What does it take to achieve your dream? Diana Nyad’s was to swim from Cuba to Florida, and after four failed attempts, she finally achieved that dream at 64. She faced extreme conditions and nearly fatal dangers. In her TED Talk, she talked about how there were times where she almost lost hope. And yet, throughout the entire journey, she never gave up. She quotes Teddy Roosevelt, saying, “You go ahead. You go ahead and sit back in your comfortable chair and you be the critic, you be the observer, while the brave one gets in the ring and engages and gets bloody and gets dirty and fails over and over and over again, but yet isn’t afraid and isn’t timid and lives life in a bold way.” She talks about obstacles, how everybody has them and everybody gets knocked down, but those who are able to get back up are the ones who achieve their dreams. She faced exhaustion and hypothermia and straining physical and mental conditions, but she kept going.
I don’t want to swim across the ocean from one country to another. A dream of mine, however, is to help slow and stop climate change and to be a part of animal conservation efforts. To me, the planet is the most important issue facing humanity today. If we as a human race don’t stop the crisis of human impact on the environment, all other causes will be meaningless. It seems impossible at times. It feels like the news is dead set on killing my hopes for the future of our planet. It just seems like there is too much to do and far too little time to do it. From rising sea levels to mass animal extinctions to increasing global temperature, it feels overwhelming. Diana’s talk was incredibly inspiring. At 64, nobody believed she could achieve her dream. Everybody told her it would be impossible, but she persevered and believed in herself, and at some point during her swim she could look up and see the shore. I don’t want to give up on the planet. I want to be like Diana, who kept pushing even though all the odds were against, her, and I want to keep going until eventually I can see the shore.
Nyad, Diana. “Never, Ever Give Up.” TED, http://www.ted.com/talks/diana_nyad_never_ever_give_up.