It has ancient roots, but it is also a popular trend. It is one that I have seen on motivational memes as well as on social media. It is the use of animals in relationship to humans. Want to be a proper alpha male leading the pack? Be the wolf. Ruler of a savage kingdom that never retreats and never backs down? Then you are best suited to pattern your life like the lion. People tend to find the animal they most relate to, the one with the best qualities, and say, “That’s my animal, I’m gonna be like that one.”
All perception of truth is the detection of an analogy. –Henry David Thoreau
Some may find it silly, even a little juvenile. For a while, I even thought it was ridiculous. Overdone. But then again, I have always done the same thing. There are beliefs in my Asian heritage that I still cling to. From my earliest years, I remember learning that I was born in the year of the Tiger. As a child, this was great. A tiger. It was my destiny, and I could be like a tiger. It could have been worse. I could have been a rat, a snake, or a chicken. But no, I was a tiger. That was special.
Growing up, I still imagined that I was connected to this tiger. Maybe I was just holding onto this childish illusion, or maybe there is something else to it. Is this a tiger-related destiny or just a coincidence:
- Born in the year of the Tiger (1974 Wood Tiger)
- Married to a LSU Tiger
- Co-worker conducted a survey to discover my spirit animal and the results were tiger.
- Descended from a family (Ong) that has a connection to tigers. This may be our forgotten totem.
This post is written with a little more lightheartedness than my usual posts, but there can still be some value to it. I relate to several characteristics that I see in a tiger. I can find the good qualities in the nature of a tiger and strive to develop those traits in my own life. It could be a fantasy, but one that has the ability to improve the quality of my life. In some way, I may also be honoring my heritage and family by remembering the tiger.
In the book Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss, many of the mentors state their spirit animals. What animal do you most relate to? Which one represents your ideals? It is a valid question, and one that may say a lot about who you are. As Wordsworth suggested, maybe we should let nature be our teacher.