I was determined, when I set out on the Atlantic, not to be one of those whingeing explorers who bangs on about how unpleasant and miserable they are finding their expedition. After all, I’d chosen to do this thing, and it was going to be fun, right?
Or, actually, I thought it was going to be better than fun – it was going to be a wonderful, serene, meditative, enlightening, uplifting experience.
The trouble was, it wasn’t.
So now I had two realities, at war with each other. On the one hand, I was determined that I WOULD enjoy this (said through gritted teeth, with clenched fists). On the other hand, it was perfectly obvious to the casual observer (had there been any casual observers, which of course there weren’t, being hundreds of miles from land) that I was having a thoroughly horrible time.
This conflict between my two realities caused me some quite serious cognitive dissonance. Unless you are naturally of a Pollyanna-ish disposition, trying to convince yourself that something is fun when it’s not is quite an exhausting and ultimately futile exercise.
It was such a relief when I finally admitted to myself that no, I was not having fun. Ocean rowing sucked, in fact. Hugely sucked.
I gave myself permission to absolutely wallow in the suffering, to embrace it as an essential component of my adventure, without which I wouldn’t be stretching my comfort zone and exploring the outer reaches of my potential.
As soon as I did that, my two realities aligned, and I stopped wearing myself out with the mental effort of trying to pretend that I was having a good time.
Question: Are there areas of your life where you’re lying to yourself about what’s really going on? Are you pretending that something is fine, when deep down you know that it’s not? How does that make you feel? When you stop and think about that aspect of your life, do you get a feeling of heaviness, tightness, or queasiness? How would it be if you got honest with yourself about what’s going on?
Because only then can you make the choice to bring your two realities into alignment.
Our trip to Iceland last week was fabulous! Waterfalls, geysers, the Blue Lagoon, and stunning landscapes. If you find yourself in Reykjavik, the Fron Hotel is in a great location, very clean and nice. And belongs to a cousin of Marcus Eriksen of the 5 Gyres Institute – one of the Hunks on the Junk that I met mid-ocean on the Pacific.
This week I have not one, but TWO new podcasts to share with you!
I was honoured to be Guest #1 on Greg Faxon’s “The Bravery Project” podcast, just ahead of the legendary Seth Godin. You can listen to the podcast here, and associated blog post with links and highlights here.
And equally honoured to be on the James Swanwick Show. His team have done a great job of pulling out some bullet points from the interview, so even if you don’t have time to listen to the whole interview, please do check those out.
And finally, if you’re in London and interested in CSR, don’t miss the National CSR Awards next Thursday. I’ll be sharing the stage with Olympic rower Adam Freeman-Pask. You can get a 50% discount using ‘CSR50’ on the conference booking page.