In today’s fast-paced world, we’re perpetually in motion. Finding a moment where we intentionally slow down and bring a conscious presence to our actions is a rarity. The urge to rush from one task to another pervades our work and personal lives.
Adding to the urgency, we often find it difficult to relax and accept things as they are. Our default mode seems to be to fix, change, or control our circumstances rather than letting them unfold naturally.
I’ve thought about these ideas for a while, but it wasn’t until I read the latest issue of Monique Borst’s newsletter, Leadership Squared, that I felt inspired to write down my thoughts. Monique’s words, “Maybe it’s not more that we yearn for; perhaps it’s not bigger but deeper,” resonated profoundly with me.
This notion of ‘depth over breadth’ transported me back to my experiences aboard a US Navy nuclear submarine. In particular, it reminded me of when we would dive to ‘test depth,’ the deepest a submarine can operate under normal conditions.
Why did this memory surface? The recent tragic event involving the loss of five lives in the submersible Titan served as a painful reminder of the risks associated with exploring oceanic depths. The external pressures in such depths are incomprehensible and act as an immediate catalyst for heightened awareness.
I vividly recall the deep respect and heightened awareness that pervaded the submarine during those test dives. Every action taken held a magnitude that was immediately palpable. A simple error could be fatal.
The two-inch thick HY-80 steel that seemed invincible on the surface began to compress. You could actually see and hear the hull contract, the atmosphere becoming quieter, darker, and more intense as we went deeper.
As we consider the complexities of diving deeper into the metaphorical oceans of life, let’s consider the lessons learned from actual deep-sea dives.
Just as plunging to great depths in a submarine demands slow, thoughtful action and a deep respect for the surrounding environment, we can apply these principles to our own lives.
In navigating your career, personal relationships, or even your inner self, choosing depth over breadth can offer a richer, more meaningful experience.
Depth, as opposed to ‘more,’ cultivates a fuller understanding, nurtures authentic connections, and instills a sense of reverence for the complexities of life. So, let’s dare to dive deep into a world that often merely skims the surface.
Let’s navigate our lives with the same mindfulness and respect that the deepest, darkest corners of the ocean command. After all, some of life’s most profound experiences come not from broadening our horizons but from truly plumbing our depths.
Let’s do this!
Bill Fox, Founder @ LeaderONE, SpaceB, and Forward Thinking Workplaces
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