A couple of weeks ago I decided to accept an invitation I had been extended many times: going canyoning. Yeah, you read it right. I just put on my neoprene suit, took a deep breath and got into the river with other 26 people, including two awesome monitors. I had never done it before and, even though it was supposed to be an ‘easy-peasy’ activity, it turned out to be a medium difficulty canyon. We had to rappel, jump into rapids, and face a tonne of flumes, syphons, and, above all, slips.

Lessons I learnt into the river

I won’t delight you with my best and worst moments (which of course there were), but simply tell you what I learnt:

  1. When I lack self-confidence, I freeze and need help to move forward. In this respect, I will spare you the details of a very ‘delicate’ moment. All that matters is that here I am, safe and sound, and with a second canyon already scheduled.
  2. A workplace is like a river: the current flows with or without you. So you only have two options: you can let yourself go with it and hit every rock along the way, or make a decision and move forward as a part of it. And when you do as I did and take the second path, the experience is amazingly thrilling and satisfying.

Those are the things I learnt about myself and how I behave when facing difficult situations, but I also learnt something about the others, which could be perfectly applied to work in general and productivity in particular:

  1. Always, always, always, there is someone who is an expert at what you are doing and who can give you the key to progress. Just as our river journey would have been way more different without the monitors, our work can improve enormously when we trust an expert on our work field.

 

The river takes you away from your comfort zone

Mind you, maybe the most important thing I learnt into that river is that being completely focused for a couple of hours with our five senses working together as one can be exceedingly more productive than spending eight hours sitting on a chair displaying only half our potential.

So don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new activities and experiences. It will be a wake-up call for your brain and your energy. Moreover, you will want to do more and more things to improve constantly.

And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

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Image: Joshua Earle

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