By Scott Schulz, Vice President, Mortgage Lending, Core Bank
It was an odd time to be thinking of the band One Direction. Just a few seconds earlier I was laughing with my family, enjoying a fast section of river during our Colorado white water rafting trip this past July, approaching what our guide said would be the biggest rapid we had encountered so far. A split second later, we ended up a just a bit too close to the rock on our right, turned against the current of the river. The force of the water pushed the back of the raft down and the front of the raft, where I was positioned, shot up and then we flipped… right into the churning, frothing, rushing madness of the river.
I never expected we would flip so I wasn’t prepared.
There was no time to take a deep breath, not that it would have mattered as the shock of the cold water seemed to empty my lungs anyway. With my feet above my head I tested the strength of the helmet I was wearing, bouncing off a few submerged boulders before I decided I’d had enough and tried to surface. My PFD, personal flotation device, pushed up against the crush of the water as I tumbled through the rapids, but instead of fresh air and a sunny sky I got a watery face full of the raft, I was now stuck underneath.
I hadn’t started to panic, yet. And then, stuck below the raft, bouncing off rocks, desperately trying to get my body turned around so my feet were pointed downstream instead of headfirst, I thought of One Direction. During the brief safety briefing before we jumped in our rafts, one of the guides told us what to do if anyone fell overboard. Grab the unlucky person by the PFD and throw yourself backward into the raft bringing the person in the water in on top of you. But if you found yourself under the raft, pick a direction, “ONE DIRECTION like the band”, and pull yourself along the bottom of the raft until you came out a side. If you started going one way but then changed your mind, the guide said you may not come up in time.
My PFD had me pinned with my head pointed downstream, so I decided I was going forward, where I could use both hands and pull myself toward the front of the raft. By the third pull I was in full panic mode, certain I couldn’t last underwater any longer, when I came to the end of the raft and finally popped to the surface.
The importance of picking one direction….
Paralysis by analysis; indecision; uncertainty; considering all the options; reviewing the pros and cons. Whether in business or in life, there are times when we must simply MAKE A DECISION! It’s human nature to try and minimize the pain of failure. However, doing nothing is rarely better than doing something. Waiting for something or someone to tell you what to do won’t take you where you need to be. You need to keep moving, so take a risk and pick a direction… one direction.