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Guide // How to Swim in an Ocean of Progress

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Learn how to "warm-up" and create a momentum toward your goal. If you want to "swim" in the ocean of progress, you've got to take action, one next right step at a time.

Full Transcript

We’re having a chat! It is Friday. We are live. This week I’m excited because I’m going to share with you something that I learned recently from one of my coaches, that was incredibly helpful for me to be thinking about the goals that I have and the actions that need to be taken. So, I’m gonna tell you about that in a minute!

And then, I’m also pumped, because two weeks in a row now, we have a guide! Oh, yeah! That’s what I’m gonna be chatting about. This week’s guide is “How to Swim in an Ocean of Progress.” It remains to be seen if this is the best title. 

But I was pretty excited to have a purpose for this photograph that I took in Laguna Beach. This is blessedly—that’s my spacial skills, y’all—this is only about 15 minutes from my house. It’s this beautiful cove. When you’re standing where this photograph was taken, you’re looking down at this staircase, and it’s this beautiful little beach. And it is magical! 

It’s of course just one little cove, in a giant ocean, which is kind of appropriate for what we’re gonna be chatting about today.

Because I’ve noticed, when it comes to making progress, that often times we have these expectations that just aren’t accurate. 

Despite how intelligent we are, despite how capable we are, how many goals we’ve gone after in our life, how many days we’ve been on this planet, there still seems to be this universal disconnect in our human experience, between what we think is going to happen, and this vision that we have of what it will be like, to set a goal, to go after it, to achieve it. 

We have these very idealistic, almost fantasties, really—about what it’s going to be like. That’s actually part of inspired this guide. This idea of swimming in an ocean of progress. 

The metaphor that I use in the guide, it’s kind of like if you were to imagine going to this amazing place that you’ve heard about. I call it “Progress Pond” where it’s this beautiful pond with still waters, where you’re just gonna dive in and be making progress. Thinking of your goal as getting to the other side of the pond. 

You get really excited when you’re thinking about it, how amazing you’re going to feel, how accomplished, how proud, how good you’re gonna look in your bathing suit when you’re swimming across the pond!

And then when you actually get to the water’s edge, meaning: You’re about to go in and start taking the actions that are required to reach your goal, then it starts to feel real different. 

You start to look around and realize that making progress is not wading into a beautiful, tranquil pond with still water. It is actually much more like going into an ocean. Where there are tides, where there are waves, where they are things that you cannot control. 

Where at times you can make good progress, and it’s not as difficult to get where it is that you want to go, and other times, you are ducking under waves and choking on water! It is all part of the experience. 

I think we can get discouraged and distracted when we think that somehow that’s wrong. Or that that’s not how it’s supposed to go. 

So if you show up to a pond, thinking that you’re just gonna be languidly pattling across, floating on your back, no big deal, and then you arrive at an ocean, that can be really distressing.

But when you know that you’re going to the beach, and you’re going to the ocean, and you’re gonna go for an ocean swim, then it can be exciting. Then it gets to be more of an adventure and something that is fun and interesting. That you get to challenge yourself in doing.

What’s lovely about making any kind of progress, in the actions that you need to take to get where it is that you want to go—in the case of this metaphor guide, the actual swimming of it—the only way to get to the other side, is for you to actually swim.

And that requires you taking actions and stroke by stroke, next right step, by next right step. That is kind of what leads me to the thing I wanted to share with you about that had been taught to me recently.

And it’s this idea that, we kind of live in two worlds. One world, you could call it the world of reason; I call it also being in the world of Clever Brain, where we can be in our thoughts and our feelings, in the distraction of trying to figure out how to do it right. Trying to figure out when it’s the right time to go after a goal. Are we going after the right thing? What kind of equipment do we need? What stars need to align? Who needs to help us? 

There’s all kinds of thoughts and feelings and waiting until it feels right. All kinds of stuff that are essentially—it’s like thinking about swimming. It’s like looking at the water, trying to imagine the temperature, how deep it is, what it might feel like, if you have the right suit on, if there are people around that are going to be watching you and would that be embarrassing. 

You can spend all the time thinking about swimming, rationalizing. You could be practicing on dry land if you wanted and just visualizing and going through the motions. But there’s no substitute for actually getting in the water and swimming. 

I can certainly tell you, as someone who taught swimming for a number of years and was a competitive swimmer for 13 years—there’s no substitute for actually getting in water.

And the only way for you to swim, and to move forward, is for you to take a stroke. Regardless of which stroke you are swimming. You need to take strokes! 

And you can’t do any more than one stroke at a time. You might be able to go faster or slower. Some days they may look really good, other days it may look like a hot mess. And that’s fine! 

Because the important thing is that you’re taking one stroke after the next. And when you are in THAT world, that is world of action, that’s the world of performance, that’s where you are going to be building your courage muscles by taking your next right step, which often requires some courage. To try something new. To make different decisions, as you are going about your life. So that you can reach this goal, you can create new habits, you can start to give yourself permission to be thinking bigger.

I was in a conversation with a wonderful Mapper today, and I’d asked her, when she achieves her goal of—all of her financial goals: savings and emergency funds—very reasonable, adult things. What then? What do you get to do? 

And she had this moment, where she’s like, “Oh, wow. I hadn’t—I hadn’t even thought about it. I actually don’t know.” And she came up with some different ideas of things that she would love to do, and traveling, taking classes and being able to serve people in the way that she wants to contribute to her community.

But, it’s like, we don’t often let ourselves really think of how far we could swim, or where we could swim to. Nonetheless, wherever it is that you’re going, whatever goal it is that you want, you gotta swim. Ya gotta take the actions.

And in taking the actions, you are going to get stronger, you’re going to become more capable, you’re going to start to trust yourself more, and you will start to notice as you get out into the open water, what other possibilties there are for you—other goals that you could swim to that really, ultimately empower you and have you feel more alive. More “full-power” you. 

Because that’s really what’s of service to the planet. You being here, investing your time and energy in growing and going after things that have you come alive. That really matter to you.

Because when you do that, then it can’t help but impact the people around you and inspire them. And really give them the most “you” that is possible.

So that is what I wanted to kind of leave you with today. This idea that you can be in your Clever Brain, you can be in fear, or you can be in action. And you can take that action coming from love. 

In this example that I use for the guide, “How to Swim in an Ocean of Progress” the action that really matters is you taking it just one stroke at a time. One next right step at a time.

So in part of the guide, I have some questions and some things for you to do that I think can help you get more clear on what it looks like for you to identify what your goal is, that “ocean” so to speak, that you want to cross. And why it matters to you. 

Then what happens when you get to that water’s edge? How do you actually start? How do you get in the water? Then once you do, what does it looks like for you to get warmed up?

For those of you that know anything about swimming, particularly competitive swimming, it’s really important for you to get in and start to move your body and warm up and not attempt to sprint immediately. But to just get into motion. When you’re in that motion, when you’re taking actions, then that allows you to start to create a momentum.

So that is one of the things that you can sort out in the guide, where you come up with different ideas of what a warm-up might look like for you. What next right steps, what small actions that you can take, that are totally doable, for you getting warmed up, and starting to create a momentum toward your goal. This “larger ocean” that you’re going to cross.

And then I create this, which is a 10-Swirl Heart. It’s also got ten of the next right steps that you can be taking for your warm-up. 

Then once you’ve done that, there’s some questions and different things that you can answer to get a sense of how your warm-up experiment went and what’s working, what you would change and what it would look like for you to keep going, with this momentum. 

Now that you’re warmed up, OK, now let’s go and keep swimming and make some meaningful progress toward whatever it is that matters to you. 

So for you to get the guide, I’m going to put the link. You can go to Map Your Progress, just put in your name and email and I will send it to you straight away. 

Would love to hear what comes of it and with all things in progress, I feel like: This is an experiment, it’s an adventure. So I’m creating these guides to kind of give you a starting place to go. And some very specific actions and instructions and recommendations for you to get going. 

Yeah! Because really—you can’t—you can’t get very far unless you are willing to take it one next right step at a time. 

So my Dears, thank you so much for watching. If you have any questions that you would like me to answer, feel free to comment below. I’m very happy to do that.

Then I will back with you next Friday, possibly at 3pm Pacific, truth be told, I’m recognizing that due to the changes in weather, and the position of the sun, that this time of day which used to be really great for natural light is now changing. So I may end up changing the time that we do these temporarily. But, we’ll see. I’ll get it sorted.

Anyhow! Hope to see you again next week for another chat. The topic yet to be determined. But in the meantime, hope that you go and get your guide and then tell me all about it, Dears. Ok. Bye now!

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