How To Find A Way

The hundred miles from Cuba to Florida feature the following hazards: jellyfish—lots of them—whose stings can paralyze you; sharks; bone-chillingly cold water; darkness; seas that break boats in half.

In 2013, Diana Nyad, a 64-year-old endurance swimmer and a Stoic in all but name, finished the 100-mile swim. She became the first person to complete that distance. It was her 5th attempt. She did it—unthinkably—without a shark cage.

By the end, her face and lips were swollen and sunburned; her speech was slurred. But she had made it. She didn’t try to brush away the difficulty: “With all the experience I have, especially in this ocean, I never knew I would suffer the way I did.” But she had done it. And that’s what mattered. The mantra she kept in her head the entire time: “Find a way.” She would repeat it to herself, over and over—in the way that Stoics keeps certain phrases and ideas ringing around in their head to guide their actions.

You’re facing something hard, maybe even perilous or painful. Find a way.