May 032011

I’m onboard Strider, a Searunner 31 trimaran, somewhere just downstream of 2cnd weir on the Vaal. We’re hard aground, stuck firmly on the keel and rudder in the mud, the result of an over-eager attempt to fly the Code-0 in narrow, unknown waters without a working depth-sounder.

The water is freezing and the wind bitingly cold as we row out the kedge anchor. We spend the next 45 minutes winching, cussing and moving only slightly closer to the deeper water off the starboard beam. It’s not working. So we do what we should have done from the start – into the freezing, muddy water and we help her free by pushing. 30 seconds later we’re floating free!

It’s the same in life and on our projects sometimes. We get stuck on something – whether a problem that needs solving or the routine of life in general – and spin opur wheels trying to get moving again. Often the overall problem seems daunting, too big to solve, so we go into a tailspin, putting in the effort but not moving forward, avoiding the hard work we know is needed to make a breakthrough.

So, yes. It’s not the worst possible thing that can happen to you, being stuck. The worst possible thing that can happen to you is that you don’t realise you’re stuck, you don’t realise that what you’re doing is not effective, you don’t do the hard work you know is needed. So, even if you’re not 100% sure of what to do next, do something different. Do the hard, intelligent work needed; make a start and take small, positive action in a different direction. Do the work and you’ll be surprised at how soon you become unstuck.

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