The Salton Sea

We’re still here in Palm Springs, and we decided to drive out to see the Salton Sea, California’s largest lake.  Heard of it?

There’s always been a body of water there, but In the ‘50’s, engineers mistakenly diverted the Colorado River, and for two years, it drained into what became the Salton Sea.  The massive lake received a whole new burst of life with this inflow.  People built cabins around the lake; the rich and famous used it as a getaway from nearby L.A..

And then the river diversion was fixed, and the lake began to stagnate.  Water evaporated and receded from the shore.  The salinity of the lake went way up (it’s saltier than the Pacific ocean today) and most marine life died.  The cabins were abandoned and left to rot.  And then it began to stink.

From a distance, the lake still looks beautiful, but the closer we got to the water, the worse it smelled.  By the time we were ten feet from shore, we both agreed that enough was enough.  When I closed my eyes, I was back working on the farm as a teenager, spreading manure.  The stench was overpowering.  The whole place was dead.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had many Salton Sea cycles in my life.  In one way or another, I get challenged.  I surge forward, make progress, and then get comfortable.  If I stay in my comfort zone, I start to slowly die.

I find that I am revitalized in two primary ways.

They are:

  1. Meeting a new person who challenges me to be better
  2. Reading a book, listening to a podcast, or watching a video that introduces me to an idea I hadn’t thought of and feel challenged by

Revitalization doesn’t just happen.  It’s usually sparked by some external stimulus.

So, when last have you:

  • Read a challenging book?
  • Subscribed to a new podcast?
  • Volunteered for a new opportunity that scares you?
  • Learned a new skill?
  • Went out of your way to meet a person whom you admire?

Don’t be stagnant.  Like the Salton Sea, stagnant people start to smell bad.

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