I remember that day I was at the fair, and I saw a game of chance.
The goal of the game was to toss a ping pong ball towards a table that was covered in small fishbowls.
To win the game, all I had to do was land my ping pong ball in one of the fishbowls.
The prize for my expert marksmanship was a brand new goldfish.
I had seen other people trotting around the carnival grounds with their goldfish.
Each time I saw someone with a plastic bag full of water and a bright orange goldfish, envy began to enter my young heart.
I wanted a goldfish.
I pondered about all the fun I would have with my new pet.
I would feed it.
I would pet it.
I would call it George.
I tried my hand at the game of chance, and Lady Luck was not my companion that day.
Which got me thinking.
I’ve never heard of a goldfish drowning in water.
I’ve heard of people drowning in water.
But never once did the talking heads on TV report breaking news of a drowning goldfish.
Goldfish won’t drown because they have gills.
The gills help them breathe the oxygen that permeates the water.
We humans (except for the mermen and mermaids) don’t have gills.
Over the past few months, I spent a lot of time, energy, and resources on a new business proposition.
The past six months have been a fascinating period.
It reminded me of my early days of my accounting business, where my back was against the wall.
I had to diligently make a name for myself and build relationships with complete strangers so they would trust me enough to hire me.
Those startup days were full of so many emotions.
I was scared, excited, anxious, elated, stressed, overjoyed, calm, and hopeful each day.
The roller coaster of emotions carried me up and down daily as I focused on making one step of progress each day.
As the months progressed, I started to gain traction, built a client base, and my accounting business life became more certain.
The early days of struggle seemed so bleak.
In the beginning, I had nothing but hope to carry me forward each day.
This summer, as I was building out my new business proposition, I experienced deja vu as I went the same roller coaster of getting my new business proposition off the ground.
A few weeks ago, I paused momentarily.
I took some time to reflect on the progress I had made.
I wasn’t happy with where I was.
I was overwhelmed.
I was overworked.
I was exhausted.
I felt like I was drowning.
I was so busy working, working, working that I finally realized something had to change.
I was spinning my wheels.
My brain was overloaded, and I knew I had to change the way I was approaching work.
I had to reduce my workload.
I had to take a break to decompress and recalibrate.
I’m in week two of my decompression phase.
It’s been a bit of a challenge not to keep going.
I am in action mode much of my life.
I want to get things done.
It reminds me of something Stephen Covey once wrote.
It doesn’t matter how fast you climb a ladder if the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.
Massive action on the wrong activities will only lead to the wrong results.
My period of decompression is my chance to stop and go back to the drawing board to see what got me distracted doing the wrong activities.
A few times in the past week I’ve told a few people that I made bad decisions.
I’ve realized this language pattern is self-defeating.
I didn’t make bad decisions.
I made decisions that gave me results I did not desire.
Don’t make those same decisions.
Make different decisions so I can receive different results.
Such is life.
I won’t always get the results I set out to get.
However, at least I will be moving.
It’s a lot easier to changed directions if I’m moving than if I’m not moving.