Over the past couple of weeks, I heard two speakers share the same story about Florence May Chadwick. On a cold, foggy morning in July 1952, Chadwick attempted to become the first woman to swim across the Catalina Channel–from Catalina Island to Palos Verde on the California coast–a distance of 21 miles. After 15 hours of swimming, and half a mile from her goal, Chadwick quit. At the news conference the following day, she explained, “All I could see was the fog… I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.”
Two months later, Chadwick tried again. The same fog set in as she swam. However, this time she kept a mental image of the shoreline. Not only did she become the first woman to swim the Catalina Channel, she broke the men’s record by two hours!
As we start this new week, may this story inspire all of us to never give up on our goals. You will encounter hurdles, naysayers, and all kinds of limitations. These could be like a thick fog that clouds your vision and dampens your enthusiasm. Quitting might seem like the only and most logical option. But if there’s a lesson to learn from Chadwick’s experience, it is to “keep a mental image of the shoreline.” In other words, visualize your goal. Create a clear picture of what you want to accomplish. Feel it. Taste it. And work hard at it.
- Don’t focus on the fog; focus on completing your college thesis.
- Don’t focus on the fog; focus on passing the bar exams.
- Don’t focus on the fog; focus on landing that dream job.
- Don’t focus on the fog; focus on paying all your debts this year.
- Don’t focus on the fog; focus on setting up that new business.
Don’t make giving up an option. By the grace and strength of God, live this week from his perspective. Follow the example of Florence Chadwick. Adopt the attitude of the apostle Paul:
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:14
Photo credit: The San Diego Union Tribune