Robbie Maltby

March 12, 2021


We humans have a deep need to be individual, to express our uniqueness. We're social creatures, but the safety of the group can often hold us back.

A few years ago I read a book called Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It was around the time of some big career decisions I was about to make.


Jonathan was just another ordinary seagull like the rest of them. He flew with the flock, obeyed the orders of the community, and its leaders. He flew the way they wanted him to fly, huddled when they wanted him to huddle, and nodded his head when everyone else nodded.

But this way of living wasn't for Jonathan.

Over time, he would find ways to evade his responsibilities to pursue his style of flying. He became exceptional. He began flying with the fastest birds, manoeuvring the most daring stunts.

When the community caught wind of this, they demanded he hang up his wings, or be ousted forever. "Seagulls simply do not fly like this." they said.

Jonathan tried his best, but he just couldn't do it. He wanted to fly fast, he wanted to break records, he wanted to pull off stunts he'd been told were impossible.

One day after landing from a particularity flamboyant aerobatic flight, he was summoned to the council for sentencing. That day Jonathan was banished from the flock forever, and he hung his head in shame.

The next day he resolved to become the fastest seagull, nae the fastest bird! To fly with the falcons, and the albatrosses. To feel the wind and the gravity. To live how he wanted to live.

And of course he found new friends, he broke every speed and stunt record in history, and at the end of the book executing the most daring double barrel-roll loop de loop, he disappeared into the clouds.


Jonathan's story is a reminder to pursue your dreams, to embrace your individuality, and to live your own life.

It reminds us to spread our wings.

About Robbie Maltby

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