A Radical Tactical Shift

(Click here for the discussion transcript)

In this talk, Lewis Pugh describes the experience that showed him a radical new way to approach swimming and think about climate change.

Some quotes from Lewis Pugh's speech:
"There is nothing more powerful than the made-up mind."
"And my team just gave it to me straight. They said, Lewis, you need to have a radical tactical shift if you want to do this swim. Every single thing which you have learned in the past 23 years of swimming, you must forget. Every single thing which you learned when you were serving in the British army, about speed and aggression, you put that to one side. Instead of swimming fast, swim as slowly as possible. Instead of swimming crawl, swim breaststroke. And remember, never ever swim with aggression. This is the time to swim with real humility."

"...stood there on the edge of the lake, and I looked up at Mt. Everest -- and she is one of the most beautiful mountains on the earth -- and I said to myself, just do this slowly. And I swam across the lake. And I can't begin to tell you how good I felt when I came to the other side."
"I thank my team of Sherpas who taught me this: Just because something has worked in the past so well, doesn't mean it's going to work in the future."
"Before I do anything, I ask myself what type of mindset do I require to successfully complete a task."
"Just because we've lived the way we have lived for so long, just because we have consumed the way we have for so long and populated the earth the way we have for so long, doesn't mean that we can carry on the way we are carrying on."

Discussion Questions:
What part of the story made the biggest impression on you?
Which words or phases jumped out at you?
Which slide or picture was most memorable for you?
What statements or points caught your attention?
Did any particular idea strike you?

What surprised you about Lewis Pugh's talk?
What resonated with you in his talk?
Where were you intrigued or excited by what you heard?
Where did you feel most challenged?
Where did you feel skeptical or frustrated?

What did you learn that you didn’t know before?
What seemed very important?
Are there any of Lewis Pugh's conclusions here with which you disagree?
Which of his ideas were clear and on target, in your estimation?
How does it challenge or affirm how you currently live your life?
What for you is the meaning of this presentation?

Who do you feel needs to hear this, and why?
Besides this message of being brave enough to change what you do in order to grow, Lewis Pugh also lays an enormous challenge at our feet:
"What radical tactical shift can you take in your relationship to the environment, which will ensure that our children and our grandchildren live in a safe world and a secure world, and most importantly, in a sustainable world?"

"And I ask you, please, to go away from here and think about that one radical tactical shift which you could make, which will make that big difference, and then commit a hundred percent to doing it...
...very, very few things are impossible to achieve if we really put our whole minds to it."
As you reflect on all this, what do you think you could attempt?