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Swimming around the plasters isn’t perfect but it won’t kill you (or your business)

Swimming at lunchtime today.

A fellow swimmer called the lifeguard over. There was a plaster floating in the water. He wanted it removed.

Would she please find a net and fish it out.

She was on her own. She didn’t know where the nets where. She’d have to go and find one.

He stopped swimming and insisted she find one. He waited by the side.

Eventually she returned with a net and squinted into the water. The plaster had floated off. They looked. It took a while to find it again. Impatiently he pulled the net from her, shaking his head, swam over and scooped the plaster out. He handed the net containing the plaster back to herĀ and got back to his lengths before she could say anything.

“Bet there’s plenty more plasters in here that we don’t even know about,” I said to her.

“Yeah. Get over it. I’m trying to keep people safe,” she sighed, gesturing at the 30-odd swimmers around her. Lots of them children. School holidays.

Got me thinking. Given the choice most of us would prefer to swim without dirty plasters floating by our noses. But is the occasional one really going to hurt us?

Focussing on the minute details of little consequence means taking your eye of the ball of the broader vision, the purpose of why you’re there and what you originally set out to do (in this case, to keep people safe, alive).

The plaster would probably have been cleaned up and removed at the end of the day. It wasn’t going to hurt anyone. Plenty of people wear plasters when swimming. Some people have cuts they haven’t put plasters on. There’s bodily fluids you don’t even want to think about. Can you even imagine what gets caught in the filters that you never get to see?

Can you eliminate all it all? Can conditions ever be perfect? No.

Is it better to keep going, to focus on the bigger picture, even when conditions aren’t perfect? Imperfectly going forward? Staying afloat, keeping others and all other elements afloat?

I’d say, yes. Often working through imperfect conditions produces better results. Try it.