I went on a zip line canopy tour with some friends this past weekend. It was a great time and brought to mind a few things that I think have a place in both our personal and professional lives.
The first was the idea of trying new things. It is easy to become complacent in our daily lives – personal and professional. Taking the time to do something new and not in our ordinary scope gives us a different perspective. I think it is safe to say we will not always be perfect the first try but after a few attempts it will become easier and in many times a standard process. The fist zip line I actually ended up upside down. For those of you that have zip lined this is not uncommon and is actually a lot of fun. By the last zip line I was maintaining a stable position. I had the process down.
The second is really a two part item – trust and control. During the zip line tour there were various challenges. There was a balancing bridge, a few rappelling stations, a net climb and an area that you
needed to traverse by using a rope and pulling yourself across. I did some better than others. One of the most difficult moments for me was rappelling. Like many of us in the association management profession I like to be in control and this was one time I was not in control. This exercise also involved trust. The guide
that was handling my rope as I repelled down was about 100lbs and I am about 250lbs. I did the math and thought how is this little person going to hold me as I rappelled down because if she lets go I am falling about 25 feet onto my back. The guide was a true professional and did this hundreds of times so she
knew what she was doing but I needed to trust her as I took that leap down and boy am I glad I did. It was a blast and there was a second and much higher repelling station and because of the results of the first station I had trust in her ability. Trusting others and allowing us and them to be successful is essential and all of us will be better off when we succeed together.
The third was dealing with failure and still giving it a try. I could do all of the challenges pretty easily and very quickly except for traversing the platforms with the rope. Based on the results of the first 10 people that tried I was pretty sure I was not going to be able to complete the challenge but when my turn came I gave it a try. I did not need to since all of the challenges had a much easier way to get to the next platform. To put it nicely I did not do that well and what part I did not complete was not very pretty but I did try and I was not afraid of failing. It actually gave me a new goal to work towards. The next time I do this tour I will do better on that challenge and may even finish that challenge.
I think the three items above – trying new things, giving up control and trusting others and being willing to fail are essential to growing as a person and as a professional and I hope to continue to try new things even knowing I may fail at some but I am sure I will have more successes than failures.
I hope you trying something new and different this week.
Thanks for reading,