There Is An Easier Way To Go –
Have you ever watched someone do something and thought it looked incredibly easy, only to find out that once you tried it, it was much harder than you could have imagined. Welcome to my kayak adventure.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to explore kayaking. I have always enjoyed canoeing, so it seemed like it would be a simple transition to a kayak. My first foray, was with my daughter. We took a nice, leisurely paddle around the lake and had a great time together, exploring and spending time together. A week later, I borrowed a friend of mines and decided that it was time to see what this was all about.
Last Saturday morning, I loaded up the kayak and decided to take it to one of my favorite fishing spots on the river. I knew it would likely be a challenge to paddle it against the current, but said to myself, “how hard could it really be?” It didn’t take long for me to know exactly how hard it really could be. The whole time I was paddling, thoughts of; I know this is possible, I have seen others do this, I must have to change this or that, what if I move the rudder this way, what if I sat this way, what if I take longer strokes, what if I paddle faster. Throughout what seemed to be an infinite amount of time, I was constantly making adjustments and yet simply wasn’t getting anywhere.
After what seemed like forever, it became clear that there was no way I was going to beat the current doing things the way I was doing them. It took less than a minute for me to float back to where it all started and as I got out of the kayak, it felt a little disheartening. How could something that seemed so easy, be so difficult? I thought I knew what I needed to do. I had a plan. I am a strong and fit guy. I was committed to taking on the challenge. So why didn’t it work?
Later that afternoon, I decided that there had to be something I wasn’t getting, so I made a phone call to a buddy of mine. Turns out there was a whole lot that I didn’t understand about the sport of kayaking. I didn’t understand boat lengths, body placement in relation to the water, in boat versus on boat paddling techniques, etc. and there is no way I could have known these things, if I hadn’t called him. There was nothing in my past experiences that would have allowed me to find these answers, even though originally I thought canoeing would be very similar to kayaking.
Sometimes, no matter how smart and experienced you are, there will be things you simply could not know. Paddling against the current is tough. Although take it from me, once you stop doing what isn’t working, then you can be open to learning and understanding the things that will make it all seem simple in the end.
Jeff is a Senior Partner in Siere, a company, focused on developing small to medium size business leaders and their businesses. Jeff is a guest blogger and speaker on the topics of small to medium business growth, leadership, personal performance. He is the co-author of two books; It Is What It Is, Or Is It…All About Business and the award winning book, You Couldn’t Have Told Me This Before I Started My Business?.