Don’t Ever, Ever Ring The Bell

“Finally, in SEAL training there is a bell. A brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all the students to see. All you have to do to quit is ring the bell.

Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at 5 o’clock. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the freezing cold swims. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the runs, the obstacle course, the PT — and you no longer have to endure the hardships of training. Just ring the bell.

If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.” – Adm. McRaven

If I were to ask of you to knock at a wall until it turns into a door, what would you do? What would you say to me? What would you think of the situation itself?

Pretty ridiculous, right?

No person in their right mind would ever attempt such a thing. Yet life often provides us with such walls. Granted, we tend to build them ourselves. But sometimes they’re built by those around us. We are constantly being told how the world works, what is our place in it, and what rules must be obeyed.

We are told what can be done, what can’t, what shouldn’t even be attempted.

So, yes, a lot of times in life you get to be in front of a wall, and all that you want is on the other side. And you cannot climb over it, walk around it…

And you must knock until it turns into a door…

That’s all you can do. Persist in doing what you know deep in your heart to be the right action, resist the temptation to give up.

Make use of your suffering.

This is the part that we so often forget when we wish for future comfort to such an extent that hope and fear merge into one. Or when we become attached to what can never be again.

We forget that life is pain.

We either make use of the pain that we’re constantly being dealt, or we try to escape it with addiction and bad habits and complaining…

One strengthens the character, the other one diminishes it.

Believe me, the pain does not go away.

I have spent 7 years of my life wishing away medical conditions that kept me physically weak. Conditions that inhibited me from eating proper food, or smiling, or having the required self-confidence to look people in the eye. Yet, when the situation got fixed, it didn’t drastically change the way I viewed myself.

Soon, I found other flaws, faults, defects…

So many times I had to struggle financially, to try to make due with a couple bucks a week, to eat once a day, and I’d dream of the so-called financial freedom that I’d attain…

Had it. And it fueled my anxiety. It made me want to huddle in a corner, pull a blanket over myself, and watch Youtube videos until the end of time.

This is why the things we dream about and wish for are never, ever as beautiful when we do get them as they are inside our minds.

Comfort is not as comfortable as we imagine it to be.

Make use of your pain, for you will never, ever be free from it.

I’m thinking of using a cheesy metaphor: the one about the baby who cries when it is born.

The pain we feel reminds us that we are alive.

That’s one of the many meanings of pain. The burn we feel in our muscles when we work out means that we’re growing stronger. The pain we feel after being abandoned by a lover means that we won’t become so attached the next time we fall in love.

Life is pain. Yes. But without it, you’d be dead.

And if pain is the price one must pay in order to be alive, then we must persist and resist for as long as we can. In order to be great, to inspire, to aspire, to create, to fight, to overcome.

Because this is what it means to be a human being.

26 thoughts on “Don’t Ever, Ever Ring The Bell

  1. The Bible tells us “knock and it will be opened”. Some versions have put in the word “Door”, but most have stayed true to the original translation and left that out. It’s always interested me that it said nothing about door opening, but whatever it was you were knocking on. So, yeah, a wall can easily become a door if that wall is standing between you and your destiny. you just got to keep knocking.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Maybe I’m just being naive, but it doesn’t always have to be painful. So, this super funny thing happens with me. Every time I begin to question what the hell I’m doing and feeling down, I end up with actually finding happiness in whatever I’m usually doing (like,college, for example) or maybe it’s also about self motivation. Sorry, getting off topic there! Your starting quote really inspired me today. Thank you very much for that!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. If, by chance, you wish to contribute to the good of the World. Remember that your good deeds may have a greater effect than all the temporary pain and glee you experienced preparing to perform any good deed.


  4. This reminds me of something Ben 10 told his cousin Gwen in a dream battle – “Quit complaining and bite someone!”
    Complaining never really brings a good result, it just helps you to focus on all the ways in which things are wrong and you end up not seeing opportunities.


  5. Fantastic, and inspirational. At Navy SEAL training they often have to put those who rang the bell under suicide watch. Every single guy who tries to be a SEAL is a type-A personality, a go-getter and probably full of confidence. But everyone has a breaking a point, and some of those physical studs ring the bell. Forty-five minutes later, they’re in a warm room with clean clothes on and eating a hot meal, and the reality of their decision sets in. They beat themselves up for giving up because they were a little cold, hungry, and tired; for looking at their condition as completely insufferable when a few minutes and a little breather was really all it took to fix. I can’t imagine the mental toughness of the guys who make it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Never give up never give in

    Have you read “Survivor Personality”

    Those surviving concentration camps, Bataan death march, or the rugby team in the Andes, share common traits.

    Their mental acuity and willpower play a vital role in their survival

    Liked by 1 person

      • People who survive had created minds, had the ability to stay present and let go judgments.

        They did not question if they would make it or not.

        Short term goals were important

        A sense of community, small groups would join and agree to support each other if one got sick

        They resisted. An example, prisoners were supposed to sit in position at times. They would move a couple inches in an hour.

        A minor action but it gave them some power over their predicament.

        One prisoner built a house in his head, down to the last nail, writing a building list

        Another planned elaborate gourmet meals to combat the humor.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. You wrote, “when the situation got fixed, it didn’t drastically change the way I viewed myself… Soon, I found other flaws, faults, defects…” And I wrote in my blog on VISION today that you find what you’re looking for. You are talented, inspiring, blessed… and so wise for a man so young! DIg out that inner strength and focus on it. You help so many of us when you do that! Thank you for keepin’ on, Cristian. Never ring that bell! <3


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