Daddy Shark...Doo doo doo doo doo doo

Back when my wife was just my girlfriend, and I was an ambitious young man ready to conquer the world, every now and then she used to remind me that it’s okay to relax. I was working at a TV station in North Carolina, a buddy of mine and I had started our own sports show, I was writing a book, and working on a financial blog. Forget about the time chasing down corrupt politicians and backwards sheriffs departments.

“I’m like a shark,” I used to respond (and still do). “If I stop swimming I die.”

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, in part because Pinkfong won’t let me stop thinking about it. Everywhere I go with my son it’s, “Daddy Shark doo doo doo doo doo doo”.

It’s not true of all sharks, but some must swim constantly to keep oxygen-rich water flowing over their gills. At first it sounds like such a terrible thing, never being able to stay still. The thing is, when you watch sharks they seem so peaceful while they’re swimming. They’re not thrashing or over exerting themselves unless they’re about to feast.

For me it’s the same thing. Having a few projects and goals keeps me moving. Working toward those goals gives me oxygen. I know that I’m not going to accomplish all of the goals at once or overnight, but I know that I’m making progress toward something, moving smoothly through the ocean of life. Some of the projects get completed. Others fall off, I never did finish that book, but you know what direction your moving in.

When I don’t have anything to work on is when I’m the most restless. I sit about wondering what I should be doing. I sit in front of the TV, and I do sit in front of the TV, thinking about how much time I’m wasting. Thinking about what I should be doing, what I could be doing. And the truth is the possibilities are endless.

I used this principal when it came to my production business. When we were just starting up it was tough getting clients, and so there was a lot of free time in between projects. Rather than staying still, we just kept swimming. Sure we went to networking events, but there are only so many events you can go to. In the meantime we got to work. We did the work we wanted to do for ourselves. We created a podcast and started a series called “Open Sports” and put it on Facebook. We got some traction on both projects, but that wasn’t the best part. The best part was when we were talking to potential clients we had something to talk about. When we were pitching our business we could tell them about our show and our podcast. It was something we wanted to do to fill our time so, naturally we were excited about it. Clients could sense that excitement and they wanted to be a part of it. They wanted to swim with us!

As a daddy shark these days, there’s always something to doo doo doo doo doo doo (sorry, not sorry). Whether it’s the honey do list from the wife, play time with the kids, or work, I rarely need to create my own projects to keep me moving. While thinking about these ideas is tiring, exhausting even, I find that once I start doing them it’s invigorating. I feel a sense of accomplishment every time I cross off something on that honey do list, or create a new memory each time I get to play with my son.

So In keeping with the theme of ocean inspired children’s videos I’ll wrap this one up by quoting one more. During the scariest part of Finding Nemo, Marlon tells Dori the best way to get through all the jellyfish is to “just keep swimming”. It’s a good mantra for life. When you come to the tough parts, the scariest parts, the times when starting something is the hardest thing you can do, just keep swimming. You may not die if you don’t, but you’ll live a heck of a lot more if you do (doo doo doo doo doo).