How to Swim Faster: It’s All in Your Head
By John O’Sullivan
I’m going to tell you something that I’ve never told anyone before. That’s right, it’s true.
You’re probably thinking “What the hell does he want from me?” Well let me ask you this first… what kind of person doesn’t have some sort of secret desire? What kind of person doesn’t want to improve themselves?
If you don’t, then you aren’t really living your life. And if you are living your life, then you aren’t truly enjoying yourself!
So here goes…
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get better at something. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to become the best at whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve.
But there is one thing that I believe that most people don’t realize, which is that they need to focus on their goals. They need to concentrate on achieving them, rather than worrying about other things.
You see, the problem with most people isn’t so much focusing on their goal; it’s getting distracted by other things. For example, let’s say you’re working out every day and you’re doing everything right.
You’re focusing on eating the right foods and getting enough exercise. You’re taking your workouts seriously, but you’re still watching TV 6 hours a day.
See what I mean?
You’re not going to get anywhere if you spend 6 hours of your day (which is about half of your entire life!) watching TV.
So what do you think will happen?
You’ll get distracted and you won’t reach your goals, or at least not as quickly. Instead of watching TV, you should be using that time to work out some more. The same goes for anything else in life: reading books, practicing your music, or whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve.
Because see, I don’t think people understand how much of an impact focusing can have on them. Nowadays everybody wants to do a million and one things yet they don’t put in the necessary amount of effort to do them, let alone focus on them.
If you’re going to achieve something, then you’ve got to put in the work and you’ve got to take it seriously. You’ve got to forget about all your other worries and just focus on that one thing you want to achieve.
You need to think about it all the time. Only then will you see that your mind will find a way to achieve it.
But here’s the kicker: it’s got to be something that you really want.
You can’t just say “I’m going to focus on achieving X” just because everyone else thinks its a good idea. You need to pick something that YOU think is a good idea and that you’re passionate about.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to open up your own restaurant. Maybe you’ve always wanted to become a professional athlete. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to write a novel. It doesn’t matter what it is. What matters is that it’s something you really want to achieve and that you focus all of your mental energy towards it.
Now, I’m not saying that you can’t have more than one goal in life, but if you do, then at least know that you’ll have to focus on them all equally. You can’t just half- *** something because then nothing will get accomplished.
The only thing that will get accomplished is failure.
If you really want something, then go get it. But don’t just say you want something and then not do anything about it.
Because I’ll tell you this: nothing is going to be handed to you. You have to go out there and take what you want. And I don’t mean that in the sense of committing crimes either, although that can be a way of getting what you want. I’m talking about looking for a job and working your way up. I’m talking about going back to school or learning a new skill. I’m talking about doing whatever you have to do to achieve your goals because nobody is going to do it for you.
You’re going to have to work hard in order to achieve your goals. It’s not going to be easy and you’re going to have to really struggle at times.
But I guarantee it will be worth it because there is nothing more euphoric than the feeling of attaining a goal you once thought was out of reach.
Never stop believing in yourself and your dreams. Go get them.
» The Next Day…
“Thank you for your time, Doctor Kosser. That will be all.”
You thank Doctor Kosser as he takes his leave. You don’t know much about him, other than the fact that he’s another one of dad’s old colleagues.
He’s an older man and doesn’t seem to like you very much, probably because he resents the fact that you got to work with dad while he didn’t.
Maybe he’s just a grumpy old guy who doesn’t like anything.
In any case, he’s said all he needs to say and now it’s time for you to go. You don’t know why he insisted on seeing you in person, as he could have just told your father what he had to say over the phone.
Maybe he just wanted to meet you, the daughter of his old friend. Whatever the reason, you’re glad that this meeting is over with and you can now put this whole crazy day behind you.
As you leave the building and walk to your car, you can’t get the feeling that you’re being watched off of your shoulders. You look around several times, but don’t see anyone or anything suspicious.
Still, the feeling lingers and it’s only when you reach your car that you let out a sigh of relief when you find it exactly where you left it, untouched.
You get in the car and quickly start it, noticing that it’s getting low on gas. Great, all you need today is to get stranded somewhere because your car ran out of gas.
Should you get gas before you go or would it be faster to just head straight home?
You are now faced with a Race Against the Clock! You must decide whether to stop for gas now or if you should just make your way back home immediately. To help you make this decision, here are some factors to consider:
Gas is probably low in most stations due to the virus threat. If you do manage to find a station with gas, the pumps may be down which would delay you further.
However, if you immediately head back home, it’s possible that you could get stranded somewhere along the way due to a flat tire or running out of gas on the highway.
So, do you get the gas now or head straight home?
The right decision is…
Getting Gas Now ^
It would be too risky to your health to try to make it all the way home with a car that might or might not run out of gas on the highway. You’ll just have to take a detour somewhere and fill up first.
After looking at the map, the closest place to get gas would be…
A. The Tastee-Freez Gas Station
It would be a few miles out of your way to get to this place, but it’s better than the other options. You know the Tastee-Freez is a franchise that has been around forever and isn’t likely to go out of business anytime soon, so it should be safe to get gas there.
What sucks is you’ll have to drive on the highway for quite a ways to get there. You’re not sure if your car is going to make it.
B. The Last Gas Station Before the Highway
This station is just before the onramp to the highway. Chances are, if you run out of gas here, you’ll be able to walk back to this station from the highway…assuming nobody else has thought of that idea first.
The only problem is, this is a pretty long stretch of highway and there is no place to stop for help if your car breaks down.
C. The Glenworth Gas Station
The Glenworth Gas Station sounds like it could be a place from your own personal hell. If you head there, you’ll have to drive on the highway for quite a while before reaching exit 19.
From there, you’ll have to get back onto the highway again just to get to Glenworth. That sounds like a huge pain in the neck and a lot of unnecessary driving. On the other hand, Glenworth is one of those mega-mart type places and should have just about everything you’ll need.
Choose A Location To Get Gas
You’ve chosen to get gas at…
You head on over to the Tastee-Freez. You’ve been here once before with your parents when you were little.
It was back in the days before they had remodeled and taken out the classic A-frame diner look in favor of something slightly more modern looking. The building is a two-story affair with a large neon sign on top that flashes the name of the restaurant.
Most of the vehicles here belong to road crews or power company workers. You see a few delivery trucks and some older sedans, but your car is one of the only newer vehicles here.
This is definitely not a place where you want to stick out, so you head to the back corner of the parking lot where all of the boring cars that nobody pays any attention to are parked.
After looking around to make sure nobody is watching you, you pop the hood and then quickly set to work on your “repair.” You loosen a few of the clamps holding the gas line to the engine and then jerk the line out of the engine so that it’s hanging down almost to the ground.
After looking at it for a moment, you realize that it would be nearly impossible for anyone to confuse this with a practical joke of some sort. It would appear that the line has been disconnected from the engine.
You carefully put everything back in place, making sure everything lines up properly and is tightened down. After checking under the hood one more time, you try to start the car.
It takes a few tries, but eventually the engine turns over and starts up. You drive it around to the front of the restaurant to one of the pumps and then go inside to pay for your gas.
You look around for someone that looks like they work there, but all of the staff is back in the kitchen speaking a foreign language to each other. You tap one of the staff on the shoulder and when she turns around, you nearly jump because she’s a short alien with three eyes.
After stammering for a moment, you manage to ask her how much it costs to fill up your tank. She tells you the price and then asks how much you would like.
You look around nervously and then whisper to her that you’d like as much as you can get. She smiles at you and starts filling up your tank.
While you’re waiting, you take this opportunity to go look at the hot dogs they have steaming behind the glass of the counter. You’ve never had one before, but a hot dog might be just the thing to calm your nerves right now.
Buy A Hot Dog?
After the gas station attendant finishes filling up your tank, you pay her for the gas and then buy a hot dog from the stand. You haven’t eaten anything since that muffin this morning, and it’s already well into the afternoon.
You take a bite out of the foot-long wiener and then gaze out across the lot at all of the sedans and minivans. Something just doesn’t feel right about all of this.
You don’t know if it’s a memory or something your parents have told you, but you have this feeling that you’re supposed to be in a bigger vehicle right now. Something with four doors and able to seat at least eight people.
You look over at the minivan that you came in and then glance back over at the line of vehicles.
There are even more choices back at the house you were sleeping in, so why did you come out here to this place to begin with?
Just then, two police cars come roaring into the parking lot with their lights flashing. An officer in a bright yellow coat gets out of the first car and two men who look like construction workers get out of the second. All four of them seem agitated and are speaking to each other in harsh whispers.
You turn and look back over at the line of vehicles again. You have a sinking feeling that you should be in one of those right now.
You just don’t know which one.
Stay here or get in a vehicle
You look over your shoulder to see four police officers walking toward you now. The two construction workers are standing nearby, watching them warily.
The four of them seem to be arguing with each other, but they stop talking when they finally reach you.
One of the officers tells you that there has been an accident and you will need to come with them.
Sources & references used in this article:
It’s All in Your Dreams: How to Interpret Your Sleeping Dreams to Make Your Waking Dreams Come True by KS Walden – 2013 – books.google.com
It’s all for the kids: Gender, families, and youth sports by M Messner – 2009 – books.google.com
It’s all in the eyes: How language dominance, salience, and context affect eye movements during idiomatic language processing by AB Cieślicka, RR Heredia, M Olivares – Essential topics in applied …, 2014 – Springer
Total immersion: The revolutionary way to swim better, faster, and easier by T Laughlin, J Delves – 2004 – books.google.com
Sperm competition differentially affects swimming velocity and size of spermatozoa from closely related muroid rodents: head first by LG Montoto, MV Sánchez, M Tourmente… – …, 2011 – rep.bioscientifica.com
Do the fastest sperm within an ejaculate swim faster in 2 subordinate than in dominant males of Arctic charr? 3 by J Vaz, F Folstad, G Rudolfsen, L Figenschou – core.ac.uk
It’s all true: Orson Welles’s Pan-American odyssey by CL Benamou – 2007 – books.google.com
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It’s all a kind of magic: The young Ken Kesey by R Dodgson – 2013 – books.google.com