Close The Distance

torpedo-eng One of my favorite movies is The Hunt For Red October. In one scene, a sub sent by the Russian Navy to sink the Red October before it defected to the US, fired on the Dallas, a US Navy sub sent to the area to intercept the Red October (got it?). The Dallas, instead of using counter measures or running away, turns on a collision course with the oncoming torpedo. So, like Ron Burgundy drinking milk under a hot, hot sun, that move toward the torpedo looked like a bad choice….a really bad choice.


The torpedo hit the side of the Dallas, bounced off it’s shell and then sank into the depths. Why? Because the commander of the Dallas knew the Russians would not arm the torpedo for a certain amount of time after the launch. It was a high risk, low return, no margin for error move, but he knew the best option was to close the distance. The Dallas couldn’t outrun the torpedo, so it turned and faced it.  There was some pain, anxiety, and fear (think watery grave) felt by the crew on the Dallas, but they did not get blown out of the water, which would have been worse. At least that’s how I remember it.

When I’m faced with work I don’t want to do, or dealing with difficult people – just some of the torpedoes in my life – I will procrastinate and mismanage my time. I go into avoidance and this prolongs my agony. I become fearful, so I waste time on the non-important and non-urgent.  It gives me a false sense of accomplishment, but really I am feeding my fear.

The better thing to do is  face my torpedo and close the distance. Why?

1. Less Pain – Torpedoes in life will either skim you or sink you. If you are going to take a hit, take it early and move on. If not, your going to stress out and lose sleep and gnash your teeth over something that may have only glanced off of you, had you dealt with it early. Don’t run from the pain; run through it.

2. More Confidence – Running is temporary and will wear you out, but completing difficult tasks will build confidence to work through future problems.

There will always be difficult clients, reports you want to put off,  fences that need mending, conversations you need with your spouse – but face that problem.  Close the distance. I’m not saying you won’t have discomfort and pain, but the discomfort and pain will be shorter lived and less intense.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>