Two weeks ago, I took my sons on a white-water rafting trip with a group of 11 other men down the Rogue River, just outside of Medford Oregon. On Saturday, we encountered the renowned level IV Blossom Bar rapid, known as “the most expensive rapid in the US“. Though named after the fragrant and vibrant white-to-pink Western Azalea flower that blooms in the spring, Blossom Bar is “expensive” because of the technical nature of this stretch of tumultuous water. Those rafters with less experience and less instruction than they need to successfully navigate their way often flip their boat, gear and all, resulting in a day or two of search and rescue for all the coolers, tents, food supply, and equipment they had prepared to last them a week on the River.
Our guide is an expert oarsman. The way he navigated us through this very narrow left side of the river was nothing less than poetic. Narrating his next move as we floated through this rock-filled narrow channel in the river, he positioned the raft such that the water was able to run its course and turn the raft at unlikely angles to slip by the rocks with barely a bump, and certainly without being stranded or flipped like many private rafters end up. Even after getting through this dangerous stretch of the river, we were then maneuvered into an eddy at river-left that allowed us to stop rowing and sit still while the water currents kept us in place. From there, we were able to watch the oncoming boats attack the same stretch of water.
The very next oarsman was noticeably less experienced and in trouble from the start. At the entry, he swung wide-left instead of pivoting off a visible rock at the entrance of “Picket Fence”, an area which every oarsman wants to avoid. The correct “move” would’ve positioned his raft to rebound off the boil from the left wall to move the raft into the proper channel so as not to allow the next thing to occur, which is a head-on collision with “Sandstone”, a protruding boulder about the size of a smart car sitting boldly in the way. The oarsman let go of his oars.
The heroine of the story was the oarsman’s passenger. Perched on a lawn chair affixed to the stern of the raft, she immediately knew to run to the high side of the boat as it climbed to nearly a 90° vertical with water filling the bottom half. She saved the day. Her quick response to this crises about to happen rescued a raft full of gear that would’ve otherwise been floating in disparate parts and pieces down river for as much as a mile before reaching a bend in the river that could possibly collect the swimmers, the gear, and if fortunate even the raft before the next landing place another mile downriver, with a heavy load of gear to reassemble and carry back to camp.
I turned and looked at our guide, Trent, and he looked at me. I gave him a half smile as I was thinking to myself how grateful I am to have chosen a guide who is trained, experienced, and skilled in his craft.
Taking an action is an ability that can be developed; and the time to act is when the idea is hot, and the emotion is strong. Most often these ideas come to us in moments of calm, in which case the need to act is nearly imperceptible and can be easily ignored. But let us be honest. It is in that still small voice that some of our most important instructions can be heard. And when we take action, the affirmation of that small success is rewarded with a shot of dopamine that rushes though our body and encourages another healthy action. So, ACT! Someone says something about good health that gets you fired up? Buy the book, throw yourself down on the floor and do a pushup…take action! Likewise, when someone gives you what you perceive as good investment advice, make the call, learn more. Do your homework, take action!
The consequences of inaction can be too great to stand by. Whether it be avoiding a rock or improving your position, quickly get to the high-side of the “raft”, and deny the environment a claim to victory over your future. That future begins now! And “NOW” is all any of us have to work with.
Call us today at VisionWise Capital to learn how we take actions every day to protect and perform for our investors.