Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Pressure is a Privilege because Pressure Makes Diamonds

Over the past 4 weeks I've been training to swim 15,000 yards in a week starting on Monday, March 26, 2012. As I train to take on this challenge I've been swimming in a pool measured in meters that has an end that is 12 feet deep. The pool I'm planning to complete the actual swim in is a pool measured in yards that has an end that is about 7 feet deep. Now for those of us who aren't big fans of math, the meter pool is longer than the yard pool and therefore is easier to swim in for long periods of time.

This week my coach suggested that I begin to swim "2 a days" because the week of the swim I'll have to swim twice a day to reach my goal. I knew this time would come but when she told me I honestly didn't expect it to be now. However, I didn't complain, nor did I make any excuses. I simply said, "yes ma'am" and "How long (distance) do you want me to swim?"

Sometimes in life (and in leadership) we forget the fact that its not about us. Many times the situation calls us to just be obedient and do what we're told. In this case all I needed to do was to trust my coach. She knows what to do. I know she has my best intentions at heart and she wants to see me succeed. My job in this situation is simply to swim.

After 4 weeks of training in a longer, deeper and more difficult pool I went back to the pool where it all began. As I began to swim in this "new" pool I began to realize some of the deeper meanings behind training in a more challenging pool.

1. Preparation

Because I've completed longer, more difficult workouts in a deeper pool, I know that when the time comes for me to swim in the other pool I should have less issues to contend with. Many times life is the same way.

Its easy for us to complain and make excuses when its hard. However if we'd just swallow our pride (or our fear) and move forward, we would realize that the challenge we're facing today is ensuring our success for tomorrow.

2. Cool Factor

Swimming in a deeper pool can be a challenge. The depth can be difficult to block out when you're constantly looking down at it. The length of the pool and the patience it takes to swim back and forth can be hard to deal with at times too. Being cool in the midst of a difficult situation can be easier said than done.

However, the more you do it the more comfortable you can become with it. The majority of the crowd wants to have that ability, but very few people are willing to work through hard times to attain it. It takes courage to go after your dreams and it takes determination not to give up along the way. In the end, the results are worth it especially when the task is completed the right way.

3. Confidence

Confidence makes all the difference. It can be the difference between winning and losing. It can also be the difference between failure and success. Knowing that you can attain success in challenging times can make all the difference in achieving it in less difficult times. If I can swim successfully in a longer and deeper pool than I know I can swim in a shorter and shallower one.