I love reading stories about people who take on something big. These stories fall into two categories.
1. People who found themselves in a situation they did not anticipate and they acted with courage or heroism or something extra and they did something big. Think Nando Parrado.
2. People who choose to do something big, long or wide. These stories tend not to be quite so dramatic as a life and death struggle, but they also call upon courage, drive, resolve, and commitment.
I am writing about people who fall into the #2 category.
The Victrola (one of the best coffee shops in Seattle) posted about one of their customers (Michael) who has gone for a swim in Lake Washington for 203 days straight. The water temp has varied from the 70s down to the 40s and he does not wear a wet suit. Brrr. Here's what Michael says about his swimming on his website:
My name is Michael: I love Seattle and Washington state, and I love to swim in Lake Washington, especially at Madison Park. One day I started swimming, and now I can't stop (who would've guessed I'd love the cold water?). I made this web site to share the swim streak madness with my family and friends. It's all about swimming, cold water, Lake Washington, Madison Park, waterfowl, the Great Pacific Northwest and the Legendary Swim Streak: 204 Days and c-c-c-counting as of 1/13/07...
This is interesting. I am envious or jealous or maybe I am just feeling guilty because I have a tough time stringing together a perfect week of any desired behavior. Good on ya Michael!
We've heard about people walking across continents, wearing a name tag every day for years, cooking a different Julia Child recipe every meal for one year, and others (feel free to share). And then there's Jon, who is painting 365 paintings in one year (disclosure: he also painted my podcast logo). We hear the stories and are almost always interested and amazed.
There's power in doing something big, long, wide, or deep, and if we take it on we will be transformed. I say that like I know it, don't I? I am confident, BTW, but I recognize that I have not done the backstroke (which would be my stroke of choice) for 200 days straight or anything like that.
Big - epoch big - projects are breakthrough generators. How can they NOT be. I need to put myself out there and give this a try. As I write this I am cringing because I have a habit of starting things but not finishing them. I say that I get bored easily, but I think this is a cop out. I just choose not to stick with things.
If you want to transform your life, consider taking on a big, wide, deep, or long project. And don't worry if someone else has done it. Walking across the continent is still a very long way and an amazing accomplishment even if you are number 623 who has done it.
So, what will it be? I have a couple ideas in mind - tell me what you think:
Idea #1 - Driving my motorcycle from the northwest corner of the contiguous US (Forks, Washington) to the southeast corner (Key West, FL). According to Google, this is a journey of 3,654 miles.
Idea #2 - Something to do with walking (like Michael on land). Not sure what the right stand is to take on this one. I need to resist making it too complex or too simple.
Idea #3 - Something fun but also giving. I have this goofy idea. It might be fun to send someone I do not know a nice card or letter - one per day, every day for a year.
What do you think? Are you doing something long, big, deep, or wide? Tell me about it.