If you're faced with a challenging task, it helps when there's more than just you on the job. When preparing for a big speech or tackling a huge PowerPoint project, being able to share ideas, distribute the workload and commiserate is crucial for success.
I had been looking forward to my solo hike on the Midstate Trail in Massachusetts for almost a year. To prepare, I went on day hikes to get into shape, dehydrated food for the trail and bought or borrowed state-of-the-art lightweight equipment. I was able to get my pack down to 35 pounds, which is pretty light for a 5-day trek.
Things didn't go as planned. My biggest problem was believing I could tackle this challenge alone. My pack was the heaviest I've ever carried, making each step a gamble against gravity. I found myself looking at my watch every 15 minutes, anticipating my next break. My feet ached and my right knee throbbed. It was miserable.
Four hours after starting, I humbly called for a pickup.
I learned a lot about the value of teamwork that day and what can happen when one decides to go it alone. It's so important to be able to rely on others for help when you need it, whether you're stuck on a difficult project at work or following your dreams.
On the bright side, this is great fodder for my next big Toastmasters speech.
Laura Foley, Cheater of Death by PowerPoint, Laura M. Foley Design