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Lessons from a Woodpecker

I am sure you know what a woodpecker is, and maybe you have heard them, too.

During the breeding season, woodpeckers excavate a hole in a tree to use as a nest. They do this by continuously tapping their beaks against the tree.

A pair works together to help build the nest, incubate the eggs and raise their young.

Can you guess how long it takes to build the nest?

Depending on the woodpecker species and the type of tree, it can take about a month to finish the job.

Why is this significant?

Well, considering Woodpeckers only live for about 10 years max, this represents a significant portion of their lifespan.

If we do some dodgy maths, 0.8% of the woodpecker's life is dedicated to building this one nest.

To put this into perspective, the 0.8% is the equivalent of 8 months of your life if we take an estimated lifespan of ~80 years in Australia.

The Lesson

Imagine a determined woodpecker diligently searching for the ideal tree to build its nest. If it were to constantly hop from tree to tree chasing the illusion of perfection, it would never find the perfect spot and never build a nest for its family.

On the other hand, a wise woodpecker understands the value of persistence. It knows by constantly chipping away at the same tree, it will eventually achieve its goal. The tree may not be perfect, but it's good enough.

Consider this analogy when contemplating a change in direction. Recognise the importance of sustained effort, much like the woodpecker dedicating the equivalent of eight months to build its nest.

The process might not be perfect, but it will create a foundation you can rely on for safety, fallback and repeated use.

black and white woodpecker on brown tree bar
Photo by Bill Pennell / Unsplash