Archive for the ‘Notes from the Beach’ Category

Memorable Beach Scenes in 2010

Friday, December 31st, 2010

The beach – any beach – is my favorite place. It doesn’t matter what the season is: the beach is always my first choice for a get-away. During 2010 I had the opportunity to spend time at beaches on both coasts of the U.S. In no particular order, here are some of the most memorable scenes for me:

    – Walking on the beach with the Pacific Ocean on the right and a spectacular view through the palm trees of the snow-capped San Gabriel mountains off in the distance to the left in Long Beach, CA.

    – Watching pods of dolphins slice the water gracefully, pacing me as I walked along on the beach in Long Beach, CA.

    – Joining dozens of people throwing thousands of beached sand dollars back into the Gulf of Mexico after rough water or errant currents tossed them onto the beach in Naples, FL.

    – Nearly stepping on manta rays scuttling by, rushing like cars on a Los Angeles freeway, in ankle-deep water in Hilton Head, SC.

    – Delighting in the sight of a rainbow stretching across the ocean in Long Beach – without the rain that usually precedes this sight.

    – Seeing the “southernmost menorah in the U.S.” in Key West, FL.

    – Marveling at the way that the same pelicans that are so ungainly in their splash- down landings can glide effortlessly just above the tips of the waves.

    – Being taken by surprise at the unexpected the warmth of the Atlantic Ocean in Hilton Head, SC.

    – Watching surfers dotting the ocean as they waited for the right swell to catch their attention and challenge their skills in Huntington Beach and Encinitas, CA.

    – Enjoying the Christmas lights adorning the boats and docks at night, and the brightly lit Christmas “trees” floating in the bay in Long Beach, CA.

Here’s to many more memorable beach moments in 2011!

© 2010 Pat Lynch. All rights reserved.

Pushing the Envelope in Long Beach

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

On New Year’s Eve, Travis Pastrana made history in Long Beach, CA by driving his car at about 90 miles per hour down the Pine Avenue pier (which had been temporarily elongated for this event), navigating the airborne vehicle over the water, and landing it safely on a barge some 270 feet away in the harbor. It’s safe to say that by smashing the previous record of 171 feet, his achievement is likely to remain the new standard for quite some time.

Whether or not you understand why someone would take this kind of chance, you probably would agree that the stunt was an extreme form of pushing the proverbial envelope. By his words and actions immediately following his successful landing (including a back flip into the cold harbor water), Mr. Pastrana clearly was highly energized by the ride and its outcome, though he admitted later that he had been very nervous just before he started his race down the pier. (Although his mother was nearby, she confessed to a reporter she had been unable to watch his record-setting attempt.)

It has been said that people grow when they push themselves outside of their comfort zones. Personally I have found that statement to be true: I learn more, go further, and make dramatically faster progress in life when I am operating outside of my comfort zone. Sometimes I have done that intentionally, such as when I decided to leave the security of my job as a tenured professor to start my own business; other times I have found myself acting opportunistically, having no idea whether what I was about to do actually would work. Though I am highly unlikely to engage in any form of extreme physical activity, I have to say that my biggest successes are the result of having done things that required me to push myself far outside my comfort zone. It’s both scary and exhilarating – much as Mr. Pastrana demonstrated on New Year’s Eve after his safe landing.

Think back to a time during which you experienced a major success. Were you operating inside or outside your comfort zone? How did the success – and the journey leading up to it – make you feel? What did you learn from the experience?

During 2010 my intention is to emulate a very successful colleague who, after making some bold changes in his business, stated, “I am going to become comfortable living in my discomfort zone.”

I invite you to consider pushing your own boundaries this year as a way to grow both personally and professionally. Let me know how you do!

© 2010 Pat Lynch. All rights reserved.

Taking a Sharp Right

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Among a group of 8 – 10 palm trees, one stood out because its trunk took a sharp turn to the right about 2/3 of the way from the ground. Had it continued along the growth trajectory indicated by the bottom 2/3, the top third of the tree would have competed for space with the tree next to it – which was much larger. This visual illustrates an important concept in business – i.e., there are times when we need to take a metaphorical “sharp right” to continue to grow and thrive. For example, when the market for your products or services is very competitive, taking a sharp right can make you stand out from the crowd. Choosing this action may be especially important when your competitors are larger than you are. Alternatively, by taking a sharp right you may end up creating a niche in which you have no competition. Just be sure that where you end up after making the turn is aligned with your purpose.

Where might you end up by taking a sharp right?

© 2009 Pat Lynch. All rights reserved.

Notes from the Beach Category

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

The purpose of this category is to share insights, lessons, or observations that I experience during my walks on the beach.  Truthfully, it’s also meant to encourage me to make walking on the beach a higher priority than it’s been lately.  Since Long Beach literally has a really long beach (6-8 miles from end to end), there are lots of opportunities to observe and learn! I invite you to come along for the journey.