In 1952, Florence Chadwick, a thirty-four-year-old long-distance swimmer, decided to attempt the 26-mile swim between Catalina Island and the California coastline. She had already conquered the English Channel, swimming it in both directions. She was now determined to be the first women to swim the Catalina Channel.
On July fourth, 1952 she waded into the water and started her swim to the California coastline. Millions of people were watching on national television. As the hours ticked off, Chadwick fought the bone-chilling cold, dense fog, and sharks. During her swim, Chadwick traveled with a team whose sole job was to keep an eye out for these sharks and be prepared to assist her in the event of unexpected cramps, injury, or fatigue.
Roughly 15 hours into her swim the fog thickened and began clouding Chadwick’s vision and confidence. Her mother happened to be in one of the boats at the time as Chadwick relayed to her team that she didn’t think she could complete the swim. However, she swam for another hour before deciding to call it quits. After fifteen hours and fifty-five minutes of fighting the elements, she was hauled out of the water into the boat.
Frozen to the bone and her spirit defeated, as she sat in the teetering boat, she discovered that she was merely a half mile from the California coast. It was not the bone chilling cold or the sharks that defeated her. It was that her vision of her desired goal was clouded by the fog which kept her from keeping on. She knew that if she was able to see the coastline a half mile away, she would have surly completed her swim.
I share this story because as the year drawers to an end. The question lies is are you clear on your vision and plan for 2019? Have you taken or have scheduled the time out to lay out your plan of action steps to get you to your desired goal for the year ahead? Are you and your team clear on the vital functions of what’s most important to drive towards the finish line? Are you certain of how you are going to react and push forward when those unexpected obstacles appear? If you are not, and if the fog sets in at some point, you just may be like Florence Chadwick ton her first try and throw in the towel. However, once you are crystal clear on your desired outcome and the action steps to get you there. You are surly to have a fighting chance of reaching your desired goal.
I invite you to find someone or an organization to help you create your 2019 action plan of success as so you can control you own fate in the new year ahead.
To finish our story, two months later, Chadwick swam the same channel, and again the fog clouded her view, however this time she swam with her faith intact that somewhere beyond the fog was land. This time she succeeded and was not only the first women to swim the Catalina Channel, however, she also beat the men’s record by two hours.