Two Sets of Oars, Four iPods, 300 Hundred Chocolate Bars By Katie Spotz
In 2010, I set off with two sets of oars, four iPods, three hundred chocolate bars, and a lot of determination to row solo across the ocean. No
motor, no sail, just oars. After 70 days at sea facing everything from 30-foot waves, sharks and extreme isolation I became the youngest person in history to do it alone.
If I could use one word to describe the Atlantic it would be teacher. I learned about motivation, goal setting, success, failure, risk-taking, overcoming adversity and achieving what we set out to achieve, no matter how steep the odds.
There wasn’t a lot to keep me motivated during the journey. I did not have screaming fans as with organized sports or the booths with food and refreshments every few miles as with endurance races. When I reached the fourth, third, halfway mark, I was certain there was not going to be a welcoming party for me.
By day 36 I was in one of the most remote places on the planet reaching the half-way mark. What could have been a celebratory moment was instead filled with doubt. I wanted to give up. I needed to dig deep and find a new way of mentally focus.
I told myself that “I am no longer rowing 3,000 miles”, but instead I said that “I am going to row 1 mile…3,000 times”.
Just a Slight Change in Perspective Can Alter How You Achieve Goals
That difference in perspective was huge. It kept me going when the enormity of the task at hand was more than I could handle. I did not row across an ocean in a day so it was important for me to break it down into daily, sometimes hourly, goals and focus on that one step ahead.
Whenever facing an incredible challenge these moments of doubt are to be expected and can be bench-markers that you are growing and reaching beyond your limits. By reaching for success you must also be willing to fail and view it not as a stopping point but as part of the journey towards success. I have learned much more from adversities and now understand that a setback is only a setback if I believe it is.
The way to reach success and accomplish goals in life is simple whether that be in an ocean or an office. It’s not about being stronger or smarter. It’s about holding on a little bit longer even when you lose the strength to continue on. As long as you keep going, you will get there.