How to support someone
Recently my wife, my daughter, her friend, and I had the great pleasure of taking a pontoon boat out on the lake for the very first time ever. With no instructions, no person to tell me how to navigate, back up, go forward, or how fast to go on a turn, I was really on my own to learn how to drive this boat. We were all set to go. We had a cooler full of food, our life jackets, and our swimming suits so we could jump off the boat and swim in the lake – we were ready to have a really great time. It was Fourth of July weekend, and the lake was super crowded.
I have never seen so many boats in motion in my life, but I was ready for this.
Now I was really pumped and excited. I knew I could navigate that pontoon. I was not going to run into anybody, and I believed nobody was going to run into me. We were in this beautiful, basically, brand new pontoon boat. I think we were the second, maybe third person ever to use this boat. We were ready to have some fun.
Well, as we went along the lake, everything was going fine. We were just watching all the other boaters and what they were doing, and I was watching my speed. To get a good feel for how the boat handled, I opened the throttle, slowed down without putting the front underwater, went backwards, and turned the boat to the right and the left. I even went in a couple circles, just to really make sure I knew how this boat worked. About a half hour into the boat trip, I was feeling pretty confident. I even said to myself, “You got this!”
I was coasting along…
Well, that’s pretty much all pontoon boats do – and I was watching these other boaters go under a bridge. Well, I decided that I too could go underneath this bridge. I must have had a look of pure determination on my face because Cathy, my wife, said to me, “Are you planning on going under that bridge? I don’t think you can make it.” I told her, “We totally can. Look at all those other boats. They can do it, and so can we.” As we got closer to the bridge, my confidence level started to go down a little bit, but I knew we could do it. I mean it wasn’t a very big gap between the water and the bottom of the bridge, but I was watching all the boats do it, so I figured we could do it. We got about maybe 10 feet away from the bridge, and I noticed a Jet Ski coming from the opposite way.
All of a sudden, the person on the Jet Ski starts to yell at me while pointing at the bottom of the bridge, “You’re not going to make it! You’re not going to make it!” Now, I knew I wasn’t going to make it, so I dropped the gear all the way into full reverse. The boat stopped and started to go backward. There was a line of boats behind us, and naturally, they all had to stop and back up. As we turned around and saw the other boaters, we noticed that they had their cell phones out filming us knowing that we weren’t going to make it – that the pontoon’s canopy was going to hit the bottom of the bridge. They said nothing. Luckily for us, somebody had the courage to tell us the truth, to give us support. “You’re not going to make it.” And luckily for us, we listened.
You will encounter two types of people in life:
- Supporters – those looking out for you and cheering you on, giving you support.
- Spectators – those hanging out on the sidelines, watching, and waiting for you to crash.
So, the question is who are you? Are you the one telling people, “Stop! You’re not going to make it”? Or are you the one sitting on the sideline ready to film the disaster right before your eyes, never giving a warning? Fortunately for us, we did not hit the bridge, the boat was safe, and we were safe. Everybody was safe, because we took heed of the warning that was given to us. As men and women striving for success and continuous improvement, we must be determined to not be the spectator but be the one that shouts the warning in peoples’ lives. I know firsthand what it means to crash and burn while the world is waiting for us to fall.
We must remain vigilant to not only make sure that we accomplish what we seek, but root for others that they too can be successful at everything that they do. There is a world out there waiting for you to fail, to crash and burn and take your family down with you. We must become the biggest cheerleader in peoples’ lives. As leaders, our job is to help people reach their goals and dreams. As supporters, we are to root for them. I believe as TYROs, we need to help people become better than ourselves. Let’s be the change. We are no longer the poison, we are the antidote. You and I are people worth following! We are TYROs!