A couple of days ago, I watched a short documentary on the bald eagle. I was so amazed about how keen the eagle is. I have heard so much about the focus of the eagle, but have never really taken the time to ruminate on its keenness. As I pondered on it, I started comparing the keenness of the eagle with the skills of man. My conclusion was that if man possesses the mentality of the eagle, his skills will be better, deeper and more productive.
What is a skill? Skill involves ability, knowledge, practice and aptitude. It also involves competent excellence in performance, expertness and dexterity. The more man digs into knowledge, the more he becomes skilful in his chosen endeavour. But the challenge for man is that most people prefer to remain at the periphery of wisdom, and as a result, their level of knowledge becomes obsolete, dated or scanty. To keep with the flow, or remain relevant, updates must be daily uptakes, and uptakes must be daily intakes. What you consume daily is what determines your growth level. We don’t just grow in physical size; we also grow in our mentalities. Physical height has its maximum size but mental growth is ongoing. That is why we must follow the dynamics, if we really want our skills to go beyond history.
The following reasons are why skills require keenness:
Keenness produces a sharpened cutting edge skill: some innovations don’t require dynamites to crack them; all they need is sharpened knife edge to cut them. If you always come with dynamites, you will destroy what you’re trying to create. Making a statue out of wood needs a sharp knife edge to fine tune your creativity; you don’t need explosives to do that. So, keenness produces the common sense of wisdom that helps cut through obstacles and debacles; in every skill, there are obstacles and debacles.
Keenness produces a piercing skill: for a nurse to inject a patient, she doesn’t need to cut through the skin; she only needs to pierce the skin with the needle. In a skill, there is a cutting stage and a piercing stage. Don’t pierce when you should cut, and don’t cut when you should pierce. Sometimes, oil explorers, rather than cut, pierce. The reason for piercing is to get the treasures from remote areas, impossible for most eyes to see. As you sharpen your skills, remember to make its pointed end prick.
Keenness produces a biting skill: in the human mouth, there are different types of teeth. It consists of incisor, canine, molars and premolars. Each type has its own function; for cutting, tearing, chewing or grinding. Your skill must have the ability to bite, tear, cut, and grind.
The marketplace is highly competitive; if you don’t have teeth, you can’t take your share. So, your skill must have teeth. There isn’t a gentleman in the marketplace; everyone wants to sell; everyone wants to win. You can only have something substantial if you have a biting skill. Keenness gives you that biting skill.
Keenness produces distinctive perception: one major attribute that many career and professional people have ignored is perception. Perception is what differentiates the leaders from the led. Perception is intuitiveness, insight and discernment. Perception helps you to recognise immediately what hasn’t yet taken place. It is the element behind being proactive.
The ability to study the market and immediately see what other people can’t see makes your skill distinctively perceptive. The ability to see the picture of innovation that other people can’t behold makes you creative. Without perception, creativity becomes illusion. Keenness produces perception; go for it.
Keenness produces eagerness or enthusiasm: you have no right to dream if you’re not eager or enthusiastic about your dream. Enthusiasm is a driving force that takes you to your dreamland. Eagerness is the hunger that makes you realise that until you reach the place you see in your innermost heart, your present location will keep hunting or hurting you.
If you aren’t keen, you can’t advance. Keenness in your skill sends you into the class of continuous personal development. Being satisfied where you are isn’t an attitude of keen people. So, be eager to get out of where you are, and head towards where you should be.
Keenness gives mental penetration, intense desire, and the ambition to succeed in your pursuits. Keenness is characterised by strength, extreme sensitivity and responsiveness. In your skill, be keen. In your career, be keen. In your profession, be keen. In your life, be seriously keen!