Some people are born swimmers while others find themselves having to learn. The thing with swimming is that you have to be in the water to do it. Talking about it, studying about it, and thinking about it won’t develop your skills unless you apply it.
This is similar to life. There are many people out there who find themselves learning from mentors, working with coaches, watching TED talks, attending self-discovery/personal development courses, reading book after book and all is well until the first wave hits (a.k.a un unfair situation, an inconvenience, an unpleasant person, etc.). The minute the wave hits, everything they learned goes out the window.
Life, like swimming, takes practice…active practice and requires you to get in the water. And sometimes, for some people, being thrown into the deep end is the best way to learn. Swimming in the deep end is not easy. It offers you ample opportunity to quit. It requires stamina, courage, and a deep rooted confidence that you CAN do it. Though there are moments when it appears nothing is happening, every time you swim in the deep end, you are growing, developing, and becoming a stronger swimmer.
Lots of people are comfortable hanging out in the shallow end because they can see their feet and there is very little chance that anything significant will happen. The problem is, these are the same people who wonder why they feel unfulfilled or why nothing amazing happens in their life. They look at others and admire and sometimes envy those who are doing great things, going on adventures, building great companies, etc. The truth is, those who do great things and live great lives are willing to leave the comforts of the shallow end and embrace the uncertainty of the deep end.
Swimming in the deep end is risky and can appear foolish to those in the shallow end. The water can be and is often rockier, the currents uncertain, and truth be told, there are far less swimmers around you. But those in the deep end embrace that it’s worth it. In it, they are challenged, pushed to their limits, discover new strengths, become wiser, and even more compassionate for others who venture in the deep waters. There is no passive living, just the here and now. It’s the feeling of being ALIVE.