Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Surfing the Washing Machine

There are no little problems. There are no big problems. There are just the problems we are currently facing that are keeping us from achieving the things we would like to achieve. Some problems might seem more complex or require more effort to overcome, but any problem that slows or stops our progress is as detrimental as any other.

The hardest problem we will ever face is the one we are not prepared for, the one that catches us off guard from out of left field. These problems will happen no matter how much we plan for them or how much we try to avoid them. They will come from elements outside our control and from the problems of dealing with limited resources.

The only way to deal with these problems is to roll with the punches. When sudden unforeseen problems hit there is often a moment of shock and inaction. We can take that moment of shock, but that is all. We need to learn how to recover, regain our balance and react. The longer we let a problem stop us from moving forward the less likely we are to get started again.

In surfing when you fail to catch a wave or misjudge the way a wave is behaving you may wipe out. This usually consists of being violently flung from your board and tossed into the ocean at the exact point where the crest of a breaking wave is slamming with all the raw force it can muster back into the surface of the ocean. You are tossed spun and pounded in what is sometimes known, at least in my day, as the washing machine.

In the washing machine you do not have a choice about rolling with the punches. You have to find which way is up locating any obstacle, namely your board, between you and the surface and start moving. You only have so much air and only a little time before the next wave comes rolling in. If you do not get moving quickly you do not get moving at all.

The best survival tool a surfer has when he or she is in the washing machine is staying calm. A surfer who is not confident in his ability in the water can panic, loose his or her sense of direction or rush up too quickly and be hit by his own board.

Maintaining our calm lets us react quickly, and the way to maintain our calm is, like the surfer, to be confident in our ability to survive.


Post a Comment