The Obstacle Course of Life

Legend has it that once a really naïve young man went to visit Socrates and pledged to never leave until he knew everything Socrates knew. The story goes that he approached Socrates and said, “Great teacher, I want to know everything you know by the end of today. I don’t have much time and have things I need to get done tomorrow. So you have until sun-down tonight to teach me every nugget of wisdom you have ever acquired.” Socrates held the man’s gaze for a while and quietly beckoned him to follow him. After walking through the forest for a while they came upon a river. Socrates walked right up to the riverbank, knelt down and beckoned the young man. A little perplexed, the young man went over and sat beside the great teacher. Socrates then told him to peer closely into the river. The young men lowered his head down until his face was about a foot from the surface of the water. Socrates told him to get closer to the water. And the young man’s face got within six inches. He told the young man to get even closer and finally when the young man’s nose was within an inch of the streaming cold water, Socrates caught him by the hair and pushed his head under the water and held it there. For nearly 15 seconds the young man thrashed about wildly unable to get free from the firm grip of the great teacher. Finally he was let free and the young man, now blinking and gasping for breath asked why Socrates would do such a thing to which the great teacher replied, “The day you desperately seek Knowledge the way you just sought air to breath, that day you will learn everything you could ever learn!”

Sometimes a lifetime worth of lessons can only be learnt through the twists, turns, challenges, and obstacles of life. While certain traits like planning, organizing and scheduling can be taught in a controlled environment, other intangible and more valuable qualities like leadership, character, perseverance and courage can only be learnt through the life experiences that one goes through over a period of time. It is precisely these qualities that Outbound Training seeks to train people in by simulating experiences in an unpredictable and uncontrolled outdoor environment. They can immensely help foster the following:

  • Situational leadership rises to the surfaces. The old adage, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’ is proven true. Outbound Training environments create the necessity of having to step up and take charge to cohesively lead the rest.
  • Teamwork and collaboration is crucial, as certain situations will entail impossible scenarios for anyone to overcome by himself or herself. This helps develop social skills and camaraderie.
  • Working together in such an environment also helps with communication, efficient management of resources and trouble-shooting skills. To do so requires every member of the team to be on the ‘same page’ with a united vision instead of trying to accomplish things as a lone maverick.

Outbound Training is a valuable tool that companies use these days to help cultivate such invaluable traits in their employees that can never be learnt in the safe and cozy environment of a blue-collar office. These unconventional and ‘out of the box’ methods have proven to work time and again and companies have begun to realize and adopt it comprehensively to keep the edge ahead of their competitors in a rapidly evolving and cutthroat corporate climate.

For more info on Outbound Training, refer to this link:

How to Resolve Work Issues Through Outbound Training

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