I Almost Drowned This Past Weekend...
I almost drowned this past weekend! At least, that is what it felt like... But, what was actually happening was my close friend and Green Beret, Jason Van Camp, was pouring water over a towel draped over my face. I was zip tied to the stairs with my head below my feet. I was getting waterboarded.
After I started to post pictures and videos of me and the men in “We Are The They” getting waterboarded, I started getting many messages. Everything from, “You guys are crazy!” to “This is really F**ked up... What’s wrong with you?!”
So why would I do this? Why put these men and me through a literal torture exercise? What was the point?
One of my favorite quotes is, “The quality of your life is going to be directly proportionate to the number of uncomfortable situations you are willing to put yourself in.”
It’s true. We don’t like change and don’t want to be uncomfortable. It’s why the world rewards companies and innovations that make our lives easier.
In 2022 every single person living in America has all the comforts of royalty from just a century ago.
Personal driver through Uber, any restaurant will deliver you a gourmet meal within an hour through apps and college kids running to your door. You don’t have to sit down to read a book anymore; the author read it for you on Audible.
Life is comfortable!
Another of my favorite quotes is, “Everything you want in life is on the other side of fear.” See, something happens to our entire being every time we push through fear. Our ability to do it the next time is a little easier and a little easier. Until one day, the things we were terrified to do became easy and fun. This has been true in my life, from talking to a beautiful woman to getting on a stage and speaking in front of thousands of people. We create opportunity by pushing through that comfort.
Many well-meaning people in politics and leadership constantly try to make your life “easier” and mistake that for “better.” A butterfly can’t learn to spread its wings if somebody opens the cocoon for it. Just like a child can’t learn the skills and gain the self-confidence needed in this life if their parents are always doing things for them. We need to be able to do hard things... things that scare us. Something that genuinely makes us very uncomfortable.
In my program, I am constantly pushing to find activities that appear dangerous and create fear yet are actually quite safe. So after we jumped off a 300 ft rope swing, swam with giant sharks in open water, and walked across hot coals, I figured it was time to try another panic-inducing event.
So we called Jason.
I’m not a crazy person, and I wouldn’t say I liked this at all. I believe my first words after they removed the towel and asked if I was ok were, “Yes, but I didn’t like it!” It was awful. It was only a few seconds, but it took me back to my older brothers covering my face in the pillow or running out of air when I was white water rafting in Zimbabwe and got stuck under the raft with no air.
What in your life is way too comfortable? Is your relationship with your spouse too comfortable? On the verge of taking each other for granted? How about your kids? Do they know you have big dreams inside you that scare you but that you pursue anyways? Are you the person stuck in your job cause you are terrified of losing the security it brings? It’s time to get uncomfortable. Maybe that’s as simple as a cold shower or going for a run.
Nobody has ever done anything worth remembering while they were comfortable.