One of my passions in life is deep scuba diving, well in fact I dive on a rebreather which is something a little different but it’s a piece of equipment that allows me to go deep and spend a considerable amount of time looking at beautiful scenery and in particular, shipwrecks –which are pieces of history each with their own individual and interesting stories behind them.
What has this got to do with life and career coaching? Well, there are a few things I’ve learnt from my hobby which I wanted to share with you, as I’ve learnt a few things about myself in the process!
Okay so here goes, things my hobby has taught me and has served me well in other areas of life:
- I can compartmentalise different aspects of my life, and I can focus. Especially when I am focused on a specific task. Diving is a sport where you have to be really aware of what you are doing, and remain aware of your own safety, and those of others. Diving has taught me to do that even more as you do often have to focus on the task at hand.
- I can ‘do detail’ – just because something is not your natural inclination doesn’t mean you cannot do it. It may mean you don’t enjoy it as much. For example, I’m not a big maths fan but that aside I have been able to figure out quite complex sums relating to diving. And I’m not the most technical person in the world –but I am methodical. The kind of diving I do requires some technical expertise. Again not my preference but other skills I have such as being organised and sometimes process driven really helps.
- You can get on with people with different upbringings and backgrounds – any hobby will bring you into contact with people you may not usually mix with in your professional life, and that’s part of what I love about the sport is meeting people from different backgrounds, with different viewpoints. I am sure it’s made me more tolerant of others
- Keeping cool in a crisis – there have been a couple of situations where I’ve definitely had to keep calm and figure out a solution. It’s really important to keep a cool mind whilst problem solving – panicking only leads to disaster. I’ve always been good in a crisis, but diving has increased that problem solving and ‘keeping calm’ mind-set.
- When you see pieces of history, I’m talking about shipwrecks, very often there is a story about loss and tragedy. Gratitude is a really important mindset to develop in order to foster your own happiness, and reading some of the stories of bravery and loss, really makes me grateful for the people who went before me to secure the liberties I enjoy today.
- The world is a beautiful and amazing place – there are amazing feats of nature and beauty all around us and again many happy people are those that appreciate the world around them, and can put themselves in the context, of something bigger. Well, there’s nothing like floating around in the middle of the sea surrounded by beautiful scenery and fascinating marine life to appreciate the beauty of nature, and how symbiotic relationships have been designed with a bigger picture in mind.
- Life’s supposed to be fun! Of course, I am not negating any tragedies or misfortune that may have occurred to anyone, and I have had some very challenging circumstances myself. That’s what makes me so determined to laugh, try and keep a ‘glass half full’ approach as much as I can – it’s okay to laugh, it’s okay be happy – and I’ve definitely had my share of fun and laughter with my diving friends at various destinations around-the-world. I’ve learnt to shrug things off and laugh things off as well.
- Teamwork is important – in particular, diving situations, for example, cave diving or very deep wrecking diving, you will be working as a team. It’s important to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, what the other team members will be doing and when to accomplish a mission. There are so many parallels for life outside of the water.
There’s a load more I could write here, but I wanted to share with you how my passion has complimented me as a person and pushed me outside my comfort zone – which is not a bad thing to do, to be honest…we don’t just learn just at college, work – we can learn through our hobbies and bring those skill sets into other areas of our life…hmm, I feel a part two to this blog coming on one day!