ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Be Like a Duck :)

Updated on March 9, 2010

Be Like a Duck :)

"Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath." -- actor Michael Caine

A friend of mine mentioned the duck analogy not long ago in an e-mail. What can we learn from the example of the duck that can be applied to our daily lives?

First, the example of the duck shows that appearances can be deceiving. The duck with their beautiful, unruffled feathers appears calm and serene as they glide with what seems to be very little effort along the surface of the water. Second, we learn that it does take an enormous amount of effort to achieve our dreams and goals even though that effort is most often hidden. Just like the duck whose busy paddling can only be seen if we look beneath the surface of the water.

These examples are so very true in our lives as well. We may look like we accomplish a goal easily and without much effort, when in fact, years of preparation and mental concentration are necessary to bring our goal into sight. Any performer, whether it be music, dance, or sports will tell you they need energy and focus to make what they do appear effortless as they accomplish their goals.

Throw some food into a crowd of ducks and you will see that they move very fast as they swim to the food. It does take energy, movement, and focus for us to go forward, just as a duck must paddle busily in order to move through the water. We need to know what we want and pursue it. Nothing worthwhile ever comes without effort. How can we achieve our dreams and goals by just floating along or giving up? Sometimes we need to paddle like we're in a kayak moving through the rapids of a raging, roaring river.

The smooth glide of the duck does not show the busy and sometimes frantic paddling going on underneath the water. Just like appearing calm on the outside may hide the butterflies trying to fly away in our stomach. Anyone who has ever done public speaking will agree that the speaker who appears calm is often anything but calm on the inside. As Jerry Seinfeld is quoted as saying "The average person at a funeral would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy." "Stage Fright" or Public Speaking is believed to be the single most common fear affecting as much as 75% of the population. In a recent WebMD poll the fear of public speaking is ranked even above that of the fear of death.

It isn't always "be like a duck" for me. I am not always "calm on the surface". I am not a human being having a spiritual experience, I am a spiritual being having a human experience. There have been times when people very close to me were extremely critical of the life path that I have chosen. They said I was crazy for leaving my comfortable, stable government career, and I have to admit that I sometimes felt like and feared they may be right, yet I knew they spoke their truth not mine. I allowed their criticism to get to me and invade my inner sense of peace which caused some very busy paddling. I am still growing and gaining wisdom, however, and now I understand that it has been those very criticisms that have helped me to gain the firm conviction that I am doing exactly what I was put here on Earth to do. I know deeply in my heart that I am living my truth, though in fact it has taken years of preparation and concentration to bring this truth to light and into sight.

Perhaps the most famous quote on fear of all time came from Franklin D. Roosevelt in his First Inaugural Address as President of the United States; "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Some of us will never do the thing we fear. Fear can paralyze us and then nothing is accomplished. If we continue "paddling like the dickens" and work toward our goals even though we are frightened. We can and will be able to achieve our dreams and make them our reality and truth.

Let's all be like the duck, and not let fear get the best of us. Remain "calm on the surface" as we paddle like the dickens to find our very own truth in life. You will know you have found your truth when it brings some of your greatest joy, peace, and happiness...


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      4 years ago



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)