Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Inspired by the reader's suggestion, I share how Jonathan Livingston Seagull can inspire creators with the idea of vision.

Published Jun 30, 2023
Reading time 3 min read
Today’s character was suggested by a fellow navigator, Dmytro. When I asked him how Jonathan Livingston resonates with him as a character, he said, “I believe it is how every entrepreneur or independent individual feels. They are cancelled by their community softly or hardly. But they continue perfecting their craft.

And the story goes:

A lone seagull, ostracised from his flock, faced the vastness of the sky, alone. Named Jonathan Livingston, he chose an unusual path. Instead of fighting for food scraps and flying for survival, he set his wings to the wind, challenging himself to fly higher, faster, better. For the sheer joy of it.

“Why, Jon, why?” his mother asked. “Why is it so hard to be like the rest of the flock, Jon? Why can’t you leave low flying to the pelicans, the albatross? Why don’t you eat? Jon, you are bone and feathers!”

“I don’t mind being bone and feathers, mom. I just want to know what I can do in the air and what I can’t, that’s all. I just want to know.”

A symbol for the resilient, unconventional, and passionate amongst us – Jonathan Livingston embraces setbacks to pursue his passion-fuelled purpose. And this is how his journey starts.

Avoid getting lost in the crowd of creator brands – by sharing your vision and inviting people to your journey.

Behind The Character

A small seagull with a larger-than-life vision.

Jonathan was crafted as a non-conformist, daring to break away from the confines of survival and embracing the art of flying as a way of life. Despite solitude and hunger, his pursuit evokes a longing in us, a longing to follow our passions, break the barriers, and carve our paths.

This reflects the author’s philosophy. Richard Bach is a former US Air Force fighter pilot, who saw flying as an outlet of self-discovery, self-fulfilment, and perfection of his craft.

His novel is an enduring pop culture phenomenon, often criticised for its simplicity, but still embraced by millions.

No wonder, it was a beacon of personal freedom and self-discovery for the counterculture movement of the 1970s, and its message continues to resonate with those seeking meaning in life beyond materialistic goals, to this day.

Mapping Out The Narrative

What’s in the Jonathan Livingston’s story, beyond the obvious – pursuing your passion? Well, I personally see two aspects:

What entices our hearts is the vision Johnathan paints – to reach flying mastery. The stakes are high to make it reality: To be on your own, in exile, an outcast. But he moves forward – and that’s what makes him stand out among the flocks, as a seagull who doesn’t want to exist to survive, but thrive in his passion.

What entices our minds is continuous dedication to his craft. Jonathan considered blending in and minding his business, to escape the failures and successes. But he couldn’t accept not striving for something that brings him joy, not aspiring to follow his path.

Through flying every day, Jonathan’s attention shifted from societal pressure to the action itself, leading to him reaching a high level of the flight skills. Jonathan’s commitment to his craft eventually led him to find others who shared his vision and to teach those willing to learn.

Let’s zoom out and look at your brand from the Jonathan’s view:

It all comes down to the story you’re telling yourself. Your WHY, your purpose, your drive – call it however you want. This is what fuels you on good and bad days alike, as you can zoom in on the sheer act of doing.

Internally, your vision becomes your guide in committing to your craft. Externally, the picture you paint through your content and offers is where you build a deeper connection with your audience and invite them into your corner of the internet.

Let’s cast a net towards your vision: What daring and audacious aspiration are you after? How would the world – your world – look like if you were to commit to your craft and help your people?

Like Dmytro said, “This seagull lives in all of us. We are just afraid to free it.”

Lock in your destination in mind, set your wings, experiment with the altitude, and your flock will find you.

Seeing Through Stories

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