It’s been two weeks since my latest D-day when I changed my employment and the way of working and living after so many many years. It’s interesting how one environment and everything that goes along provides so much and serves for so long, and then the next day things change. You are the same, but in your new environment, with more or less different challenges, people, lessons to learn, and a new purpose to serve.
This, for me a big change, reminded me of a time when I stopped competing in swimming after more than 10 years of being a part of and living in that world. I remember I’ve done the same routine that last day, as so many days – years before, with me getting up at 5 am, being in the pool for morning practice from 6-8 am, then being in school, having the after-school activities, and then having another practice from 6-8 pm, and then preparing for school next day if something left from the afternoon. The next day my day was without swimming. I thought it would be strange, but actually, it felt good, as it was supposed to be. My schedule filled up pretty quickly after that day anyway, with new interesting and enjoyable activities, and with new people and experiences.
Things are now coming to ‘my new normal and usual’. I’ve realized that now after two weeks I’m in a ‘keep swimming’ mode. I usually use the flying analogy, or the dancing, the keep shining, the ‘something light’ one, but now the swimming one is the ‘light’, and the ‘right’ one.
What’s great is that I like swimming. I was always grateful for the swimming part of my life, for how much it taught me, and provided for me in my life. Although I haven’t liked and enjoyed every part of it. I’ve eventually understood that it’s the whole that brings the result, the success, the fulfillment, and the growth. I’ve learned that you can’t do it partially or take just what or when you like it. You might think that ‘the swimming’ is the ‘it’, but it’s more what comes along in the package that matters for you and your life eventually.
Besides many reasons that I’ve heard in my life ‘why it’s easy for me’ to be like I am, to work hard, to be successful at what I do, to persevere when it’s not so easy… was also ‘because you were swimming/swimmer/your parents put you into swimming’. I admit that I wasn’t always responding super positively to that, because if anything, it wasn’t and it’s not easy. I’m really grateful to my parents and all the coaches and teachers in my life so far. I’ve mastered eye-rolling and arguing my point to perfection through it, but I know it was their consistency, clear and powerful guidance, clear values, willingness and decisiveness to give their best, and being in integrity that influenced me significantly.
There are at least 5 lessons from my swimming at an early age which seem to be useful reminders for me now being in swimming mode in my new pool. Actually, I’m now visualizing that I’m swimming in the ocean. With that, it’s easier for me to acknowledge different people with their different ways of survival, and to find and swim with my group (powerful and free while making a difference). I think these lessons can be a helpful reminder for you as well.
1/ On practice and timing:
It takes a lot of practice, and a lot of good practice to be at least good at something. If you want more or better, you need to do more or better, and smarter. The time framework is relevant. It takes as much as you need to be and where you want to be.
2/ On Conditions:
You practice/do your best although you or the people you love and care about go through some difficult situations, or something unexpectedly happens, or conditions are not great and supportive.
3/ On YOU:
Although there are many swimmers beside you, and you might be a part of a team, it’s an individual thing. It’s you who needs to do the work, to know and be clear what’s your vision and your goal, and to make choices on how to use your assets and potential efficiently. It’s also you who knows how much effort you put into it, how prepared are you, why are you doing it, what are you willing to trade for, who are you with / who is beside you, when/where is your limit, etc.
4/ On WE – your team/your people:
Although you have a ‘team’ of your people supporting you all the way, they can not do it instead of you, and you can’t do their roles/jobs/lives instead of them. But it’s important and necessary to have a good team/your people/your support system to be successful in life. Choose your people carefully, trust and empower them, and give them your best.
5/ On US – the others:
It’s good to be aware that we are all connected, and that we are all doing our best, but not everyone is helping or supporting you with who they are or what and how they do things. The others are those who are more or less observing from a safe distance, how you are doing, how you are going to make it, if you’re going to make it etc. They could comment, complain, advise, compare, or they could be quiet, although their quiet might sound pretty loud to you.
On this I usually come to the conclusion to trust myself and the process; surround myself with, and take care of my people; keep relationships and collaborations as clear as possible; be intentional in creating my supporting system; be careful with my energy; keeping my focus and know-follow my path, goals, and values; learning constantly and work with what I have as best as I can daily; and keep working on myself and improving my craft while performing.