Everyone loves water. Especially on a hot day. Swimming pools are a great metaphor for thinking about many aspects of our lives.
As an adult, going into the 3 ft. high section of a pool is easy. Whether you are scared of water or not, every one of us can join each other at this end of the pool. The height of the water is interesting in that there is not much challenge to being in the pool at that height. If our goals were only 3 ft. high, we would most likely accomplish all of them with little effort.
As we go to the deeper end of the pool, things begin to change. Especially when the height of the water is above our heads. If we are a skilled swimmer, things are easier. If again our goals were taller or larger than we are, our level of skill will now matter as we navigate towards accomplishing our goal.
If at first, we can’t swim in deep water, than we have to learn how to or practice more. This is no different than in life. We need to do the same thing. So while there is more excitement diving off a diving board into deep water, much more is required of us to be successful. Our bigger goals bring us excitement of a change or a new beginning. But just as at a swimming pool and the deep end, much more will need to happen to get to our goal.
Then if we outgrow the swimming pool and go to the lake, now we may need to find tools such as boats and floats to go even into further deep water.
As we set out to realize our dreams, we must understand how we interact with swimming pools and deep water. First realizing, that while we view water in this setting as refreshment and for exercise, others look to water to clean, or grow plants, or keep their grass green. Others yet use it in baking or to cool off hot things. Yet we are focused on water and swimming or diving (only a subset of all of the things water means to people). It is so important in life to narrow your focus to be able to get traction.
Then realizing that we can never challenge ourselves at the 3 foot high section of a pool. How hard it is for us to see that in the goals we set? We feel good about doing things, but are they simply at the 3 foot level where things come easy to us? It’s hard for us to judge but necessary to begin to see where we are deceived in our abilities and accomplishments.
We need to be focused on goals where the water is above our heads. That is where real personal growth comes from. This is where the seeds of impactful change begin. And then its remembering how hard it is to swim in deep water when you have not had enough practice.
It takes courage to swim in deep water when you don’t have all of the skill necessary to be successful. The secret is to just begin putting in the effort and keep from getting discouraged as you try.
Remembering, the courage needed is not in deciding you want to go into the deep end of the pool. The courage needed is to jump in for the first time not knowing exactly how it will turn out.