Personal Growth

Diving in the dark

This is part 4 of a 4-part series. Click for part 1, part 2, and part 3.


Judge Bishop wrapped up his inspiring graduation speech with one last inspiring story about Navy SEALs.

As part of SEALs training, they are required to do a scuba dive in total darkness. No lamps, flashlights, or even natural lighting. Nothing.

For many, it’s a terrifying ordeal. Not only are they completely blind, they are submerged in water. The risk of breathing equipment malfunctioning is added to the already significant challenge of navigating without vision. Yet the SEALs are required to finish the dive unassisted.

And you know what? They almost always do.

We all go through times when the lights have been turned out. When we are faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, challenges that we would much rather not have to face.

It’s easy to run away, to convince yourself that you’re not capable of completing the task and simply give up. If you do that, though, you are selling yourself short.

You are capable of much more than you think.

In life, sometimes things will get dark. This is not a possibility, but an absolute certainty.

When this happens, you have two choices.

You can choose to give up, to complain about the injustice of life and get angry at the world. Yet you are equally capable of choosing to stay and fight, to accept – and conquer – the challenge.

Humans are almost universally capable of much more than they give themselves credit for.

Rather than running away, I encourage you to accept the challenge to be your best in the darkest moments. Take up the opportunity to expand, rather than contract.

At the end of your life, you will regret most the things you didn’t do, rather than the things you did (even if you tried and failed). Don’t look back on this season of your life and wish you’d had the fortitude to keep pushing through the dark. Take a deep breath, say some prayers, find an accountability partner, and take the plunge!


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