A story is told about a bloodhound chasing a
stag. A fox crossed the path, so the hound
chased the fox. After a while a rabbit crossed
the path, so the hound chased it. Later, a
mouse crossed the path and the hound chased the
mouse into a hole. The hound began his hunt on
the trail of a magnificent stag and ended up
watching a mouse hole!
Not that there is anything wrong with
spontaneity. Some of the most wonderful things
have come into my life by beautiful accident.
But there is also something to be said for knowing
where we want to go.
Florence Chadwick learned the importance of keeping
a goal in mind on July 4, 1952. She waded into
the Pacific Ocean off Catalina Island and began
swimming toward the California coast 26 miles
away. The day was cold and her attendants
drove off sharks throughout the journey.
Florence had already swum the English Channel twice
and, if she could finish today, she would be the
first woman to have swum both. But after
fifteen hours in the water, for the first and only
time in her long-distance swimming career, she gave
up and climbed into the escort boat. Others
had urged her on, but in the fog they could not tell
her how near she was to the coast. She later
learned that she was less than half a mile from
When asked by a reporter why she gave up, Florence
replied: "It was the fog. If I
could have seen land, I could have finished.
But when you can't see your goal, you lose all sense
of progress and you begin to give up."
On a warm, sunny day two months later Florence
Chadwick swam the Catalina Channel, handily beating
the men's record. Only when she kept her eyes
on the shore did she eventually arrive there.
Keeping that goal constantly in sight will get you
where you want to go.
From Your Life Support System, a free
newsletter sharing life, love and laughter,
published by Steve Goodier at lifesupportsystem.com