Drowning is a good thing. Yes drowning – going up and down in water and being unable to breathe!
It is Christmas holidays 2013 and we are in Tiwi Beach South Coast. My children are in the swimming pool cavorting around having a grand time and I am at the pool side. Sipping natural orange juice and reading David Baldacci’s Ground Zero. Just as the most handsome and manly Senior Agent Puller is just about to sneak up on the murderers and blow their heads off, I look up and see my 5 year old son Thayu drowning. Sinking into the water struggling to breathe. I throw away my book, rush to the pool, jump in and pull the boy out. We quickly pump his chest and soon he splutters back to consciousness and asks “Mum what happened to me?” And I respond “You were drowning.” “Oh? I was drownding?” “Yes son, you were drowning.”
He pauses to consider this for a moment and then gets up, tells everyone around who cares to listen in his loudest voice “I was drownding! I was drownding! I was drownding!”And before my very eyes, my son who was drowning, takes one flying leap and jumps right back into the swimming pool to swim again. My heart stopped, and rest assured for the rest of the day my eyes didn’t leave the swimming pool. Even the attractive, handsome and daring Senior Agent Puller was relegated to second place.
This incident brings to mind the lessons we can learn from children. Here’s a 5 year old, drowning and getting right back up and leaping right back into the ‘danger’ zone. I imagine if this was you or me, we’d have been completely freaked out, fear would have taken over, and highly likely we’d never have gone anywhere near a swimming pool again or better yet a bucket of water in our entire lives again. And to justify our being rooted in fear, we’d have developed a blockbuster of a story about the drowning experience which we’d be telling everyone who cares to listen in a bid to elicit their sympathy.
The great Malcolm X said and I quote “There is no better teacher than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time”
There are three things to remind ourselves after an adversity or failure to get us back on track and moving if we are to live up to the wise words of the great Malcom X.
1. It’s okay. You will be okay. – Take all the time you need to heal emotionally. Moving on and recovering from failure doesn’t take a day; it takes lots of little steps to be able to break free. Just because today is painful doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t be great.
2. There is no success without failure. – A person who makes no mistakes is unlikely to make anything at all. It’s better to have a life full of small failures that you learned from, rather than a lifetime filled with the regrets of never trying.
- Life’s best lessons are learned at unexpected times. – Many of the greatest lessons we learn in life we don’t seek on purpose. In fact, life’s best lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes. So yes, you will fail sometimes, and that’s okay. The faster you accept this, the faster you can get on with being brilliant.
This being a new year, with new beginnings and a new promise, it is the perfect time to look at our ‘drowning’ stories. That business that we started that failed and we lost money; that relationship that we got into that didn’t work out right; that job that we thought was just right and didn’t turn out to be; that investment we made that went sour ; that one time we got up to speak in front of an audience and the army of ahs’ eh’s and erm’s marched straight out of our mouths – the list is endless………..
Let’s revisit these ‘drowning episodes’ and see how we may convert these into opportunities to try again and leap right back into it ‘Thayu Style’, for drowning is indeed a very good thing. Yes. It is!