As with most SEAL training, drown-proofing is a failure for the majority of cadets. Many cadets panic when they are thrown into the water and cry for help. Some slip and fall underwater, while others struggle to stay conscious. They must be rescued and revived. Many trainees have died in the course of the exercise over the years. Some people do it. They do this because they know two contradictory lessons. The paradoxical first lesson about drowning proofing is that the harder you try to stay above water, the more likely you will sink.
It’s difficult to stay on the surface for five minutes if your legs and arms are bound. Your limited efforts to keep your body afloat only make it worse. To drown-proof your body, you must let it sink to the bottom. You can then gently push yourself off of the pool floor, allowing your momentum to carry you back up to the surface. You can take a quick breath and restart the process.
Surviving drown-proofing is possible despite your lack of superhuman strength and endurance. You don’t even need to know how to swim. It requires you to be able not to swim. Instead of fighting the forces of physics that could kill you, surrender to them and let them save your life. The second lesson about drown-proofing is more obvious but paradoxical. The more you panic, you burn more oxygen, and you are more likely to drown. Your chances of dying are greater if you have a strong will to live.
Drown proofing is more than just a physical test. It’s a test of each cadet’s emotional self-control in extreme danger.
Can we risk our life to achieve a higher goal or value?
These skills are more important than any cadet’s swimming ability. These skills are more important than resilience or physical toughness. They are more important than his intelligence, where he went to school, or how stylish he looks in an Italian suit.
This ability, which is the ability to let go when you want it most, is one of the most important skills one can learn. This is not only for SEAL training. You can have it for the rest of your life.
Many people believe that reward and effort are one-to-one. Working twice as hard will result in twice the output. Everyone will feel twice as loved if they care twice as much about their relationships. If you shout your point twice as loud, it will be twice as accurate.
This assumes that life is a linear process and that everything has a one-to-1 ratio of effort to reward. Let me tell you, as someone who tried to drink twice the amount of Red Bull to finish editing this damn thing that is rarely true. The vast majority of the world doesn’t follow a linear path. Linear relationships are only useful for repetitive, mindless tasks like driving a car, filling in paperwork, or cleaning the bathroom. These cases show that two hours of work will produce twice as much output as one hour. They don’t require any thought or ingenuity.
Because most activities in life don’t follow a linear effort-reward curve, many activities are neither simple nor innocuous. Many activities are difficult, both mentally and emotionally, and will require adaptation.
Therefore, most activities have a declining returns curve.
Effort and reward
The concept of diminishing returns is that you have to experience more things to make it more rewarding. Money is a classic example. It is a huge difference to earn $20,000 or $40,000, which can significantly impact your life. Your car will have slightly more heaters if you earn $120,000 versus $140,000. Your tax return will show a rounding error of $47,000.
Complex and unique experiences, as well as many mundane, have diminishing returns. These experiences are highly valued initially but decrease in value as you often use them (sorry, Mom).
Another example is that studies on productivity at work show that the difference between 12 and 16 hours of work is virtually negligible (not counting sleep deprivation).
Friendships work on a declining returns curve. It is important to have one friend. Two friends are better than one. However, having 10 rather than 9 makes little difference in your daily life. And 21 rather than 20 makes it more difficult to remember people’s names.
Many things have diminishing returns: Sex, eating, drinking alcohol, sleeping, reading, vacations, booking business meetings, scheduling business meetings and studying for exams, masturbating, late-night gaming, etc. You get less for what you put into them the more you do it. All of them operate on a decreasing returns curve.
Effort and suckage
Inverted curves are the bizarre “Twilight Zone,” where reward and effort have a negative correlation. This means that the more effort you place into something, the greater your chances of failing to complete it. Inverted curves are the basis of drown-proofing. Failure to get to the surface is more likely the more you work. The same goes for breathing. The more you want to inhale, the more likely it is that you will choke on a lot of chlorinated pisswater.
But, I know what you’re thinking. I have had way too many Pina Coladas to be able to find the deep end of the pool. “Who cares about inverted curves?” True, very few things in life work on an inverted curve. The few that do exist are very important. In fact, I believe that the best experiences and goals in your life are found on an inverted curve. When the action is simple and mindless, effort and reward have a linear relationship. When the action is multivariate and complex, effort and reward show a decreasing relationship.
However, when the action is purely psychological, which is an experience that occurs only within our own consciousness, the relationship between reward and effort becomes inverted. You will be further from happiness if you pursue it. We cannot achieve happiness if we try to exert more emotional control. We feel trapped when we want more freedom. The need for love and acceptance keeps us from accepting and loving ourselves.
Aldous Huxley once said, “The more we try with our conscious will to do it, the less success we will have.” Only those who can master the paradoxical art or combine relaxation and activity will achieve proficiency and success. Paradoxical is one of the most important components of our psychology. Because when we try to create a certain state of mind, our desire to achieve it is often counterproductive to the one we are trying to create. This is “The Backwards Law,” which I explain in Chapter 1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck. Wanting a positive experience is its own negative experience. Accepting a negative experience is positive.
This applies to all aspects of our mental health, including relationships.
- Control :The more we try to achieve, the better.Control our emotionsThe more impulses and the moreWe will feel powerless and helpless. Our emotional life It’s unpredictable and difficult to control. The opposite is true. If we are open to our emotions and impulses, we will be able to control and process them more effectively.
- Freedom :The constantWant more freedom?Ironically, this can limit us in many ways. Similar to the previous example, we can only exercise our freedom by choosing and committing ourselves to certain things in our lives.
- Happiness :Be happy ;We are less happy.Unhappiness is acceptableWe are happy when we do.
- Security: Making ourselves feel secure is a sign of insecurity. Comfortable withUncertaintyThis is what makes us feel safe.
- Love:The more you give, the more you get.Try to show love to othersAccept us and love us more than they will.
- Respect:Respect is a must. Respecting others is a sign of respect. They will respect you more.
- Trust:Trust is a key factor in determining whether people will trust you. Trusting others is a sign of trust. They will be more likely to trust you in return.
- Confidence:The more you give, the more you get.Be confidentThe more anxiety and insecurity we create, the greater our vulnerability. Accepting our mistakes will make us feel more at ease in our skin.
- Change– The more desperate we are, the better.Want to make a change in your life?The more we feel inadequate, the more we will be unable to accept ourselves. Instead, accepting ourselves will help us grow and develop because we won’t be too busy doing cool stuff to notice.
- Significance: The more you pursue a goal, the better.Deeper meaning Or Our lives should have purposeThe more self-centered and shallow we become, the less we will be able to enjoy life. We will have a greater impact on the lives of others if we are more focused on adding meaning to their lives.
Because they are both cause and effect of the identical thing, our minds, these internal, psychological experiences appear on an inverted curve. Your mind is both the object of your desires and the source of happiness when you seek them. Our minds can be likened to a dog that, after a lifetime of successfully chasing small animals and catching them, decides to follow the same path. This seems natural to the dog. Because she has been chasing her life, it is no surprise that she also catches everything else. Why not her tail?
A dog cannot catch its own tail. Her tail seems to run faster the more she chases. The dog doesn’t have the perspective to see that the tail and she are one thing.
Your mind is a beautiful thing that has lived its entire life learning to chase different creatures. The goal is to teach it to stop following its own lead. It must stop seeking meaning, freedom, and happiness as they only move it further from itself. It must learn to let go of what it wants to realize its goals. It will learn that letting itself sink is the only way to get to the surface.
How do we do that? Let go. Giving up. Accepting defeat. It’s not because of weakness. Not out of weakness, but because we know that the world is beyond us. Recognizing that we are fragile, limited, and temporary specks in an infinite universe of time. It is not because you feel powerless but because it is possible to surrender control. You let go of things you can’t control. Accept that you may not be liked by everyone, that you might fail sometimes and that you don’t know what you’re doing.
You can lean on the fear, uncertainty and just as you think you are going to drown, it will bring you back to your salvation.