I, like millions of others, was so deeply inspired and enamored by Diana Nyad’s story this week. At 64 and on her 5th try, Diana finally made the non-stop journey across the treacherous waters between Cuba and Florida. She continued to swim even when her throat and tongue swelled, when she endlessly vomited, and even on her last breath — what an achievement and force of nature! Even more remarkable, I marveled at how she could possibly accomplish this overwhelming challenge at age 64? Does it not make more sense that she would have succeeded in her 20’s, 30’s or even 40’s when her body would have been much stronger, but she failed to cross that ocean bridge in her more youthful years. While I am a true believer that the spirit is your strongest tenant, I was always more inclined to believe that when it came to physical challenges, like any sport, your body would just fail with age. Diana proved me wrong, and I realized that she could not have made this journey in her earlier years because her will and spirituality were not mature, strong and deep enough to transcend herself for what most would consider an impossible feat. Her story became an “aha” moment for me and showed me that the human spirit is the almighty power. Diana has proven Bruce Lee’s belief that “the power of the will is the Supreme Court of one’s mind.”
How do we tap into that deep sense of resolve? The power of our will is closely tied to our spirituality — to be in touch with something higher than ourselves — and the depth of this connection — the deeper your connection, the stronger your will and resolve. I remember reading another remarkable story about Aron Ralston a few years ago, where he was trapped in the Utah canyon’s for 5 days and finally severed his own arm with a dull camping knife to free himself, a frightening act no one could ever imagine or comprehend. The story had many references to his spirituality, which enormously helped him amputate his arm and live through the harrowing tragedy. In Aron’s words in his book, during the process of severing his arm, he said, “There is no hesitation. Under the powers of divine interaction, I barely realize what I am about to do. I slip into some kind of autopilot; I am not at controls anymore.” At the end of the book, Aron continues to say, “My accident in and rescue from Blue John Canyon were the most beautifully spiritual experiences of my life.”
While most of us will never face Aron Ralston’s situation or even try to accomplish what Diana Nyad did at 64, we can all move toward becoming deeper in our will and resolve by tapping more into our spirituality in various ways:
You can only find that deep will if you are passionate about something, whether it’s your career or relationship or hobby. Given so many obstacles and challenges, why would you ever be so determined every day to accomplish a goal or continue to pursue it if you weren’t passionate about it? So when you find your passion, you will naturally become deeper in your resolve.
The determination of the mind is connected to some higher power other than yourself, and you can find it through inspiration. What are the things in your life that inspires you, perhaps your spouse or job or even your dog, and place more time, focus, and energy on those things. I often find my inspiration through stories like Diana’s and Arons’s. Aron found his inspiration from the outdoor mountains and canyons. After his tragedy, Aron Ralston said that while he may have lost an arm, he gained a life so he never regrets his choices in the canyon. He not only realized the remarkable journey of his life, but his appreciation for it became greater than ever before. For Aron, every day is Christmas because when he wakes up in the morning, he receives the wonderful gift of life.
With all the nay sayers and fear perpetuators out there, you must have a sense of confidence and conviction in yourself in order to have the resolve that your path is the right one. Without conviction, you will constantly doubt yourself and question your choices, preventing you from staying on the course when times become challenging and you are being tested.
Listen to your Inner Voice
In order to tap into your spirituality and will, you must listen to your inner voice which will guide you to the truth. When you know the truth, your resolve is strong. In order to listen and receive the truth, you must still your mind through a form of meditation, which does not necessarily mean sitting on a yoga mat and chanting “Ohmmm.” It means finding moments where you can have peace and quiet so your heart opens up to the truth, which might be simply taking a walk, sipping some tea, whatever activities place you in a calm state.
While Aron’s and Diana’s stories are examples of the triumphs of the human spirit, you can make yours just as remarkable, if not more, by tapping into your own spirituality and unshakable resolve, which will open your heart to the infinite possibilities of life. When your will is so deep, there is nothing stopping you, so we will watch out for the Willful You coming our way!
By Moon Cho, Creator of Ying & Yang Living