann Curry or Robin Roberts? Are we ready for USA Today to interview us for a trend story about the growth of inspirational fiction? When we see our movie on the marquis alongside Brad Pitt’s latest release, do we know how to properly behave?
I’ve seen more than one client bobble in front of the camera or once the recorder’s been turned on. I’ve winced as the sudden glare of the limelight shone its harsh face on character flaws that remained hidden in obscurity’s shadow.
So, today, I ponder…am I bound to bobble? Or can I put maturity and experience to task and stabilize my wings when the victory windstream comes with turbulence?