Sri Amma Bhagawan Sharanam
Sri  Amma Bhagawan Sharanam

Chapter 8: Energy and Enthusiasm

“Einstein seems to be a complicated personality, with his own internal contradictions,” commented Sakthi hearing the complete story of Einstein.


“I would rather describe them as different shades of his personality. But in all that, the underlying factor was his passion for science, which was his strength,” replied Paramanand, Sakthi still had a number of doubts.


“I had quite often felt sucked of energy and frustrated.”


“For everything, you need energy and enthusiasm. When your energy is low, you might not enjoy your most favorite items even – food, ice-cream, dress, entertainment, friends, studying, music, jokes, games…. anything.


We need to be in places where our energy is lifted up, not sucked up. We need to be in the company of people who boost our energy, not drain it. We need to watch, hear and sense things that energize us, not depress us.


We need all the three types of energies – physical, mental and psychological. Without our physical energy, even the routine work becomes tiresome. Without our mental energy, we feel totally distracted and confused. Without our psychological energy, we become emotionally disturbed and unstable. All the three forms of energies are intertwined with each other very closely. Any loss in one area can lead to the depletion in the other two areas.

We need to watch what we eat, when we eat, how we eat, how much we eat, and how we spend our energy. We need to watch what we see, hear, speak, think and do, to keep our mental energy intact. We need to be watchful about our emotions and how we respond to them.  We may not be able to control our emotions, but we can choose to control how we exhibit them or respond.


The energy levels of a powerful personality will be very high and he will radiate his energy to others to boost theirs too. His enthusiasm will be contagious and spread to others.

Successful people always have energy and enthusiasm for life and for what if offers. It is not that they never have obstacles in life, or they don’t lose at all; they have sufficient energy, enthusiasm and passion for transcending them.


Watch some of the successful sports persons. Look at the world class players in any field – Mohammed Ali in Boxing, Michael Jordan in the Basketball, Sachin Tendulkar in Cricket, Usain Bolt in athletics, Federer in Tennis, Michael Schumacher in Racing, Pele in football, and many more. Their success came primarily because of their high energy levels, passion, and enthusiasm for sports.


Again, sport is an arena where one sees clearly the dominant power of all the three forms of energy – the physical, mental and psychological. While one needs the stamina of the body, enthusiasm is the essential need for the mind. They generally go together. Emotional balance and control – the need to be competitive, accepting defeat and failures, accepting one’s mistakes, willingness to try again and again, taking responsibility for one’s actions, tackling negative emotions like jealousy, greed, anger, hurt, and hatred – are all trained, or learned behaviors and comes from the physical and mental energy states.


Have you ever heard about Dyana Nyad, one of the greatest swimmers?”


Sakthi’s face indicated that he hadn’t.


Though every sports person’s story is as riveting as anyone else’s, I was particularly moved by the story of Dyana Nyad, the long-distance swimmer.


“Right from her young days, Dyana Nyad was passionate about swimming. Rather, it was her obsession.  She started swimming from her seventh grade. She had won three Florida State high school championships in the backstroke at 100 and 200 yards. Participating in the 1968 Summer Olympics was her dream. But during 1966, she suffered from an infection of the heart and had to spend three months in bed. After she recovered, she resumed her swimming again, but she couldn’t regain her speed.


While she was studying at the university, she couldn’t contain her adventurous spirit and had, once, jumped out of the fourth-floor window, wearing a parachute.  She was promptly expelled from the university. She had to enroll in another university in Illinois in U.S, where she played tennis and also resumed her swimming.


Buck Dawson, the director of the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Florida was quite impressed by her skills in swimming. He introduced her to the sport of marathon swimming. She began her training in Ontario, Canada. In her first race, a 10-mile swim in Lake Ontario in July 1970, she finished in 4 hours and 22 minutes and came 10th overall. After finishing her studies, she returned back to South Florida to continue training with Dawson.


She caught the national attention when she swam for 28 miles around Manhattan in 1975 and for 102 miles from North Bimini, the Bahamas to Juno Beach, Florida.


Once, during the 1950s, she had to travel from Florida to Cuba. During that trip, the idea of swimming across the Straits of Florida, a distance of 110 miles between Cuba and Florida occurred to her. For a host of reasons, swimming across that part of the sea was considered to be the most arduous, almost impossible feat by the experts. But Diana didn’t agree.


She could make her first attempt only during 1978, almost two decades after the idea ever occurred to her. All along, she had kept the fire of her desire alive. Her first attempt failed as she was battered by the rough seas, and she became delirious. She had to give up, less than halfway towards her goal.


Her second attempt came after another long gap of 33 years, during August 2011.  She had worn ‘shark shield’ to protect her from the sharks. However, she had to give up again after an asthma attack. Besides, she suffered from jellyfish stings, which was a perennial threat to swimmers in big oceans.


Her third attempt came during the very next month, during September 2011. This time, she went without a protective shark cage. Unfortunately, after 41 hours of a consistent swimming for about 67 miles, she had to give up on account of an attack by jellyfish, bluebottle stings and sea currents that pushed her off the track.


She didn’t want to give up on her goals. She was conscious that she was already 62 and getting old now. 


Her fourth attempt came during August 2012. Again, she had to stop on account of two storms and jellyfish stings. During every challenge, she had to be pulled out of the waters and rescued by her team. Yet, she didn’t lose her determination, which only went from strength to strength, with each failure.


Finally, on September 2, 2013, at her age 64, after about 53 hours of continuous swimming across 110 miles, she finally accomplished her goal of crossing the Straits of Florida successfully and became the first ever to accomplish the feat, that too without the protective shark cage. However, learning from earlier experiences, she had put on a suit designed to protect her against jellyfish stings and a special mask to prevent jellyfish stings to her tongue.


Anyone in her place would have been deterred from making a second attempt for fear of sunburn, brutal attack by the sea, stings by the jellyfish, and bruises by the rough weather. Goals would have been sacrificed. But Diana Nyad was not deterred, maintained her energy and enthusiasm about her passion, and never gave up her efforts.


“Find a way,” was her constant mantra. During her last attempt, she was shivering, vomiting heavily due to excess salt water in her system. She sang lullabies to help her relax. “It was really rough that first day…and I just said: ‘Forget about the surface up. Get your hands in somehow, and with your left hand, say, push Cuba back, and push Florida towards you,” she had said in her interview to CNN. She held to her mantra, very closely, “(If) you don’t like it, (if) it is not doing well, find a way.”


“I got three messages,” the exhausted Nyad told the reporters when she completed the swim.  ”One is, we should never, ever give up. Two is, you never are too old to chase your dreams. Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it is a team.”


In one of her interviews during her earlier attempts, she had acknowledged that her accomplishment was a result of a great team effort.  ‘It is a large operation, like an expedition. We have got about 25 people, navigators, managers, boat crew, weather routers, medical people, shark-experts, you name it.” Besides, the temperature of the sea water, the wind direction, unpredictable changes to the starting point and ending point due to changes in the weather were all great hazards one needed to encounter and overcome. Nyad’s expedition was estimated to cost about $500000.


Nyad is a motivation speaker and had written three books.”


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