Don’t Panic! Riptides are Narrow and So are Troubles


I follow Decoding Your Dollars, a blog that Vanessa, my financial whizz friend, writes.  Today she posted about “Recouping After a Job Loss” (click here to be taken to the post).

She mentioned her family trip to the seashore this year.  On all the beaches, signs were posted alerting swimmers to riptides.  The signs explained what to do and first on the list was “Don’t Panic!” The sign said that riptides were narrow and a swimmer who remained calm could quickly get out of one.

The thought that riptides are narrow got me thinking…I realized it’s the same when trouble starts messing with our well-laid plans.

If a swimmer panics when caught in a riptide, they stop thinking clearly. They thrash around making things worse, the riptide’s strength seems unbreakable and pulls them farther and farther out to sea. Soon, the panicked swimmer is down for the count.

The same is true with troubles. If we panic, levelheadedness goes out the window. We rush over here thinking this idea will solve the problem, then we rush over there because that idea seems better. Then we rush somewhere else, grabbing and hoping that this will be the idea that saves us. We end up not only making things worse, but also prolonging the trouble.

Just like the swimmer who stays calm and quickly swims their way out of the riptide, if we maintain our cool, we, too, can get ourselves out of the jam we’re in. Keeping our head clear helps us remember that troubles don’t last forever. Like riptides, troubles can be narrow—as long as we keep a cool head.

Your homework today is to remind yourself that difficulties don’t last forever—they’re narrow. Just like a swimmer in a riptide using a sure even stroke, you can work your way out of challenges. Take it one step—one stroke—at a time.

You can do it!

I’m proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


2 thoughts on “Don’t Panic! Riptides are Narrow and So are Troubles”

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