Diana Nyad’s swim adventure from Cuba to Key West and the ability to overcome adversity has inspired many in the technology world as well as athletes.
In technology, the workplace can favor the young and talented. The corporations scout for the hungry ones who are willing to slave away at extremes for the good of the company. There is always the dangling carrot of something else that must be done for another sleepless night. There is nothing wrong with a few work benders, now and then, but the turnover rate for tech professionals represents the competitiveness and intense workloads. As a result, they are having heart attacks and major illnesses. It is assumed that the young techs are the most knowledgeable and savvy. They are the ones that have not been ravaged by the tech world.
And yet, the naivete and work inexperience may not be the best employee for a company. Anyone who has worked with both very young and very mature tech professionals, would most likely present this summation: AGE IS NOT A FACTOR. It is the fire or the spirit within the person. It is the wisdom, talent, and the work ethic. It is not the person that repeats the same words as their boss or sits there doing the bare minimum. Nor is it the individual who works themselves until they are bitter. It is the type that is willing to learn how to face the adversity in life and the workplace. The kind of person that is willing to confront and find solutions. They are more likely to laugh and move onto the bigger picture after the smaller items have been solved. And yes, this is usually, but not always, a product of years in the bank.
Look at Diana’s TEDx talk and you can see her resolve. She is not delusional. She has realized there is a limit placed in which, she refuses to be the old lady repeatedly failing at this attempt for the rest of her life. However, she could truly see her potential. Now, some people see things that just aren’t there. You can go to instagram and facebook to view puckered lips with mini-skirts to see the world’s stage of ‘delusion of grandeur’ in one swoop. Yet, Nyad was on a full-heart mission to defy the barriers of age and to fulfill her dream. She was not simply standing on the stage for attention and power. She was filled with purpose and enthusiasm.
This quote explains her presence:
“If you simply walk on the beach as we are doing, you have no special color. But if you travel with a purpose, it is different. When you go somewhere important or you return home from a long journey, you build a shape around you and it reaches out ahead to touch your destination.”
― Lyall Watson,
Gifts of Unknown Things: A True Story of Nature, Healing, and Initiation from Indonesia’s Dancing Island
Now how does Diana Nyad relate to an overworked, young, or older tech professional? She wasn’t just meandering out in the ocean flailing about with her arms and legs. She has a serious pace when she swims. She knows how to do something well, which takes a plan of action, people, and hard work. The message she preaches is, there’s always a way, a good way. There is a place for everyone in this world. It may take work and many naysayers who will challenge, but it can be done. There is a good chance, the older professional can look at the issue in ten different ways and help the company profit. If it is the right pro, then he/she will also coordinate with the younger tech to get their viewpoint as well. For the young one, take the time to evaluate before trying to innovate. The wisdom lies in between the two.
Her tenacity is thoroughly inspiring because she has set a new standard for adversity, excellence, strength, courage, and teamwork. Her fire has lit sparks among millions and only time will tell how bright this event with ripple out to help others in the world. Thank you Diana Nyad. You had the furnace in your youth and you have kept it kindled to accomplish amazing things!