Reflections by a Fort Lauderdale High School senior as it relates to Admiral William McRaven’s speech about life lessons gleaned during Navy Seal training.

Agree or Disagree?

“Life is a struggle and the potential for failure is ever-present, but those who live in fear of failure, or hardship, or embarrassment will never achieve their potential. Without pushing your limits, without occasionally sliding down the rope headfirst, without daring greatly, you will never know what is truly possible in your life.” William H. McRaven
     I agree with this quote completely. I’m a huge proponent on taking risks. It doesn’t matter whether the risk turns out good or bad, it’s the fact that you tried. My parents always told me as a young girl to try new things, no matter how frightening they may seem. Every day we should make it a goal to learn something new about ourselves, but we can’t do that unless we allow ourselves to open doors. I took Admiral McRaven’s quote as that we have to trust in ourselves to do the right thing, to take the necessary risks, to live. I believe that we never really figure out exactly who we are because life is supposed to be a journey, a marathon, not a sprint. We have to have some humility, some pride, to find ourselves. We can’t be afraid to dive headfirst into things as Admiral McRaven says. This quote actually inspires me quite a bit. I have some things in my life I’m afraid to do. It’s even something as simple as having a cheat day because I’m afraid to gain back the weight I’ve worked so hard to lose, but due to this quote, I’m going to slide down the rope and have a cookie or two and not feel so bad. Now while fear is something somewhat minor in comparison to how large life is, it’s a great dare for me. I’ll be able to prove to myself that I can do things I’m scared of, accomplish tasks I’m fearful of failing or falling back into old habits because of. This quote is one of greatness, it’s one with purpose. To figure out who we are and what contributions we’re supposed to make in the world, we have to tackle things head-on and with belief. Otherwise, we may not ever know what we’re truly capable of.

Why and How: In My Own Life

     After watching Admiral McRaven’s speech, I sat at my desk for almost 30 minutes contemplating his words. Every word, every syllable was so powerful, so sure of its meaning. I began to think about the questions of how and why I will incorporate his 10 points into my life. I’ve concluded that every day I will be better. Every day I will take a new risk, whether that be trying a new exercise during my workouts, or trying to make things right with my father who isn’t very present in my life. I will cut out the negativity of people trying to get me down, the people who say I’m not enough, the people who still tell me I’m overweight. I’m going to remind myself how strong, smart, kind, and beautiful I am every single day. I’m going to not only just accept but challenge my failures. College is right around the corner and I won’t lie and say I’m not scared because I’m terrified of not doing well in my first semester, but I’m going to take it one day, one class, and lecture at a time. I’m done trying to prevent failure in my life. After that speech, part of me can’t wait to fail so I can learn from my mistakes and grow as a young adult. Right now is a perfect time to accept that life is never fair, it’s not meant to be, but it’s what we do with our ‘unfair’ lives that matter. The other question is why will I do these things and more. I will do these things because, through my teenage years, I lost sight of myself and my worth quite a few times. I am determined to not let that happen again. I am motivated to be the woman I was raised to be, the woman I want to inspire others to be, and the woman I know in my heart to be. A new chapter of my life is about to start and I need to be prepared. I need to turn myself around at the top of the slide, put my feet behind me, and slide headfirst. I need to be the best version of myself. I want to be the best version of myself. So really, the answer to the question why, is that I’m made for something big and great in this world, I know I am. In order to find it, I need to make Admiral McRaven’s 10 steps to greatness a priority. I need to give myself a chance.