Never, Ever Give Up. — 5 Game-Changing Lessons I learned from Diana Nyad.


{Diana Nyad. / Source:}

{Diana Nyad. / Source:}

“I have three messages. One is, we should never, ever give up. Two is, you’re never too old to chase your dream. Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it is a team…My mantra was: Find a way.” ~ Diana Nyad

Two days ago (September 2, 2013), 64 year old world-record distance swimmer Diana Nyad finally reached the Florida shore after a grueling almost 53 hour swim through shark-infested waters, without a cage — from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida.

She broke records. She unleashed.

Unleashing is the precise moment when you create unprecedented action in your life… Never-before-achieved action.

I was immediately magnetized to this woman and what she stands for. I saw all of us reflected in her experience. Below are 5 game-changing lessons we can all learn from her amazing story of Unleashing:

1. You haven’t really lived until you set a goal that rattles you to your very core.  

Many of us are risk-averse, fervently seeking the oh-so-comfortable and secure. We’re all guilty of it in one way or another. We get so wrapped up in that “play-it-safe” mode that we forget what it actually means to live; to be alive and feel our fire roar within us.

Right there, inside of you is the untapped potentiality you were born to express. Deep within the recesses of your spirit lies your greatness – and make no mistake, you DO have it in there.

Unleash yourself from the invisible constraints that bind you to your need for security. Find something worthy; something that sets you on fire and run like hell towards it.

2. It’s all about TEAM. 

She did it – she swam those 103 miles, but Diana didn’t do it alone. She had a crew of 35 supporting her every step of the way.

When we’re unleashing and creating something unprecedented we cannot do it alone. Especially if that goal is something world-changing and bigger than ourselves.

It’s true, no one can walk the walk for us; no one can take those steps, but we most certainly need a team of believers, supporters, accountability-holders, and those we can delegate to.

Diana’s crew was watching out for sharks, jellyfish, and other potential perils… Find and gravitate towards those who believe in what you’re up to so much they will move the jellyfish out of your path.

3. It’s never too late… unless you decide it is. 

She is 64 years old and breaking records, instilling hope, redefining possibility and defying convention.

Too soon we throw in the towel on our dreams. Too quick are we to close our own door to triumph, success and happiness. Excuses, stories, and others’ opinions stop us dead in our tracks.

This fiery woman raised the bar on what is possible for all of us. Think twice the next time you hear yourself saying: “I can’t.”

4. Live with Unwavering Commitment. 

Unleashing inevitably involves you surpassing your comfort zone. We can’t create something unprecedented while we stay in the secure and familiar.

Yes, unleashing is scary at times – as you swim forth in unknown waters you WILL come across trials, dangers, and perils. That’s not a reason to stop and get stuck. It is a reason, though, for you to summon your unwavering commitment, as Diana defined it.

She tried five times previously to make that stretch from Cuba to Florida. She tried, failed, tried, failed and went for it over the span of thirty plus years.

Commit no matter what to really living your vision out. Those ‘jellyfish stings’ you encounter along the way are the signs that prove you’re truly alive.

5. Redefine Passion. 

When we think of ‘passion’ we usually think of strong emotion, lust, or ardent love. I was surprised to find out that the real (latin) root of the word — “patī” means to suffer.

Referring back to point #1 above, we’re trained to avoid pain and suffering at all costs…  Collectively we’ve become masters of avoidance. But if we are to impact our world and fully express our potential then we must redefine what we believe passion to be.

Passion is the alchemy of our current self into the self we were born to become. Passion is the very pressure that transforms you into a distinctly new being.

Diana endured incredible “suffering” while achieving her goal – from extreme fatigue, dehydration, jellyfish stings, and intense sunburn she was able to rise above it all because her commitment was fueled by her passion.

For many of us, enduring our own ‘passions’ does not involve such extreme physical pain, it’s more of an inner burn. When your commitment is lit up by your passion, you will rise above it.

Diana on her last swim before retiring:

“Remember this passion; live with it. It’s not easy outside of sports – sports are so black and white. It’s very easy to have a concrete goal and to know just what you need to do, and to measure yourself at the end. But who’s going to tell us in the end who’s a great person among us, and who’s going to make the most progress, and who’s going to cause the most change… who’s going to tell us? Only you – you’re the judge…


And I thought to myself as I came to the shore: Remember – Remember this feeling of commitment. Remember the high of unwavering commitment – this is what you want to live for the rest of your life with.”

{For more game-changing inspiration, watch Diana’s recent TEDx talk, Dare to Dreamhere.}

What do you need to commit to — mind, body and heart — in order to unleash your becoming and create unprecedented action?




{Find a Way}


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