From the Cube to the Trust Muscle: What I Learned from Nearly Dying

by | Dec 28, 2016

Look at that pic.
It may not look like much, but it captures a sublime powerful moment to which many will never relate, i.e., moving in a state of complete rhythm, perfectly in sync, taking a comfortable, complete breath.
This is particularly amazing to me as when I was 17 while trying to swim to a nearby island, I almost drowned. I was weak it was hot, my body was sun blasted, tired, arms gone limp like jelly.
By the time my eye caught sight of a distant paddle boater, I’d already sunk below the waves twice, and knew I wouldn’t last much longer. Yes, me and water have history like Liam Neeson and all 310 bad guys in Taken 2. But even before my near death experience, being in the water wasn’t comfortable.
Yet there is this man, fifty miles from anywhere, chugging along in open frigid water. He’s balanced, relaxed, serene even. How is this possible? Trust!
You see while the struggling swimmer sees his environment as unsafe battle ground, (with lot’s of flailing predictable results) Mr. Swimmerman above is in tune with his body, environment, and constraints.
He trusts himself. He trusts his skills and experience. Heck, he even (gasp!) trusts the wily water!
He knows by maintaining calm perspective, and composure, there will be time to breathe.
But you say, how can this knowledge help me? I’m glad you asked my friend.
You are here on Medium, thus, I see you as a success minded go getter.
So, take this lesson now.
Develop trust as a core strength.
I say develop, but to be more accurate let’s say rekindle the ability.
When you were a baby (when keys were more interesting than cars), you trusted everyone,
loved everyone. For a time the whole world was your playground. Then one day the world became a a big scary place.
On that day you decided never to be hurt again, by anyone, or any thing, even yourself!
And if you haven’t unmade that decision it’s likely you still live with this as your prime directive.
But the only way that plan would work is if you were living in a cave in Trinidad, sleeping on the dirt, eating bananas and coconuts!
The truth is, If you want to make a civilized planet Earth your personal love affair now is the time to get back your trusting self.
And it starts with You trusting you.
Look, despite what your mind may tell you. We are human, we’ve all made choices which didn’t completely work out, often with spectacular results!
But, the fact is, the road to Zuckerberg land is paved with hard decisions, and challenges.
Daily incremental growth often means the solution may not work the first time. OR the second, third, maybe the seventh.
If you don’t trust you, you’ll worry a hole in the rug instead of making tough calls!
Instead of making decisions and rolling with the consequences, you’ll second guess yourself.
Just like me as the struggling swimmer, rather than trusting, and working with your environment, you’ll fight it at every instance, again wasting energy, time and resources.
Yes, you might make the wrong choice, heck you might do it six times! Still it’ll be better than not making one you feel is necessary. Remember no lesser man than Thomas Alva Edison tried 10000 different variations before he discovered a way to create his lightbulb!
Simplistic though it may sound, the truth is, in all instances we humans choose the best action we can using what information is available at the time.
Let this sink in.
Read it again if you like. Write it down and put it on a sticky.
Make it a screensaver, or your computer background.
All the pain you have given, and received, dissipates to the extent it is consistently applied.
So, let your recent past go. Whether it was success or failure neither is a guarantee of your future results.
Reengage those trust muscles.

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