Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Lessons From Kayak Jack

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The other day my wife and I went on one of our kayak trips across the sound (the mile-long body of water near our house that separates the mainland from the barrier island and the Gulf of Mexico). In a rare move, we took our chihuahua Jack.
Although He prefers spending time with my wife over me, Kayak Jack (as we affectionately call him) began the journey with me in my kayak, acting like a confident sea-dog with his nose in the wind and the sun at his back. (Technically the sun was at his side, but that doesn't sound as adventurous.)

Halfway across the sound, Kayak Jack began to look around for my wife. He moved from his position at the front of my kayak to the back, and watched my wife who was about 80 feet behind us in her kayak. He spent a few moments of indecision, then jumped into the salt water and began to swim to her.

After negotiating the current and the chop, my wife pulled alongside of him and lifted him out of the water and into her kayak. We were both surprised that Jack would take the plunge and actually do that. I think he even surprised himself with that move.

Kayak Jack survived the swim, shook himself dry, and spent the remainder of the trip across (and the trip back) with my wife.

There are some lessons about passion in this fun-but-true story:
  • Being passionate about something will cause you to take risks. 80 feet is a long way for a 5 lb. chihuahua to swim. But his desire to be in the kayak with my wife caused Jack to risk the distance.
  • Being passionate about something will cause you to be uncomfortable. Jack is not a lover of water. He does not like to swim. He hates baths. And yet he was willing to get wet to achieve his goal.
  • Being passionate about something will cause you to leave security. Jack felt safe in the middle of a body of water, a half-mile from shore because he was high and dry in a kayak. Still, he left his security to pursue his desire.
  • Being passionate about something will cause you to be "all in". Jack wasn't able to reason that we'd soon be on dry land and he could ride in my wife's kayak if he'd only waited. But he did give up everything and made his sole focus getting aboard her kayak and being with my wife.
Kayak Jack reminded me of the need to be passionate about something, and some of the steps one takes to pursue that passion.

Question: What are some other lessons we can learn about passion from this story? Share your thoughts below in 'comments'.
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