From point A to point A

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Author —Auteur — Peter Georgariou

A few days ago, as I was swimming in a beautiful lake just after sunrise, my mind drifted back to a memory a few years back – an important experience that taught me yet another life lesson (thank you nature!). I was at a cottage with friends and decided to join them for a swim. Our goal: an island in the middle of the lake, probably around 700 metres round trip.

I knew I had to swim, but I had never swum such a distance before. How hard could it be? I was in relatively good shape and could definitely make this happen. Right?

They set me up with goggles and a towel, and we moseyed down to their dock. The island firmly in my sight, I jumped in the water, and away we went.

I started swimming, and as I glided through the water, I felt this was going all right. Sure, I was a little out of breath, but that was to be expected. I continued on for a bit until I decided to take a pause to catch my breath and get my bearings.

Well, after exerting what I considered to be a considerable effort, I was about 20 metres to the left of the dock.

It turns out that since I only breathe on my right side, I veer slightly to the left on every stroke. Not by much, but enough to take me off course in a significant way if not corrected. So instead of swimming in a straight line towards the island, I completed a near perfect circle and ended up right where I started.

Apparently, everyone was screaming at me to look up and correct course, but in my fierce determination to prove a point, not to mention having my ears submerged in lake water, I heard nothing.

We all had a good laugh…well…mostly them laughing at me not with me, in a loving way of course.

After catching my breath and regrouping, I successfully made it to the island in the middle of the lake and back.

When I look back on this moment, after drying up the tears of shame, I learned one hell of a lot that day.

One, when we set goals for ourselves or our organization, we need to establish regular checkpoints that help us monitor our progress and ensure we are on the right path. This sounds obvious, but so often, whether it be a performance review or a strategic plan, we set the course and leave the plan to accumulate dust. A year later we may open it again to a) try and remember what we had put in there or b) pray that we accomplished what we set out to do. Neither is much of a recipe for success. (To note, as I got a little better at open water swimming over time, there is something called sighting; a practice by which you look up every few strokes to make sure you are still heading in the right direction.)

My second lesson was regarding how quickly we get off track in life.  And, how most of the time, it is not some huge sudden falling off of the wagon, but rather an accumulation of small deviations from the path. Each of my swim strokes was slightly off centre. It wasn’t as if I suddenly started swimming 90 degrees to the left.

A few months ago, I noticed how I had been veering away from the foundational good habits I had set for myself. I was going to bed a little later, watching a little more TV, meditating a little less; a little more processed food crept into my diet, and I was exercising just a little less. Nothing catastrophic in and of itself. But this series of small deviations really left me feeling off my game.

I couldn’t put my finger on why I was feeling off, but as I started reinstating all my healthy habits, I realized that, drop by drop, I had been filling my cup with a series of micro bad habits. A poisonous microdosing of sorts. (minus the psychedelics, unfortunately. 😊)

So how about you? Have you or your organization ever had grand ambitions that never manifested themselves? Have you taken the time to do a post mortem and see what patterns or bad habits are tripping you up?

Most of us do progress and grow throughout this lifetime; yet when we stagnate, we struggle at times to put our finger on the source of the problem. My guess is that more often than not, it’s in the little things and not the big ones. The upside of this is that we don’t have to climb a mountain to make an about face in our life. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it is within reach.

Let’s do this!

 

Peter Georgariou

CEO & Founder

With over 18 years of experience in sales, marketing and operations, Peter enjoys helping businesses establish the proper structures, strategies and marketing plans to help them achieve their goals and dreams. He is helping them make the most of their potential and ability to impact the communities in which they live.

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