The Art of Mastering Yourself (Lessons from a World Record)
Late 2004 I finally reached 221 meters and the official woman’s depth world record. It was one of those pivotal moments, a dream finally achieved yet not completed. Something was missing and I could not rest until I found it! The problem was, I was not sure what I was looking for….which makes searching for an answer almost impossible, all I knew is that something as difficult to create as a world record should have had more of an impact on my life. Instead it felt like the most useless thing I had ever done and it was only when I started to try and take that feeling of complete freedom into the res t of my life that I started to understand what I had done. In diving I had learnt to make my own decisions and accept the consequences. I had learnt to let go control of the outcome, focusing instead on the moment. I had learnt to trust myself and keep learning. I had learnt to master myself.
Now I imagine who I would be if I was able to master myself in every moment of every day, a large ask somedays, but not impossible, certainly not if I break my days up into minutes, then maybe hours and just practice, exactly like I practiced for my world record – one aspect at a time.. until I was able to dive deep without conscious effort, as if it were as natural as walking…breathing, being!
Can you imagine what it would be like to be the master of yourself ? To know that in any moment no-one else is pushing your buttons ? Imagine living a life where it no longer mattered what happened (or did not), where it no matter mattered how many annoying bosses and taxis appeared? Imagine the peace, the control, the joy! Imagine how free you would feel, able to imagine anything, able to do anything …think anything, create anything.
Are you still reading or did you switch off, telling yourself that it is an impossible dream. You were not born like that! You were not borne to be a world record holder, your life is fixed, you are who you are and that is immutable. Lies I tell you. Lies! Who you are, how you behave is not set in stone, it is something that can be changed all you need to do is start to practice who you would need to be to create your dream. How do I know this to be true ? Well, how else could someone who was so petrified of the world that it took three years just to sign up for a diving course become the deepest woman in the world?
What if who you are is not set in stone ? What is you can choose your behaviour and so consciously change your experiences ? What if you are the master of your own life ?