Technology and Management Solutions Pursuit of Passionate Purpose
    June 2011
In the June 2011 Newsletter
  Lessons From a Wilderness Canoe Trip

There is nothing like a break to give perspective. What plans do you have to unplug and get off the grid so you can recharge, rewind, and refresh? Thanks to my daughter's Girl Scout troop, I had the opportunity recently to spend 5 days canoeing in the Buffalo River National Park in Arkansas where the temperature hit 102 degrees with 90% humidity. There we were with four 15-year-olds, two leaders, three canoes, nine paddles, two tents, and one large, slowly moving river. Of course, there was also one van to carry our gear and troop 917 miles from Colorado to Arkansas and back again.

Seven Practical Pointers from the River
GO WITH THE FLOW. Life is like a river flowing. Slow down. It's so much easier to go down stream, rather then fight the battle by going upstream. How often at work do we paddle upstream when we don't have to? Use the Allowing Strategy — let go and go with the flow.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER. We divided the 50-mile trip into 5 days, approximately 10 miles a day traveling at 2 miles an hour. Piece by piece, part by part we flowed (and paddled) down the river. Try tackling your next big project using the divide and conquer approach of the Persistence Strategy.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PROPER PEOPLE AND BEAUTY. Besides the participants and leaders, many people helped along the way. One family allowed our troop to use their van. Another family let us use their tents and other river gear. Another troop leader worked as the trip treasurer. The National Park rangers were extremely helpful in sharing information to plan the trip. Our outfitters provided the necessary equipment. Nature provided the proper environment to relax and learn. We used the Connections Strategy — connecting with self, proper people, other beings, and spiritual sources.
PREPARE AND PACK. A big trip like this does not just happen — it takes preparation, planning and packing. We set the goal in September to have a June canoe trip. While we did not know where we would go and exactly how much it would cost, we knew the girls would need to earn money. The girls sold lots of magazines and cookies. It turned out that our actual budget was correct within 1% of our planned budget. I wish all my work budgets were so right on. We learned to pack the energizers and unpack the hindrances along the way — we used the Pack Strategy.
BE A FIREFLY. How I love those insects that fly around at night rhythmically flashing on and off. They remind me of hot, lazy summer evenings in Illinois where I grew up. The message I interpret from these lightning bugs: Focus on your strengths. Do what you do best. Try to delegate the rest to others.
SKIP ROCKS. We arrived at the take-out site two hours early on the 5th river day. There was NO phone coverage so we couldn't call the outfitters to pick us up early. What did we do with that time? We decided to be curious and learn something new — rock skipping. We discovered the optimal shape for a rock that will skip and how to hold and throw the rock. We had a contest. We saw the thrill on the face of the girls when they successfully skipped a rock 2, 3, or even 7 times.
TAKE A BREAK. SING A SONG. What do you do when it's mid-day, 100+ degrees, and you're tired after paddling only half the day's distance? Be flexible on the distance for that day. Then jump in the river for a cool, rejuvenating swim. The paddling also goes much faster when you're singing a song together with your partner. Can you find a way to do this, have more fun, at work? Enjoy the journey.

SUMMARY. Every experience in life brings lessons. What will you learn from your summer vacation? How can you apply these lessons to your pursuit of passionate purpose?

Good News and Practical Information for You

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BLOG. Check out my Radish Sprouts blog posts about business, career, and life performance. The latest posting is Ten Tips Beyond Stress.

Believe, Visualize, and Act!

Theresa M. Szczurek, Ph.D., CMC®
Radish CEO, Entrepreneur, and Speaker

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Theresa M. Szczurek, Ph.D.

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