All men who have turned out worth anything have had a chief hand in their own education. -Sir Walter Scott
Today I’m 34 years old, so I’ve decided to spend a bit of time doing something I love which I often don’t have time to do, writing, reflecting…
As many of you know, these past few months I’ve been in a bit of a whirlwind, encountering challenge after challenge and setback after setback. From being sick with typhoid during training for the last competition, then attacked by dogs unable to train for 4+ weeks, now second-degree burns on my legs over 20% of my skin unable to train CNF, CWT, etc etc.
I’ll admit, when a troubling situation comes about, it’s so easy to go down a path of anger, depression and resentment…still I end up on this path sometimes.
What I’m in the process of learning though, is that I have a choice. I can choose how I react to these challenges. And it’s completely up to me. If I’m angry and depressed, where does that get me? How does it add value and accomplishment to my life? Well…it doesn’t.
The thing about life, is it’s a continuous learning experience. During school and university it’s easy to get the impression that we need someone else, i.e a teacher / professor in order to learn from. And yes there are many loving and knowledgeable teachers who’ve devoted their life to educating others!
However, if you think about it, your best teacher in life is YOU! Life is always providing new learning experiences, it’s just up to you whether you choose to learn from them or not!
Everything that happens, “good” and “bad”, and especially the “bad” is an opportunity to learn. I’m realizing that with every new challenge and every setback it’s an opportunity to learn, to focus my attention on constant self-improvement and to get closer to connecting with my source buried under the layers of emotions, self limiting beliefs and past experiences.
I truly hope that life is wanting me to learn something from these troubles I’m having, what it is I still need to discover. But first I think it starts with just appreciating these troubles for the learning experiences they are!
So today on my 34th birthday I am truly grateful for the challenges in my life. And I accept the fact that these challenges are lessons waiting to be learned and they will be sticking around as long as it takes for me to learn them. It may not be always easy (!) but I will do my best to remember that without them I would not be able to grow, and learn to rise above them.
And, I may not have all the answers to my questions and my concerns for the future, but if I keep my commitment to never stop learning, I trust it will somehow all workout in the end as it always does. I may not end up making a lot of money, living in a fancy house, or driving a fancy car but I’ll have something much more meaningful; a vibrant and fulfilling life.
The take-away I suppose – Life provides new lessons every single day, but it’s up to you to do the learning. What’s cool is that learning is the one thing that can never be taken away from you. You can lose your money, your job, your home, even people you love, but you can never lose things you learn. And keep in mind, when you have a difficult situation you’re going through, this is a caring and persistent teacher, it won’t leave your side until you’ve learned its lesson.
Living the adventure, and advocating a passionate and healthy lifestyle, Renee is a freediver and creative. She trains and teaches freediving in Dahab, Egypt, documenting her journey along the way, sharing her love of the sea and her passion for freediving.