An Often Overlooked And Very Common Remedy To Fighting Burnout In Life and Leadership


Most of us know the story of Diana Nyad,

Diana Nyad, at the age of 64 and after five previous attempts, finally completed her 53 hour, 110 mile swim from Havana Cuba to Key West Florida. It made national and international news. 

But few of us know the story of Florence Chadwick. 

Florence Chadwick, at the age of 34, stepped into the icy cold Pacific Ocean and started her 21 mile swim from Catalina Island to the California coast. However, 15 hours into her swim a fog set in so thick she could barely see the safety boats flanking her. 

In the midst of the fog, she began to doubt. 

She called out to her mother in one of the boats only a few feet away, “I have to stop. I can’t make it.” Her mother called back, “Yes you can. Keep going. The shore is within reach! Keep going.” 

But her mom’s encouragement wasn’t enough.

Disoriented by the fog and overcome with physical and emotional exhaustion, Florence simply stopped swimming. 

She was pulled out of the water an into one of the safety boats, and it was only then, feeling deflated and defeated, that Florence learned she was less than a half mile from shore. That’s right! Almost there. Less than a half mile from her desired destination. In an interview the following day, Florence told the media “All I could see was the fog. If I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.” 

How does this apply to you and me?

Florence Chadwick’s story illustrates a key principle for fighting doubt and discouragement in life and leadership. The vision we have in our head, determines the direction we go, and the direction we go determines who we further become and what we further accomplish. 

Like Florence, without a clear picture of our destination we lose perspective,
and without perspective, we lose perseverance. 

So let me ask you, 

  • Are you feeling fogged in? Disoriented? Deflated? Defeated? 

  • Are you physically and emotionally exhausted? 

  • Are you thinking about quitting; getting out of the boat and giving up? 

If so, let me encourage you to return to the vision in your heart and in your head. Keep looking up. Keep moving toward. You may be closer to your desired destination than you think! 

Let’s talk 

If you find yourself in a difficult season of life or leadership and need to talk, I'd love to connect. Either schedule a call below or email me at and let’s talk!

Until Then, Living and Leading On Purpose,

Ken L Roberts

Ken Roberts