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Lessons From a Deep Dive

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What I learned about business from my dive in the ocean

After reading the title, did you think I was going to write about a deep dive discussion? I literally mean a deep dive — a scuba dive that is!

I love the water element — the color, the feel, the soothing nature, and the potential of power. 

I became increasingly enamored of it when I started snorkeling and then progressed onto scuba diving.

Today, I was reflecting on one of my experiences. My bestie and I took an adventure to the Bahamas intending to get our Specialty Diver Shark Awareness Certification. Even the idea of it held a certain thrill and excitement.

Then the day came when we had completed the academic portion of the course and it was time for the open water section. Two dives were required — a free swim with sharks and a shark feeding dive. So, we hopped on the boat with fins in hand and giddy with anticipation.

After our proper “buddy check,” we descended into the clear blue waters; it seemed just like any other normal dive. Our group was instructed to kneel when we all reached the sandy bottom. Within minutes, we were surrounded by an array of sharks (reef, nurse, and silky). They were all swarming around us, and it was incredible, to say the least.

In the midst of it all, I kept tipping forward. I had a different and heavier set of weights in my weight belt (needed to assist in descending), and they were forcing me to tip forward. Oddly enough, despite my best efforts, I had to resign to accept the fact that I would be viewing from that position. Humans are such funny creatures. They follow by example and this case was no different. Before I knew it, the group had followed my lead and all adapted my unusual viewing position! I think they thought that I knew something that they didn’t — like the “proper way” to view sharks. It was hilarious!


Lesson 1:

If you appear confident, your tribe will follow.

Many times in business and life, if you act the part, it’s yours. If you are timid, insecure, and looking for an authority outside of yourself for the answer, your fate will inevitably be “a follower.”

I like to think of myself as a risk-taker who enjoys an adventure. However, this experience truly gave me more than I bargained for! Once we completed that portion, we went back to the boat for a break and to re-group. My entire system was in a tailspin. I thought I was tough enough for it, but you can not control physical reactions; there I was getting sick overboard in front of my crew. Can you say embarrassing?

Lesson 2:

Sometimes you just have to “let it all out” before you can move on!

Holding back to save face never does anyone any good. Honor your feelings, do what you’ve got to do, and don’t look back.

If that wasn’t challenging enough, as we were preparing to jump off the back of the boat for round two, my bestie turned around to see if I was okay. She did not realize that I had bent over to pull my dive bootie up and whacked me in the side of my head with her air tank! Yes! It was just like the cartoons when you see circling birdies and stars. At that point, I almost quit and said to hell with it. However, the Taurus perseverance kicked in and off we went. (Plus, both dives were required to get the certification. So, I was not about to give up without a new, gold PADI dive card to show for it!)

Lesson 3:

Having a “shiny carrot” at the end of a goal is a major incentive to persevere.

Like they say, “Keep your eye on the prize.” And so began the second dive. At this point, I thought I was going to die. I was stressed, sick, depleted, exhausted, and had a throbbing temple to boot. Because of these circumstances, there was a lack of resistance. Surprisingly, that brought freedom and true surrender to the moment and surroundings. Our divemaster, garbed in a chainmail suit, proceeded to bring out a bloody tuna head on a spear. Needless to say, everyone was in awe of the feeding, and how up close and personal we were able to get.

Lesson 4:

Digging deep within your inner well can often bring unexpected gifts.

With each milestone that you overcome, the amount of strength and endurance that regenerates is astounding.

So, to recap:

In the end, I rose to the top saying: “That was truly amazing. Let’s do it again!”


There is something invigorating about such dramatic experiences. It busts through the humdrum of the daily grind and tests your personality and will. It also lends a fresh perspective on how vast creation is.

To your deep dive adventures out there in our great, big, beautiful world!

Until next time…breathe joy,

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