Aliveatwork's Blog

Do You Really Know How To Swim?


Recently, a friend of mind and I were discussing the topic of commitment. I was sharing a situation where I felt that I needed to be ‘all in’ or not. Fence-sitting for too long can be uncomfortable.

Let me add here, that at times, I have been known to analyze, scrutinize, and over-think, a situation to death … and this was one of those times!

My friend Matt was telling me about a television show he watched where they asked a guy if he knew how to swim. The guy replied, “Sure, I watched videos on the internet and practiced on the kitchen floor!”

Matt was quick to follow up with, “Imagine someone thinking they could swim because they watched a video, rolled around on the floor, BUT never got in the water!”

It get worse!

He then said “So are you in … or are you out … you know you said those exact same words to me not too long ago … remember?”

One of the worst things about having a close friend is that they will remind you of things you told them when they were in a similar situation. One of the best things about having a close friend is that you can trust them to tell you the truth … even when it stings.

What’s The Point?

  1. You can’t swim … until you get in the water.
  2. You won’t realize your dreams … until you take a step to act-u-a-l-i-z-e them.
  3. You aren’t a leader …. because you read a book on leadership or have a title!
  4. You aren’t a parent … if you’ve never raised kids!
  5. You will never experience love … if you’re not willing to be open your heart, take a risk, and let it in!

If you truly want and desire something you have to be willing to take a leap of faith and jump into the deep end of the pool. And you have to do it … even if you’re afraid.

A lot of people have dreams and desires … few people are willing to risk what it takes to experience them.

Bill Cosby once said, In order to succeed, your desire for success should (must) be greater than your fear of failure.

So do you need to jump in the pool in some area of your life?

If so … my wish for you is that you choose … the deep end?

What’s Really on Your Mind?

Every couple of months I have the privilege of working work with a group of folks from Best Buddies of Arizona.

Best Buddies is an international organization who’s mission is to create opportunities for one-to-one friendships, employment opportunities and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Each and every time I go I always receive an unexpected gift or lesson.

A few weeks ago while I was interacting with one of the team members, I was struck by the notion that I was surrounded by some of the most authentic people I have ever met in my life.

And that got me thinking … what is it about this extraordinary group of individuals that makes this experience feel so genuine?

As I pondered that question I came to this conclusion: The reason this feels so genuine is because they don’t hold back … they say what’s on their minds and have no problem telling you how they feel.

In a world of soundbites, political back-stabbing, spin, and dis-ingenuousness … they are a  welcomed breathe of fresh air.

No filters, no facades, and no masks. They live in the moment … totally engaged in life!

How wonderful is that … how authentic is that … how real is that?

What if more people spoke their truth instead of hiding behind a veil of filters and fear?

What if we didn’t have to be soooooooo politically correct that we defy logic because someone or some group is offended?

What if more people said what they meant and meant what they said at work, at home, and especially in Washington D.C.?

And for the record: I am not talking about maliciously hurting others out of  ignorance or fear. That isn’t the point, that is just the other extreme.

What I am saying is that we seem to be trading authenticity and truth for dis-ingenuousness and mis-truths.

My friend Richard shared this quote with me by Aristotle and I think it applies perfectly:

 “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

So what about you … what’s really on your mind?