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Big Hairy Audacious Goals Vs Flow or Yang vs Yin
29/2/2016

I’ve always been one for goals and visions and “make it happen …” which is apparently a very masculine energy. As you may know I row in the Isle of Ely Women’s Eight and we are about to row the final leg of the Winter League – three timed races in January, February and March designed to get you into top fitness for the Regatta Season. 

 

January was extraordinary!  We are a really small club and honestly, we don’t do terribly well against the serious training regimes of the Cambridge Clubs.  So, we set off in January pretty laid back, just trying to do our best time … for us.  We flew down the course, perfectly in sync, even breathing together apparently!  We won our category!!!! Whoop, unheard of!  We were only 4 seconds off the time made by our men’s crew.

 

February was different.  So much expectation.  Everyone was hyping us up to beat the men’s time, to stay ahead of the competition, to win the race.  We were very nervous, thinking about trying to beat our last time, trying to beat the men, trying to win.  So, we tried too hard.  You can’t do that in rowing, because, strangely you have to be relaxed to row!  It was still a good time but we didn’t win the heat.  We were working so hard that the technique went to pot.  We weren’t in sync, we weren’t together as a crew and we struggled and the men beat us by over 80 seconds! 

 

March leg approaches on Sunday and we have given this a lot of thought. Our closest competitor is only 4 seconds behind us. One of the crew posted a great video about how Olympic Athletes prepare and it’s not about the end goal, it’s about doing your technical best in every moment of the race.  The outcome doesn’t matter. We can’t know how good the other crews are, we can’t know what wind there will be in our division, we can’t know if there will be ducklings in the water.  We can only do our best in each and every moment.

 

And so in business.  Sometimes we don’t have a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, sometimes the goal feels a long way off, despite all the KPIs in place.  Sometimes it’s just about accepting where we find ourselves and doing the best we can do in every moment. We don’t know what the competition are going to do, what the economy is going to do, what the special people in our lives are going to do.  We can only do our best in each and every moment (and remember to breathe!)

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