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The Zambezi River in Africa is a long, winding river that starts in Zambia and stretches more than 2,200 miles through four other African countries before emptying into the Indian Ocean.

Thrill seekers love the river because of its incredible beauty and treacherous rapids. In the United States, the highest-rated (legal) rapids are Class Five, but in Zambia, there are no such restrictions, so visitors are able to brave Class Seven and Eight rapids at their own risk.

River guides along the Zambezi are known to instruct rafters that when – not if – but when they are thrown from their rafts, they must resist their instincts to paddle to safety. “Do not try to swim to the calm waters at the river’s edge. Stay in the rough waters, and someone will be there to help you.”

You see, crocodiles live in the calm… away from the action. And that’s where people die. The safest place you can be is in the middle, among the waves and the whitewater.

Isn’t that interesting?

What seems like the scariest, most difficult situation you can be in; is really the only place you can survive on the Zambezi River. Sometimes, life can be the same way. No matter where we might find ourselves batting the rapids, we can’t give up. We have to stay with the action… no matter how scary it seems.

So, enter the stream with confidence and abandon today. When you fall, simply reach out for the helping hands around you and listen to your Guide. He will get you back to where you need to be so you can safely finish the ride. If you panic and swim to the side, you probably won’t get eaten by a crocodile, but you’ll certainly not make it to your destination.

Along those same lines, think about what you are working on today that will matter tomorrow or the next day? What about 10 years from now?

As you begin your week with new hopes, goals, dreams and resolutions, begin with the end in mind. No journey should start without a clear destination in mind, and no adventure should begin without a tangible definition of what “success” really means. We all need to know our true north before we take our first step towards what’s next. And if we’re going to “get there,” we have to stay in it.

So, if you’re about to begin something new – or even if you’re in the middle of an ongoing project or adventure – begin again with the end in mind.

And stay in it!