Know What Is In Your Boat, Then Row Like Crazy!

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That is Outside My Boat is the name of a little book written several years ago based on a phrase the co-author heard one day that stuck in his mind.

Charlie Jones was a sportscaster for NBC-TV covering the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996.  He was assigned commentary for the rowing, canoeing, and kayaking events.  Having never covered this particular area of sports he asked basic questions in his initial interview with one of the athletes.  One of them was, “What do you do if it rains?”  The well-trained athlete simply responded, “That’s outside my boat.”  It was then that Jones began to realize that the rowers were only interested in what they could control- inside their boat- in order to win an Olympic medal.  Things like weather, the strength of their competition, the number of people who attend the games, etc. were all factors outside their boat.  To focus on them would only distract from their performance, attitude, and response to factors inside their own boat that they could control.

How much of your time and energy at work is wasted on worrying about things that are outside your boat.  In other words, things that are beyond your control?  The Bible instructs us to not “worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and supplication, let your request be known to God.”  (Phil. 4:6)  In other words, if you can’t do anything about it, turn it over to The One who can do something about it!  Leave it to Him!  (He’s pretty good at handling things that are far beyond our control!)  This frees you up to focus on those things that are within your scope and ability to manage, create, develop, and even master.

Define what it is that is in your workplace boat.  Develop a personal strategy to focus and concentrate only on those things.  Then cast aside those workplace issues and worries that are not inside your boat.  Refuse to take them on.  That’s God’s job.  So pray to Him and let Him know what you think it is you need.  Then rest in His sovereign will to answer the way He sees best.

Next, get to work refining and honing your skills in order to create an environment inside your boat that will lead you and your workplace team to success today, this week, and over the longer journey through the often-choppy and uncertain waters that go along with the specifics of your industry.  This will help you to give God glory, accomplish more on the job and carry far less stress in your heart!  You’ll win the gold! if you do!

David Cox

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