Sorry there was no new post yesterday but it was “re-entry” day at our house. You know – the day after you return from a trip. There’s the mail, the email, the voicemail, the unpacking, the laundry, the empty refrigerator and the kids that need some attention! Now if my body can just re-adjust to Pacific time everything will be great. Jim and I had a fabulous time in Florida and loved the break and the sun! I tried to soak in as much Vitamin D as I could.
Our trip to Florida was a gift from my company to the top level leaders. They spoiled us with 4 nights/5 days in the beautiful luxury Marriott resort on Marco Island. We enjoyed wonderful food, spa time, fun shopping, exciting excursions, pool and beach time and did I mention SUN!
One of my favorite excursions was the Shelling/Dolphin boat trip. If you have never been to Marco Island (it is the southwest tip of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico) the beach there is covered with millions of shells. I really don’t even think there is sand – it is just crushed shell. If you are from Oregon you know that it is an exciting day when you find an intact shell on the Oregon Coast – well in Florida they are everywhere!
Our boat took us out to a private island that was only used for shelling. The beach there was covered with shells. As everyone departed the boat they began walking along the shore line collecting the shells that lined the beach.
I noticed a woman walking by who had a bucket full of shells. But they were not the shells that were so abundant along the beach – they were not the common shells you can find everywhere on Marco Island – these shells were different. They were beautiful.
I wanted shells like hers.
As I watched her, she did not walk along the shore line like everyone else. She actually got into the water. So I decided if I was going to find shells like hers I too was going to have to get into the water – to get wet. So I lifted up my cover-up and got into the water.
These particular shells were not as abundant as the others - I had to search for them and sometimes I had to wade out a bit farther than I really wanted to and get a bit wetter than I really wanted to. I had to step on some pretty bumpy terrain a few times and almost lost my balance a time or two. But I found them – the beautiful shells I wanted.
My shells are now home with me, in a glass bowl on my kitchen counter – I love them. They will be a reminder of our wonderful time in Florida but they also remind me of something else.
They remind me of those goals that we set – whether it is one of the goals we have set for our 40 Days of Fanatical Focus or a more long term goal.
When we set a goal:
1. We are setting ourselves apart. We are not looking for the common, everyday. Just like I didn’t want those shells that were so abundant on the beaches, I wanted the unique shells - we want to accomplish something unique, something different.
2. We need to look for a guide. Someone who has done it before us, someone who has forged the path for us and has provided a map that we can follow, just like the woman I saw with the bucket of beautiful shells. By watching her and what she did I knew where to find those shells – in the water!
3. We need to differentiate ourselves from the crowd. We need to be willing to not follow the easy path – walking along the shoreline where all the common shells are. We need to veer off the path and get into the water – we need to get wet!
4. We need to realize that we may need to get wetter than we want and maneuver over some rough terrain but that it will be worth it. By getting wet and enduring a little pain I found what I was looking for – I found seashell success.
5. After we have found success we need to share it with others. When I got back on the boat to sail back to the hotel, Jody Summers, another top leader in my company was also on the excursion. She had not found any of the beautiful shells that I had so I shared a few with her.
Greater joy can be found in our success when we are willing share it with others.
Here’s wishing you Seashell Success!