Coach Paulo gave a nice little talk today on swim technique. While the talk was outwardly about changing swimming technique to be more efficient and powerful in the water, his bigger message was that we need to be open to change.
Demanding excellence–both athletically and personally–requires an openness to change. One must be humble enough to admit that one’s current situation is unsatisfactory, yet at the same time cocky enough to KNOW that you possess the talent and ability to be much better. In a world full of paradoxes, this is another one.
As the conversation moved towards the idea of change, the image of the Grand Canyon popped into my head. I’m not sure why–I’ve never even been there. Yet, the more Paulo talked about the power of change, the more I thought about the image.
I thought about the power of concentrated effort. Is there any better symbol of that power than the Grand Canyon? George Bernard Shaw once said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
If one were to take a glass of water and pour it over a rock, the water would run right off the harder surface. One would undoubtably conclude that the rock was stronger than the running water. Yet, the Grand Canyon proves that the water–not the rock–is stronger. How can this be?
The short answer is determination. Many people want to change their situations in life. It is DETERMINATION that separates those who DO from those who DON’T. The determined water, though seemingly weaker, carved a gorge in the rock that can be seen from outer space! The water’s concentrated effort to move from point A to point B, over time, proved to be stronger than the complacent rock. The talk and the promises are useless. Action is what matters. Action. Day in, and day out. Every day.