Find Someone to Help You Paddle

As promised, we are following up with many of Admiral McRaven’s key lessons, and will post a new one each week.

The second lesson Admiral William H. McRaven discussed in his book and what is colloquially known as the ‘Make Your Bed’ Speech was – if you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.

McRaven talked about all the crucial times in his life as a Navy Seal – including when he was badly injured, that the help of others – either physical or emotional – made all the difference.  Relying on others is part of living in a community – and nothing to be ashamed of.  We need other people – even for the simple things like cheering us up when we’re down.  We can’t do it all alone.

As Dr Middleton is so fond of saying, “if you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go with others”.

This is a great segue into talking about one of the nine facets of the Wellbeing Hive – Connection.

Connection is one of the daily habits of the Wellbeing Hive – which means you are encouraged each day to reach out to someone around you.

Those of you in big families will be connecting with them in new ways – perhaps even finding out new things about each other and new things to enjoy together.  You may also be craving some time alone, or time with other company, which is natural.

It’s important to take the time to maintain our connections outside the home at this time, friendships we want to continue to enjoy when life goes back to normal.  We also need to be mindful that even if you are surrounded by the warmth family, others won’t perhaps be feeling the same and these are the people who need checking in on first.  Have a think about who this might be for you…. And perhaps pick up the phone and call or send a message right now.  I have sent three whilst writing this article – I figure I had better listen to my own advice!

Social media is often demonized in wellbeing circles, but could be playing an important role in connecting with others right now – so don’t be afraid to use it.  Messenger apps are a quick and easy way to stay in touch and making or liking funny posts by friends on Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok (I may be showing my age here!) can be a great mood booster.  Humour is another great way to maintain our wellbeing – provided it is matched with the character strength of Judgement!

This may also be a great time to start virtual projects with others.  There may be apps that allow you to play board games online – Words With Friends comes to mind for all you Scrabble fans.  But also you could work online with a friend through Zoom or Teams to write a song, create a film and so on.  Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton collaborated on the incredibly successful Treehouse series of books together – could you replicate their success with a friend who can draw?

So connecting with others could stimulate another facet of the Hive – Creativity!

Life’s often more fun with others around – and we go further together.  Who can you connect with today to make your life – and their life – better?