My infant daughter almost drowned yesterday, but her instincts kicked in and her desire to survive is stronger than anything as she taught herself to swim at less than a year old so she could breathe. Now, she was surrounded by two swim instructors that were there to make sure she didn’t drown, but she didn’t know that. In fact it was the most terrifying yet inspirational moment of my life. She is only 10 months old, and learned to swim. It blows my mind what we are capable in life if we just keep swimming.
My daughter at ten months started taking swim classes to teach her valuable lifesaving skills at a young age. However, they taught me even more valuable lessons on the power of never giving up and persisting through challenges as if your life depended upon it. As my infant daughter was tossed into the pool and her head pushed under water she had no choice but to try and stay afloat. In between her screaming and crying she had to learn to stop crying so she could catch her breath when she popped her head above water. When her head was above water she could either cry or grasp for breath. Eventually, she learned that crying was working against her so she chose to grab her breath rather than cry. How often in life do we as adults when facing obstacles decide to focus on the barriers and negative things and complain or sulk instead of deciding to simply breath and keep Swimming forward toward our goal?
We are all learning all the time; the question is what are you teaching yourself? Parenting much like business is all about the mindset of “Just Keep Swimming”. When my first child was born I had no idea how to be a Father or a husband to a wife with a newborn. We read many books and took classes on how to be parents, but ultimately the only real teacher we had was experience. By the time our third child was born we were not reading books on parenting three children we were just swimming to survive and learning along the way.
This is how any great business person or entrepreneur succeeds as well. You can read all the books you want, take a class, or whatever you feel is going to teach you how to succeed in business but ultimately the greatest teacher is experience and the mindset of just keep swimming. Nobody is born an expert at anything, we all had to learn to crawl, walk, ride a bike, find a date, start a business, earn a living and breathe. Think about it you don’t think twice now driving down the freeway at 86 on how to drive you just do it out of instinct.
Everything in life that is worthwhile makes you uncomfortable at first. Starting a business, parenting, loving someone, starting a diet, are all hard at first. How many people give up when anything they are trying to accomplish gets tough or uncomfortable? However, if you ask any successful businessperson they will tell you the number one reason they succeeded was because they didn’t give up and just kept swimming. Yes, asking for someone’s business or asking somebody out on a date is tough because they could reject you. But, what if they say yes……well then the work actually just begins. You still have to work at everything to be successful, but if you just keep swimming and don’t cry you will find it is a lot easier to breath then if you are letting your frustrations take the place of soaking in breaths of oxygen that allow you to stay afloat.
My daughter Addison taught me the power of staying afloat as she had no choice but to stop crying, fight to stay above water, and then before she knew it she was back in my arms wrapped in a towel looking up at me smiling as she was proud of her accomplishment and I was proud of her. What could you accomplish today if you vowed to keep your head above water and decided to just keep swimming and moving forward no matter what obstacle you faced? Now, most of the problems we face in our daily lives are not life or death, and that makes them so easy to quit when they make you uncomfortable as you could simply binge on a series of Netflix, play that new video game, or break your diet for that instant gratification. Is it worth putting off your next breath and stop swimming upstream so you can just stay where you are?
Life is meant to be lived and anything worth accomplishing you need to swim upstream for. You are born with all the necessary tools to survive and thrive but you have to make the choice to do so. You are not faced with many hard choices in your day that make you choose between living and dying but how often do you choose the easier path when the harder path of continuing to swim leads to a better life? Mental toughness is like a muscle, it needs to be worked to grow and develop. Developing any skill or learning to swim comes down to your habits, are you doing the things you know you’re supposed to do on a more consistent basis? Just keep Swimming and get out there and Win Today, as you will find that by Continuing to Swim there is an amazing oasis of life just up the stream! Get out there and make it an Awesome Day and Win the Day!!!
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