No matter where you look these days, it seems like everyone is suffering one way or another in this economic recession. Whether it’s your business, your job, or just motivating yourself, it can be tough to get through the day. Face it, nothing seems easy these days. Opportunity? Look on the bright side, there is always two sides to a coin. Did you know that a majority of innovation is created during times of economic hardship? It can create that thought process that allows one to re-analyze their mission and goals and reshape strategies for future success. “What’s the application”?
Three months ago, I went back to “my basics” and decided to paddle and race kayaks again. Two sides of this coin- training and racing would allow me to get back in better physical condition and also enjoy that feeling accomplishment, especially when times are tough. I committed myself to train for the upcoming World Championship Surf ski Race in Hawaii in May 2009. I have raced the outrigger canoe version of this race many times but never in a single kayak. This race is a 32 mile open ocean channel crossing from the island of Molokai to Oahu in Hawaii. Because of my novice experience racing the channel in a single person vessel, my decision to take on this goal would expose me to face several challenges. For example, one of these challenges would be getting back into paddling shape. It’s been over eight years since I retired from Olympic competition. In addition to fitness, the other challenge would be learning how to race in big ocean wave conditions versus my past flat water experience.
Back to basics- Besides training hard, implementing technical efficiency, and developing the skill set for rough water racing, I also had to reach back and grab for my foundation (“tool set”) and experiences of past accomplishments. Here are my tools: courage, determination, dedication, and simple hard work. But most importantly, I have to remember why am I committing to this goal. It is for the self satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment which helps me & others get through times of difficulty. The ending result: this feeling of accomplishment can allow one to really appreciate and re-emerge the hard work involved when achieving goals. Re-apply your tools, set new goals, and use them as a spring board through these tough times. Maybe, this positive experience can lead you to innovate new ideas…
“winners never quit, quitters never win. There is no such thing as an over acheiver, just an under estimator”.