Life's a Swim

Swimming, in this article, will be used as a metaphor for learning to conquer the greatest obstacles in life and who to surround yourself with. Swimming, in a literal sense, is usually taught to people while an experienced individual holds your hand. Sure, this is necessary in the beginning steps but what if someone were to throw an inexperienced swimmer into the ocean? They’d probably innovate pretty quickly to do everything humanly possible to stay afloat. There’s a valuable lesson in this example.

I’m going to paint a picture and I want you to keep in mind it’s not a literal situation. So, you’re thrown off a boat into the ocean and you have no idea how to swim. Luckily, you’re surrounded by ten loved ones. These are your people and they all understand that you have no idea how to swim. The common thought is that they would collectively help you and the need to swim wouldn’t be relevant in this situation because your “team” could hold you up. This is flawed.

When we dive into a situation, it doesn’t fully benefit us to have someone hold our hand. Your loved ones, if they had your maximum potential in mind, would simply make sure you didn’t drown. They may offer verbal assistance during the struggle to stay afloat or get a bit closer in case you went under, but they would understand that maximum benefit doesn’t come from holding hands. You’ll fail at first, resulting in inhaling a little water, but valuable lessons come from failure. Your loved ones are there, offering assistance when needed, but they aren’t cutting into the learning process.

Obviously, if I couldn’t swim in the middle of the ocean I would want my loved ones to help me, but this metaphor shines a light on a lesson we may not think about on a daily basis. The people that see the benefit in the challenges you face are extremely valuable as you tackle the journey of life. Listen to criticism and don’t let people fight your battles. Find a team, however that may pertain to your life, that pushes you to constantly strive for the next level. Life’s a swim and we can’t rely on others to hold our hands the entire way.