Drinking From the Fire Hose

by Steve Holt on March 31, 2014

When I was a kid we would sometimes see the fire department come by and test the fire hydrants in our neighborhood.  They would turn on the hydrant for a little while to make sure that the water flowed like it was supposed to, and of course the neighborhood kids got the chance to play in the water.  Splashing around in the water was great fun, but of course if you wanted to simply get a drink from the hydrant, that’s another story.

You have probably heard the expression ‘drinking from the fire hose’, and folks often use that expression when they finish a seminar or training class… ‘man, I feel like I have been drinking from a fire hose.’  If you have ever tried getting a drink from a garden hose, then you know what they mean. It’s almost impossible to swallow all the water coming out of that hose, so you do the best you can to get as much water as you can, and the rest of it falls on the ground.

When was the last time you drank from the firehose?  I have done that many times in my life and I’ve been lucky enough to participate in many events, trainings, seminars, conferences, etc, where the material was so good and the information was so valuable that I barely had time enough to write it all down, much less process it and apply it to my life.  So what can do when presented with that fire hose?  You drink as fast as you can.

You swallow as much information as you can, you absorb it, and you move on.  I think there are some people who get paralyzed with that much information and rather than process what they get, they sort of shutdown and become paralyzed with inaction, not knowing what to do next.  I get it.  I’ve been there.  But I have learned that growing is a process.  Just like when my kids were babies sitting in the high chair for dinner.  They got just as much food on their clothes, face, table, and floor as they did into their mouth.  But they ate what got into their mouth, and they grew.

So I ask again… when was the last time you drank from the fire hose?  If it’s been awhile, take a walk outside and grab that garden hose so you can remember what it’s like.  It’ll do you some good.

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