Rising Above the Surface

inspiration Sep 26, 2019

Some of the best moments in my life were actually beneath the waves because it left me with a greater appreciation for life on the surface. This is a picture of a submarine swim call after weeks of living underwater. The feeling of jumping in the middle of the ocean with no sight of land or any other vessel is hard to describe. It’s overwhelming.


One of the greatest challenges of living in the submarine is the constant movement without seeing where you are going. In the submarine, I found myself missing the warmth of the sun, the feel of the wind, hearing the sounds of nature, seeing birds fly, and the smell of natural air. After all the time spent submerged in an environment where we can’t see the surface, when the hatch finally opens and you see the sky again, there is a greater appreciation for life. Jumping into the ocean water where the bottom is further below than we could ever touch with our own hands, where there are no visible shores we can see with our own eyes brings perspective that there is a world around us that we can only reach through a greater sense of appreciation and a higher level of belief.


We all can live submerged beneath the surface. We can be submerged in circumstances where we run the risk of being overwhelmed, overlooked, or overworked. It’s not hard to have a sense of being in a vessel of life that is constantly moving and not being able to see where you are going. However, if you find the time to (1) stop, (2) rise to the surface and (3) open the hatch on your scheduled routine, you might find a renewed determination to dive back into whatever challenges you are faced with overcoming.


Here’s how you can apply the submarine procedure whenever you feel submerged by a high-pressure situation:

  1. STOP - Gain a sense of emotional depth control. Know when you need to come up for air by understanding when to step away from a situation to regain a positive emotional buoyancy and operate from an effective mental vantage point.
  2. RISE TO THE SURFACE – Take a step back by taking a step up. Take an intentional snapshot of the situation to understand all of the influences positively or negatively impacting your desired outcome. Own your contribution to anything negative and be responsible to improve if your positive contribution is lacking. Remember, when a submarine rises to the surface in water, we’re not eliminating the pressure, we’re just shifting the forces affecting us to improve our position.
  3. OPEN THE HATCH – Don’t ask for contributions from people but then refuse if they offer correction. Open yourself up to others and allow them to open up to you. It’s not enough to be available so people see you, be approachable so people know you.


Stay on the surface long enough to look around at the full ocean of your efforts and the people around you. Stay long enough for you to once again see and feel the waves of possibilities in your lifetime. You might be able to regain appreciation for the grand nature of the ocean you are swimming in and the reasons that called you to dive into the endeavors you are pursuing in your life


It is the moment of the swim call when the beauty of the ocean overwhelms us that we find the strength to climb back down the ladder to the submarine and close the hatch once again to serve. We remember what makes it worth it.


Sometimes you have to close your eyes to not lose sight of what really matters.


R.T. Stokes is the author of the newly released book The Relentless Rise. He is also an award-winning instructor, organizational consultant and Life Mission Coach with a focus to help people search the depths of their own lives to discover significance hidden beneath the surface and to rise to greater fulfillment in each day.

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