Why Must There Always Be A “Wake Up” Call?

Why Must There Always be a Wakeup Call?
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional

We live our lives in a constant state of hustle and bustle.  On the run, go, go, go. It seems we don’t pay attention to what’s important in our lives but instead, what’s important in the moment.  So when we have a crises that makes us stop and evaluate the way we’ve been doing things, we say we “Had a wakeup call.”

We all have friends who’ve been there.  Heck, we’ve been ourselves.  Like the Diver who has a bad experience in the water because of faulty equipment or bad health and fitness.  You know, the once active Diver who is now 50 pounds overweight, and has his “wakeup call” to lose those 50 pounds, after an exhausting dive.  The Diver didn’t gain those 50 pounds overnight.  It happened over a long period of time.  It crept up on him while he was focused on other things.  The over-confident Diver who almost drowns when he surfaces far away from the boat and no one sees him because he didn’t bring a snorkel, doesn’t have a whistle, and never bought a safety sausage.  I don’t think that our seasoned Diver just forgot to bring them on that one dive.  I bet he had been cutting corners for many years, little by little because of his skill, experience, and lack of problems on past dives.  The question is, why do we have to let things get so out of control or become so lax that we realize we are not living at the top of our game?  Why do we have to wait for a crisis to happen before we swear to get back on track?

I recently saw another example of “wake up calls” during Hurricane Irma.  Many of my neighbors, myself included, were well prepared with generators, gas, extra food and water, propane and emergency equipment.  The homes in our neighborhood are new so they are all made of concrete block and everyone has storm shutters.  A week before the hurricane, a group of us pitched in and put storm shutters up on a dozen houses.  All of that prep work helped us hide from the wind.

When it came to the water part of the hurricane that was a completely different story.  We found out that you can hide from wind but you have to run from water.  Guess what?  Wake-up call time!  You have to do your best to prepare for water surge in a hurricane.  Some things you can prepare for, some things you can’t.  Keeping people and animals safe is my highest priority.   You can always get new “stuff.”   Having less stuff is now at the top of my 2nd priority list.  Protecting electronic equipment and data is next.  Family pictures and memories all have to be digitized so they are easy to take with you or store some place safe.  Diving gear, photography gear and video equipment?  Heck they are going with us so we can dive wherever we evacuate to !

So I guess my recent wake-up call made me realize I never want another wake-up call again.  I’m getting ready now so I won’t have a wake-up call later.  I’m going to live an active life, being on top of my game and do what is important to me for the long run.  Keeping and protecting the stuff that is important to me and letting go of what isn’t.  It’s time to adopt a “less is more” attitude?

What’s important in your life?  Are you prepared to live the life you have always wanted, right now?  Don’t wait for a wake-up call.  Prepare now.


About Gene Muchanski

Executive Director at Dive Industry Association. Board Member at Dive Industry Foundation. Marketing Consultant to the Diving Industry. I have been a certified Scuba Diver since I was 15 years old and have been a passionate waterman for as long as I can remember.
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