I saw a video the other day with Seth Godin talking about the myth of Daedalus and Icarus. Daedalus, the father, and Icarus, the son, were on an island. Daedalus was a craftsman and he told Icarus that he had made him wings out of bird feathers and wax and that he was to listen to his father and they would fly away from the island. He told Icarus not to fly too high as the sun’s heat would melt the wax and the wings would fall apart and he would die. Icarus did die in the flight, but Seth Godin reminds us that the myth had another part to it that was cut out many years ago. Daedalus also told Icarus not to fly too low because then the mist and waves from the ocean would weigh down his wings and he would surely perish.
Why was the second part taken out of the myth? Seth says it is because society doesn’t want us to fly too high. First the factories were built and the owners needed the people to do their job every day. Schools came to be at the same time to teach us how to listen to direction and learn our ABCs. We were to follow the rules and not become too big for our britches. Never fly too high.
But flying too low can also be tragic. Because we are not using our gift and realizing all that we can accomplish. We are not believing in ourselves beyond reason and soaring to new destinies.
Author Tim Ferriss says, “Boredom is failure.” If we are not learning something new, leaving our comfort zones and growing, we are not succeeding. How many of us are bored with our every day? Complacent? Accepting of the idea that this is all there is? That this is where we are meant to be?
Just like Icarus, we have our wings. We may fail whether we fly high or low. So why don’t we fly to new heights and enjoy the incredible view?