When she looked ahead, Florence Chadwick saw nothing but a solid wall of fog. Her body was numb. She had been swimming for nearly sixteen hours.
Already she was the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions. Now, at age 34, her goal was to become the first woman to swim from Catalina Island to the California coast.
On that Fourth of July morning in 1952, the sea was like an ice bath and the fog was so dense she could hardly see her support boats. Sharks cruised toward her lone figure, only to be driven away by rifle shots. Against the frigid grip of the sea, she struggled on – hour after hour – while millions watched on national television.
Alongside Florence in one of the boats, her mother and her trainer offered encouragement. They told her it wasn’t much farther. But all she could see was fog. They urged her not to quit. She never had . . . until then. With only a half mile to go, she asked to be pulled out.
Still thawing her chilled body several hours later, she told a reporter, “Look, I’m not excusing myself, but if I could have seen land I might have made it.” It was not fatigue or even the cold water that defeated her. It was the fog. She was unable to see her goal.
Two months later, she tried again. This time, despite the same dense fog, she swam with her faith intact and her goal clearly pictured in her mind. She knew that somewhere behind that fog was land and this time she made it! Florence Chadwick became the first woman to swim the Catalina Channel, eclipsing the men’s record by two hours!
Monday Morning Perspective
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
– Winston Churchill
“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.”
– Earl Nightingale
Goals are so much more than a measure of success that is typed into a business plan or written into a journal and rarely revisited. Goals are meant to be points of focus that we direct our attention to daily. The more passionate we are about accomplishing any one goal the more likely we are to achieve it. The capacity of the human mind to affect the world around us has been studied to the Nth degree (Take a look at Noetic Science research if you’d like to be blown away!), and the results are always the same. Our thoughts- whether positive or negative- manifest themselves in real, tangible ways.
Selecting a goal and pushing your positive energy towards its accomplishment is as close to a guarantee of success as we’ll ever get. Wasting time by worrying over possible negative outcomes deprives you of valuable effort and energy that could be better used by focusing on accomplishment. Stop wasting time worrying about the fog. Dig harder and focus your mind’s eye on the goal ahead, and you’ll find land sooner than you’d ever imagined.
Have a wonderful week!
© Crystal Dyer 2011. All rights reserved.