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The Magic Happens in the 11th Lap

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The Magic Happens in the 11th Lap

I write this at the risk of looking a bit foolish, but something very interesting happened this week…

I have started swimming for exercise without impact, and it’s kind of new to me.  So for the past month I’ve been building up strength and stamina, to the point where I can do 10 laps.  I’m very proud of my achievement, being able to swim such distance.

For some reason, I was swimming more comfortably than ever yesterday and decided to push myself a little bit more.  My body was ready to stop at 10 laps but for some reason, my mind was screaming KEEP GOING!

So I did.  I did one more lap.

What happened during that final push to complete one more lap blew my mind. Coming down the home stretch I thought, “What if a 50-meter pool is 50m ONE WAY?!”.  I’m American you see, and my understanding of metrics is shaky at best.  For one whole month I’ve been swimming, believing a 50m pool to equal one lap, up and back.

Who knows why, but something in my brain just clicked.  I thought… “gee, I wonder if 50m is the actual length of the pool”.  If so, my 10 laps equal 1 whole kilometer!

I literally doubled my distance in an instant!

I couldn’t help make the immediate connection to photography and business.

A huge amount of my time and effort goes into carving out a little slice of the photography pie.  I enjoy the challenge.  There are some dramatic leaps, but overall I see small achievements and incremental advances in my career.  But I do put in considerable effort.  And it suddenly occurred to me that I could very well be accomplishing far more than I realise.

Am I swimming ‘10 laps’ in business never realising that it’s twice the distance I believe it to be?  Do I get frustrated that I’m not accomplishing as much as I’d like; only to discover that I’ve grown surprisingly successful relative to my time in the industry?  Do I listen to my heart when it says ‘PUSH ON!’ after my mind has achieved its predetermined goal of ‘10 laps’?

Maybe that’s where the real magic happens… In that 11th lap when you’ve followed your heart beyond what you thought you could do.  Maybe that’s where the clarity comes and the pieces fall into place and you see that you have achieved far more than you ever thought you could.

So the question becomes, what is my next ‘11th lap’?  Well, I wish I could see the answer to that as obviously as the words on this page, but the only reasonable answer I can find is this… when your heart says ‘DO IT!’, listen to that voice.

There’s wisdom there

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