Inspiration often comes about in the least likely of circumstances — situations you wouldn’t find yourself in on a daily basis. Sometimes it takes a change of routine or someone offering bits of wisdom in a different way — like with a thick Australian accent — that allows you to have a fresh perspective.
On a media familiarization trip in early February, I made my inaugural trip to Cairns, Australia. First item on the itinerary: whitewater rafting with a company called Raging Thunder Adventures. Despite the immediate hesitation I felt at the thought of “raging thunder” and what they considered an “adventure,” I went forward with what ended up being a highlight of the trip.
From the moment we were graced with the wit of our chatty six-foot-something rafting guide, Tim, I knew this would be one of those experiences that would yield many teachable moments for future difficult or undesirable situations. Maybe some of Tim’s words will be of value to you as well:
“Anyone scared of the boat flipping over? I’m scared as well. This is my first day.”
It’s always important to remember that no matter how daunting or insurmountable a task seems, there’s always someone else in your high-fashion pair of community rafting shoes to share your fears. You’ll get through it together.
“Put your feet up facing downstream so you can see where you’re going. Your legs are like springs; they can do things like bounce off logs, rocks, crocodiles and other rafts, but your head’s no good at it.”
True, the head sometimes does get in the way of what’s best. Sometimes if you think too much about avoiding an undesirable consequence — such as an encounter with a crocodile — it serves the opposite purpose and actually steers you closer to it.
(Instructing on the procedure for being pulled back to the raft by a rope) “And if we do ask you to let it go, we may need to go rescue someone else.”
If you feel like all your resources and support have been cut loose, find comfort in knowing that they’ve gone to someone who needs them worse than you do. You may be at a point in a project, career or business that it’s sink or swim, and you’ve been given all you need to swim.
The final takeaway that Raging Thunder Adventures left me with was that having the right people in the right jobs is as important as any product or experience you’re trying to sell. River rafting would have been fun with most any guide, but Tim, who had a genuine passion for people and the job, undoubtedly took the experience from fun to one that made a lasting impression and that I am now relating to life and business.
My thanks to United Airlines, Raging Thunder, Tim and all who hosted us on our trip to Cairns. I came home with more than just pictures and souvenirs.