It’s inspiring to see someone succeed in bringing a dream into reality.

In 2013, Diana Nyad, 64, made a 110-mile swim from Cuba to Key West despite strong currents, sharks and stinging jellyfish that had stopped her previous four attempts… not to mention blistering sun and salt water for nearly 53 hours, little food, throwing up, no sleep and protective gear that hindered her.  Upon making land in Key West, Florida, Ms. Nyad pronounced “Never give up!” – perhaps a bit of an understatement….

It takes courage to continue to move forward in the face of long odds, failures and discouragement.

Did you know that COURAGE is a “muscle”? Well, technically not, but play along with the metaphor…because the more you use it, the stronger you get!!

It’s amazing what you learn about yourself sometimes. 

Just the other day, I had another life-changing “courage-growing” moment. I’ve never punched anyone on purpose in my life until the other day. Have you?

Of course, I’ve participated in the playful, horsing around types of skirmishes, but this was different. I really punched her as hard as I could — ON PURPOSE!   And now I’m sitting here slowly typing you this newsletter with an injured wrist, so please forgive any typos and it being so late….

I’m not suggesting you just go punch someone on purpose.  Let me explain what punching someone on purpose and cultivating courage have in common….

Every year for my birthday, I challenge myself to a new adventure — one that I normally wouldn’t consider.  It’s been as wacky as pole dancing, yes, pole dancing. Hey, they had a free intro session and I loved it.  It’s harder than it looks. You have to be strong to keep from flying off!

Another year it was skeet-shooting with my sister and brother-in-law. I had so much fun and I’m not too bad at it either…. There is something therapeutic about shooting clay plates out of the sky.

There has been rock climbing. My sons and daughter-in-law went with me, all scampering up the side like weightless monkeys, me not so much… it was great fun and I learned I don’t care for rock climbing.

Next came the need to ride a motorcycle. My youngest son went with me and he was the #1 student, while I definitely was not. (In fact, I was last in the class.)

This “crazy” yearly quest has taught me that I can do far more than I ever thought I could.

So what does all this have to do with nursing a sore wrist?  This year, although well after my birthday, I decided to try Krav Maga. It is a form of self-defense developed by the Israeli army in the 1940s. I think you can guess from just that description, how the sore wrist (and sore everything else) happened. I’m still undecided if I’m going back – I’ll let you know after the bruises heal.

Five simple ways to push your potential and find new passions

Be imaginative. Choose outside your box. If you feel a little tweak or twinge, then you are thinking outside your box.

Be brave. Move outside your comfort zone – even if just s smidge…. Anaïs Nin was right when she wrote, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

Be adventurous. Raise the bar on what you think, yes think, you can do. Too often our thoughts of “Oh, I could never do that…” limit what we really can do.

Be impeccable. Keep your promises to yourself. Keep your commitments to others.

Be focused. Bright shiny objects are all around us. Cultivate an environment that allows you to stay focused on one thing at a time. Use your breath to have a relaxed presence and focus on each moment.

Take a deep breath right now and commit to pushing your potential. Share with me in the comments below what first steps you are going to take right now… Ms. Nyad’s triumphant swim all began with her first steps….  What are yours?

Are you ready to move past your fears and beliefs? What would happen if right now, you made the decision to move, and have the discipline to impeccably follow through? Share in the comments, I’d love to cheer you on!!