Paradoxically, the urgent is seldom important, and the important is seldom urgent. In order not to get distacted by the unimportant, but urgent responsibilities, we need to learn the discipline of focus. Florence Chadwick learned this the hard way.
Florence was born in 1918 and started swimming at a very young age. At age 10, she became the first person to swim the San Diego Bay channel. A few years later, she became the first woman to swim the English Channel both ways. And on July 4, 1952, she set out to swim the twenty-mile distance from Catalina Island to the coast of California.
Florence got an early start that morning. Even though it was summer, the water was cold, the weather was chilly, and a heavy fog hung in the air. Part way into her journey, some curious sharks began to follow her. People in a nearby boat—including her mom—fired gunshots into the water to scare off the sharks.