I live on Florida’s Emerald Coast – a land of sugary white sand, lots of sun and emerald green waters. Since my roots are in the sand dunes, my stress management plan includes time at the beach. However, all is not sunshine and happiness in this vacation destination, because there is something critically important to know about swimming here. When the red flags are flying, it seriously means, “DO NOT go in the Gulf”. The danger is hidden & deceptive and it has a name: Rip Current. Unfortunately, there are more than a few deaths every year because people are unaware of the threat.
Rip currents are deadly because people panic and often drown from the exhaustion of fighting the current. As a Florida native, I was schooled from an early age about what to do if you get caught in a rip current. The key is to go with the flow. If possible, floating on top of the water is the best action to take.
Some wonder about that logic, since the current is a fast flow to deep waters. But the key is, once you are out of the current, you can swim horizontally to avoid the current and get back to shore. The sad thing about fear and panic is they typically override logic.
The connection is clear when this concept is applied to stress management. There are hidden dangers that can take us under when we disregard warning signs. Excellent leaders begin by leading themselves well, which involves self-discipline. This is an intentional process. I teach a program called the “FLOAT” Approach to Stress Management that includes placing lifeguards in vulnerable spots . The principles are timeless, yet they bear repeating since stress still kills – deceptive bugger that it is. Here’s a quick video message from Beverly:
Stress Management is a leadership skill. I challenge you to intentionally incorporate at least one proven technique every single day this week. Techniques are personal, principles are universal. Take care of yourself…your life depends on it.