Contemplation at the lake

August 11, 2022

These last few weeks, I took a lot of time to recuperate. I worked a lot during the year, and I needed a few weeks to recharge. Because my wife is pregnant and traveling can be stressful these days with a small child, we decided to stay home for a couple of weeks of vacation. Luckily, we have a gazillion lakes around where we live. They might not be the most spectacular lakes, and most of them are old mines, so they are not natural lakes, but they are calm, surrounded by nature, and most importantly for me, they are not overcrowded.

We pack a picnic and stay there all day. Two of my favorite activities are swimming and Paddle Boarding with a SUP. These are fun, give you a good workout, and are relaxing too. I usually paddle and then stop in the middle of the water, lie down on the board and do a small stretching session/yoga. You should give it a go if you have never done yoga on a SUP. I also sit and meditate, or sometimes contemplate on an idea, on a sound. I had a thought that I thought would be valuable to share here.

You see, when you are a beginner swimmer or a beginner on a paddle board, you tend to do fast strokes. You think that is the way to go fast. But it slows you down. Because at each stroke, you put resistance in the water. And so, at each stroke, you lose a bit of the momentum created by the previous one. This is not efficient, and it can quickly become exhausting. The way to go faster and further is to give a nice big powerful stroke and then let it be for a few seconds. Once you naturally lose the momentum, you are ready for another stroke. And so, slower strokes will allow you to go faster and waste less energy.

An analogy for life

The faster we try to go, the less momentum we give ourselves to grow. It is not by doing more faster and taking every shortcut possible that we will be able to optimize and self-actualize. We need time. We need to let things go and simplify. Work hard and trust the process. Let ideas settle. Let yourself breathe. Let yourself be. You don’t need to put in as many strokes as possible to live a good life. Let yourself flow freely on the surface of the water. Trust your instincts. Let your body do what it can do. You will go further if you don’t precipitate if you don’t overwhelm. You will have more if you aim for less. You will be wealthier if you are content with what you have right now, at this moment.

And so maybe you would like to contemplate that today. Think about where you should slow down and when rest would be more productive. What to let go, and what to hold on to. Enjoy life. Don’t try to squeeze in every single experience available for fear of missing out.

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