“Success means a person is reaching the maximum potential available to him at any given moment.” – Ted Engstrom
“Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)
Who are the happiest people in the world? Are they young people? Are they healthy people? Are they wealthy people? No, not necessarily. The happiest people in the world are those who are living out their dreams. In giving themselves to something bigger than they are, they’re giving themselves the impetus to rise above their problems. If you want to know real happiness, dream a dream that is bigger than you; find something you can lose your life in. Jesus said if you keep your life you will lose it, and if you lose your life you will keep it (Luke 9:24). Isn’t there something better than watching the horrible Philippine noon time shows every afternoon? Isn’t there something better than waiting for a vacation every year? Isn’t there something better than waiting for retirement by just killing time? Isn’t there something better than just settling for average? Average doesn’t look so good when you realize it’s the worst of the best and the best of the worst.
A noted inspirational and motivational speaker discovered that when he counsels people, he found out that their number-one problem is that they’ve lost their dreams. They’ve lost their goals; they’ve lost their purpose. When you lose a dream or your purpose in your marriage, you lose your marriage. When you lose your purpose as a student, you will not learn anything. When you lose your purpose in your job, you lose your job. When you lose your purpose for your health, you die.
Birding on Borrowed Time tells, in her own words, the remarkable story of Phoebe Snetsinger, the woman who saw more birds in her life than any other human being in the history of the world. Phoebe’s quest to see as many birds as possible only began at the age of 34, when she first laid eyes on a resplendent Blackburnian Warbler. After her belated awakening to the avian marvels around her, Phoebe began traveling across the globe, to all seven continents, observing and learning as much as she could about the world’s thousands of bird species. The intensity and urgency of her quest were quickened when a cancer diagnosis led doctors to give her one year to live. Instead of succumbing to despair, Phoebe pursued her passion and strove to live what remained of her life to its fullest. Miraculously, she defied her death sentence, living on to see more of the world and more new birds for 17 more years. Along the way, she faced other hazards: a brutal assault and rape in New Guinea, a shipwreck, earthquakes, and political upheaval, along with recurrences of malignant melanoma. But in the end she triumphed over adversity and fulfilled her lifelong dream by becoming the first person to see more than 8,000 of the world’s birds—a remarkable achievement that required passion, knowledge, skill, dedication, and persistence. Both a lively chronicle of birding adventures and a profoundly moving human document, Birding on Borrowed Time is the memoir of a truly extraordinary woman.
A native of the province of Palawan once told me that Phoebe Snetsinger visited the City of Puerto Princesa just to see the Philippine endemic Palawan Peacock Pheasant. I’m very sure she was so happy to have seen it!