My 7-month-old son Leonardo went swimming for the very first time on Christmas!
Not without surprise, it took him a few moments to acknowledge he was surrounded by water, that he had to keep his head out of it, and he did not have any support for his feet: he was actually floating!
The expression on his face as I entered the pool with him on my arms was amazingly revealing: he was in a brand new situation, and as water started to cover his body, he had to deal with it. I could see in his eyes how much he was learning from the experience; for about a minute, as I moved around, playing with him, he was quiet, almost static.
It was when I held him on my hands, giving him freedom to move his legs, that he accepted whatever all that water was, and started enjoying it. From then on, he got more and more comfortable, laughing, splashing and kicking the water.
Now, I could easily start the beaten analogy between a baby’s discoveries and an adult facing a new enterprise; how both, in different levels, take their time to accept a new environment, adjust, and act on it. But I won’t. I refuse to start yet another discussion on this subject.
Instead, what I enjoyed the most was his readiness to face a new challenge. Without the pre-accepted notions that we acquire over the years, without even knowing what fear or danger is, my son faced the pool with his eyes wide open.
As a business owner, I find myself struggling to start on anything new. I tend to stick to what I know, to what it’s working, to the technicians I trust, to the pre-judgment I formulate without knowledge, to the media I know more about. And when I do try to start a new enterprise, I tend to hold so much control over it, that I never get to experience it in full.
So I declare my first resolution for 2009: I’ll embrace change and fears, enjoy the ride, and stop listening to my pre-conceived notions.
I’ll be a brand new baby, and re-start my life path, filling it with discovery.
Here’s a quick video my wife shot of us; notice how he reacts when he first hits the water – how he adapts, and seconds later he’s already laughing! That will be me from now on, just adapting and laughing about it.