You, your family and everyone from your family tree has always lived and worked on solid ground and nobody has ever tried swimming.
You live near a lake. A big, foggy lake. The other side of the lake is left unexplored because nobody has any interest in getting there. Even worse, they really don’t want to, because the lake might be dangerous. Maybe even a bit cold.
As far as they’re concerned, the lake will kill you if you enter it, so they stay out of it and they urge everybody to follow their example.
One day, more foggy than usual, you manage to fall into the lake. You struggle to find your way and keep afloat, but you know that in order to survive you must keep fighting. Your arms are thrashing and your legs are kicking. You manage to stay above water, but all of a sudden, you feel something getting tangled around your feet. You panic.
You kick even harder and realise that you will drown if you don’t do something that goes against every cell in your body; dive under water and dislodge your foot by hand.
You close your eyes and prepare for imminent death. “So long, life!” you think as you draw one last breath of air and plunge your head into the painfully cold, murky water.
10 seconds pass. The waves that your head made as you dove down is leveling out.
30 seconds pass and the water is calm. Not even a bubble on the surface.
1 minute goes by when suddenly you gasp for air as your head explodes through the surface of the water. In the attempt to free your foot, your arm got caught on an old fishing net, which forced you to improvise.
You used your teeth to get your arm free before you could free the foot.
You just went through 1 minute of absolute hell that felt like an eternity.
You float on your back. You’ve regained the control over your body and no longer gasp for air in the freezing water. Not only can you stay calm and hold your breath for longer than you thought, you’re actually remaining calm when every molecule in your body screams in pain from the cold. Look at you go!
After a long and painful journey, paddling on your back, you reach the shore.
But it turns out that it’s the opposite side of where you fell in.
You swam across the lake.
You struggled and you fought. You were sure that you were done for, but you actually made it. For as long as you can remember, you’ve been told that it was impossible and that it couldn’t be done!
Yet here you are.
There’s a big, magnificent tree a bit further from the shore. You walk over to it, reach up and taste a piece of fruit from a low-hanging branch. It tastes 10x better than those you’ve had from the other side. Maybe even 30x better! How come nobody has done this before?
You go back into the water when you’ve rested your sore muscles and start your swim back. You map out the route, so that you find your way back, even in the fog.
You become familiar with the lake. It becomes your friend, even though you’ve experienced true hell in it.
Your Return from Paradise
You explain to your family that the other side is amazing. It has the best fruits. There’s land with infinite possibilities. There’s a future for all those who wants to take the journey across.
They can’t hear you.
To them, the lake is still deadly and they haven’t learned to swim, neither are they willing to do so based on your word alone.
They simply want to protect you and keep you safe according to their perspective of the world and the reality that they know.
But you keep fighting, because you know your truth. You’ve tasted the fruit and won’t settle for less. You will never give up, trying to bring the bounties of the other side to those you love.
You’re doing the right thing. What is your “Why“?
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