Just Keep Swimming


The following guest post was shared by Jessica, an awesome HR Executive and even better friend. If you’d like to share a guest post on any topic relating to Motivating Generation Y in the workplace, just shoot me an email at breathe@verandalane.com. 


As unlikely as it seems, this pearl of wisdom came to me while watching a beloved kid’s movie with my niece – Finding Nemo. Perhaps we adults should take more time to hang out with five-year olds.
Just Keep Swimming - Dory

In Finding Nemo, Nemo’s father, Marlin, meets a quite forgetful fish named Dory. Dory cannot remember her own identify, who her friends are, or where she is going, however she incessantly repeats these words to herself – “just keep swimming”. At first glance, this mantra sounds as if it’s a simple statement designed to keep a forgetful fish on track, however it hit me as a reminder to avoid being stagnant or complacent in life. No matter what endeavor you are pursuing, as long as you are “swimming”, you are completing your journey.

I recently entered my 30’s. To say that I never dreamed my life would be at its current spot by the time I reached 30 is an understatement. As an ‘80’s baby, I thrive on instant gratification and quick rewards. I always dreamed of being a hugely successful….something (please take this moment to fill in the proverbial blank; my aspirations have ranged from scientist to engineer to attorney to psychologist). I pictured myself earning large sums of money and working for myself by the time I reached the ripe old age of 30. Suffice it to say that I currently work in a position that does not thrill me in an environment where I am often not appreciated or used to my potential. In talking with friends and colleagues, it seems this is an unfulfilling existence befalling many of us. Few are those who have the courage to pursue their true dreams, step out on faith and actively seek their calling in life. I agree that there is something to be said for having a steady paycheck and being able to pay bills on time, however there is also something quite fabulous about waking up in the morning primed to do what it is you love and to have true joy in your life because you are following your passion.

My advice to all young professionals is to “just keep swimming”. In other words, once you discover your passion, pursue it in all endeavors and at all costs. Do not wait for the perfect time, the perfect place, or the perfect scenario because perfection is unobtainable (even Oprah and Bill Gates have bad days). Every small stroke (victory) that advances your dream is progress and all progress is good. Change your style – backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and doggie paddle – it will give you different perspectives along the way. Even when you find yourself swimming backward or off course, do not be discouraged. As long as you keep swimming, you will eventually find shore.

As you swim, remember to occasionally look up at the sun (or whichever higher power in which you believe) and give thanks for the opportunity to swim – some people never even get off the beach.


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