July 9, 2010
Last weekend I cycled the Coast to Coast (C2C) route from Whitehaven on the Irish Sea to Sunderland, on the North Sea – 145 miles (on and off road) with over 10,000ft of pedalling uphill. The scenery was stunning, especially through the Lake District and over the Pennines. There were also some really tough climbs that required just getting into the groove, being careful to pace myself and appreciating the moment(s) – scenery, wildlife, animals, flowers, sunshine, mini milestones, support and encouragement from other cyclists, following winds and the reward of making it to the top, before a fast exhilarating descent to start yet another tough climb. On reflection there are some great analogies and metaphors for business in these challenging and tough times. As the saying goes, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’.
How often is it when faced with what appears to be a really difficult goal to achieve (a 7 mile uphill cycle) , our initial reaction is ‘it’s too difficult’, or ‘is it worth the effort?’. People who rise to tough sporting or business challenges tend to:
- break them down into mini milestones (reaching each bend)
- ensure resources are available and making best use of resources (avoiding burn out, refuelling with energy drink, support from others, following winds)
- take time to appreciate the journey (scenery, wildlife) • enjoy the rewards of achieving the goal (feeling of achievement at reaching the summit, the views and/or cafe/bar at the top!)
- enjoy the downhill speed, the time to recover and replenish resources (muscles). Caution on the descents though, whilst exhilarating be aware of the risks (tight bends, missing turnings, not knowing when to apply the brakes, etc!)
And then…….you are ready to take on the next tough climb, knowing you can do it, it is worth the effort and the rewards!
I’d love to hear what analogies and metaphors came up for you.