Diana Nyad: Never Give Up

Diana Nyad, a 64-year-old endurance swimmer, became the first person to swim the 110 mile distance from Cuba to Key West Florida. Certainly, the environmental factors were in her favor as the sea life did not bother her,

Diana Nyad at TEDMED2011

Diana Nyad at TEDMED2011 (Photo credit: Klick Pharma)

the currents stayed friendly, and no storms approached. She swam for over fifty-two hours straight before reaching the coast of Florida.

After her long, treacherous journey across the ocean, her words of advice to others were “I have three messages. One is we should never, ever give up. Two is you never are too old to chase your dreams. Three is it looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team.” Surely, just as a physical sport requires will-power and endurance not to “throw in the towel” or give up, life also requires this same type of endurance.

We are all running an endurance race of life in which we must preserver when trials arise. In order to succeed in this, we must never look back at past failures, but rather press forward to the reward. Just as people running a foot face are running with intense focus on the goal (to cross the finish line and win the metal), people with purpose are also running this race of life, in which they are looking forward to a reward beyond our human comprehension.

In addition, just as Diana Nyad said that one is never too old to chase his or her dreams, a person should never look at age as a determinant of wisdom or faith in life. This is undoubtedly true in regards to children and their innocent, child-like faith that is unpolluted by experience and unspotted by the knowledge of the evilness that exists all around us in this world.

On the other hand, the older people should not possess a mind-set that limits their ability to stay active in life. As soon as a person determines in his or her head or listens to outside voices telling him or her that he or she cannot do something because of advanced age, he or she has a tendency to live out these thoughts and these thoughts create feelings of defeat. Ultimately, people should keep a child-like faith with an optimistic, determined thought pattern in life. This will surely create better overall mental health and therefore more productivity.

Just as Diana Nyad pointed out that her endurance swim could not have been successfully accomplished without a team, people need positive fellowship in life. When a person is discouraged, having somebody to embrace him or her in a hug and simply offer words of encouragement can greatly leave a positive impact on the soul. When one person is strong in an area, the next person is possibly weak in that same area. We are all unique and have different strengths that we can bring to the community. If everybody shared their time and gifts with their neighbor, this life would be much simpler.

Unfortunately, many “sharks” exist amongst people that are looking for somebody to gnash with their teeth, torture, and devour. It is often said that a shark can “smell fear” and thus responds in a negative matter to fear. Diana Nyad did not focus on the sharks, therefore did not display fear nor was she approached by any dangerous predators. Instead, she focused on the shore, not looking to her right or left. In life, if we do not pay the “sharks” any attention, they will most likely not notice or approach us.

We can learn much from Diana Nyad’s example of her “Never Give Up” endurance swim.

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5 Reasons Why I Splurge On Travel

A street in Trinidad, Cuba. Trinidad has been ...

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Guest Post Author Bio: Miss T blogs at Prairie EcoThrifter. She grew up in the Canadian prairies and still lives there today. She is passionate about saving money, being healthy, looking out for our environment, and most of all having fun. Her blog shares tips on how you too can live a green, debt free, and fun life.

This week I am participating in a Yakezie blog swap where I am to answer the question ” Name a time when you splurged and were glad you did.” I had to seriously think about this for a minute and then it came to me. What do I consistently spend my money on that brings me the most enjoyment? Answer: Travel.

To say I love to travel would be an understatement. Travel for me is a life changing experience that I desire to re-live over and over again. I can think of a million reasons why I love to travel, but I thought I would boil it down to five.

1. Learn about myself. When I travel I gain a deeper understanding of myself and the world in general. Much of the experience is dependent on how different the environment is from what I am used to. When I traveled to Europe the first time, I got to try some different food and see how great it was to have a siesta in the middle of the day, but the transition was relatively painless. When I traveled to Central America last year for my honeymoon, I was a lot more out of my comfort zone. I was sleeping with tarantulas and geckos and trying food I couldn’t even pronounce. Plus, I couldn’t speak the language.

When I am in this kind of situation, I encounter things that I have never encountered before. I am forced to be on the alert because I don’t have any prior knowledge to rely on. Since everything is new, I am automatically forced to try to make sense of it all.

For many of us we have never really looked inside ourselves and examined what we are made of. When we are somewhere new, we have nowhere to hide. This is the point where you become really intimate with the ideas you have of yourself, of your ego, of life, which you may have been really identified to, and derived your sense of self from.

Your ego is essentially your self image; it’s the persona you display to society. Your ego survives only by constantly seeking approval from that which it wants to identify with. This is the society you are raised in. What happens when your family, friends, and your typical environment is not there to reinforce the ideas you have of your self? You ego becomes shaky; it starts to lose it’s hold on you. By traveling to the unknown, your ego falls apart and the true you is given the chance to emerge.

You begin to challenge and question everything you have ever believed. If you can be brave and not run away and use this as way to grow, you will see that all your beliefs belong to society and that they were never really yours to begin with. This can be extremely scary, liberating, nauseating and a million other things all at the same time.

I remember going through this very process when I traveled to Cuba. I knew intellectually that there were people in this world that weren’t as fortunate as me, but I was never able to fully understand that until I saw how some people lived in Cuba. I couldn’t help but reflect on what it would be like to never be able to own a home because the government owned everything and personal freedom didn’t exist. I wondered what it would be like to be so poor that I would have to walk around grimy city streets barefoot because I couldn’t afford shoes and it wouldn’t matter how many cuts I would get from broken glass because I had to get myself to work everyday on foot. That trip really shattered my ego and my mental models and when I arrived back home, I approached my own life very differently.

2. To do what I love. Interestingly, there are very few other areas of my life where I feel more at home and happy then when I am traveling. I really enjoy experiencing the unknown and all of the possibilities it has to offer. I guess I feel totally free; free from obligation and expectation. I am able to explore on my own terms and be who I want to be without negative consequences. When I am planning a trip, my excitement consumes me. I can’t help but wonder; what am I going to see? Who am I going to meet? What am I going to learn?

3. Re-live my youth. Unlike many of my peers, I skipped the university experience. When I graduated high school I went straight to working full time at my family’s business. It wasn’t until later in my life that I went back to university and got an education and got the job that I have now. I never had the opportunity to have 4 months off for 4 years and travel when I was younger. I was too focused on making money and buying my first house. I wanted to be an adult as fast I could.

Traveling now allows me to capture some of those stolen moments. The best thing is I have more money and resources behind me now so I can travel without incurring debt and causing financial strain which would have happened if I had done it in my younger days. I also have a partner to travel with, my husband, which allows us to grow and experience with each other by our side.

4. Redefine my boundaries. Being in a completely different environment than what I am used to excites me. I am somehow willing to try anything, regardless of what the consequences can be. When I was in Europe for the first time, I decided to try para-gliding in Austria. It was an amazing experience. However, if you would have asked me when I was still at home if it would run off of a mountain and free fall to the ground, I would probably have said “no way”. Being somewhere different allowed me to push my boundaries and cast my fears aside. Not only was it liberating and a ton of fun but it has made me push myself harder and further in other areas of my life which has only led to success.

5. Enhance my education. Learning through textbooks is not the same as learning hands on. I much prefer learning through experience. I find I never forget what I experience whereas I can forget what I have read.

Traveling allows me to enhance my education of the world around me through experience. I get to see first hand how something is made or used, or taste a food that I have never heard about before. I get to experience history by walking through castles and basilicas instead of reading about it or watching a documentary on TV. I get to discover the world for what it is first hand instead of through someone else’s eyes. I am able to learn about something honestly instead of through a tainted image painted by someone else.

The knowledge I have gained through my travels to date has enhanced my life and opportunities in so many ways. I have never learned something that hasn’t proven useful.

Travel isn’t cheap and to many is viewed as a luxury but to me it is something worth splurging on from one year to the next. The personal gains I get from my investment are invaluable!

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Saturday Roundup

Original sequel logo, from the test footage pr...
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Congratulations to Claudia for winning the $100 Amazon gift card.

This week started with my wife getting sick and ended with her passing it on to me.   I hate being sick.

On a positive note, Tron is out this week, and is on IMAX 3D at a theater near me.   I get to share a piece of my childhood with my son this afternoon.

Best Posts

When a guy named Dragon says, “Hold my beer a second,” you know something badass is about to happen.

Michael Moore’s Cuban healthcare lies propaganda is too much even for Cuba.   Apparently, they are afraid the proles would revolt if they saw how good the ruling class has it in comparison to the 150-year-old rat-hole hospital the peasants are forced to use.  But hey, it’s free!

I could think of worse ways to get laws passed than Last Man Standing.   It would at least put a stop to frivolous crap that hurts everyone.

I had an eBay seller try to screw me once.   I had access to a number of skiptracing tools at the time.   When I sent him his phone number, his girlfriend’s phone number, his parents’ phone number, his place of employment, and all of those address, I got my refund the next day.

ChristianPF has a post on buying bulk herbs and spices.  Not all spices can be stored for long, even in the freezer.

LRN Timewarp

This is where I revisit the posts I wrote a year ago.

4 Ways to Flog Your Inner Impulse Shopper was my first bondage-themed post.  I still smile when I re-read it.

My post on cheap birthday parties is something I need to read every year.  The party this fall wasn’t nearly as cheap as it has been in recent years.

And finally, my Grinch post on saving money on Christmas.  My secret:  buy less for fewer people.

Carnivals I’ve Rocked

First Steps – Ramsey Was Wrong was included in the Carnival of Personal Finance.

A Moment of Clarity was included in the Carnival of Money Stories.

Top 7 Reasons To Trade Forex Over Other Financial Instruments was included in the Festival of Frugality.

Thank you! If I missed anyone, please let me know.

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