Throughout life we are impacted with moments that are rich with meaning and significance. Regardless of the joy or sorrow that these moments create, it is our job to listen and respond. This summer I was given the gift of one of those profound moments.
On a warm August afternoon, my wife and I invited some close friends over for lunch to spend the day swimming in our pool. We were in the water playing with our kids, watching them one-up each other jumping in, and playing all the usual games.
One of the times my daughter climbed out to jump back in, she cried out in pain after stepping on a bee. As soon as I pulled out the stinger left behind in her foot, one by one more bees began to swarm. Thinking that the dead bee was attracting others, I picked it up and went inside to throw it away.
The moment I opened the trash in the kitchen I heard my wife scream outside. It wasn’t an ordinary scream. I look outside right at the moment she was diving into the water. Racing outside I was certain that she was being attacked by the aggressive bees.
I made it to the edge of the water right when she was coming up. My heart sank. In her arms was our little boy, blue and lifeless.
Frantically I took him into my arms as she began to yell for help and call 911. I will never forget what it felt like to hold him in that moment. Laying him on the ground I cried out to God for help. Even though I have never been trained for CPR, instincts on some level kicked in. I started desperately performing a series of chest compressions and breaths. After an eternity of seconds I saw the life and color return to his face. My boy was saved.
The paramedics arrived shortly after, and within minutes we were on our way to the hospital. During the trip one of the paramedics reassured my wife that he was going to be just fine because CPR was performed right away. After all this was his seventh time to be called out for a drowning this summer, and the only one that did not end in tragedy.
The next day in the ICU, we had a great conversation with the pediatrician. I recounted the entire story, chain of events and explained how I had no clue what I was doing with CPR. He compassionately listened, and then replied, “You don’t have to do it right. You just have to do something.” My boy is alive simply because something was done.
When we are presented with moments of crisis, large decisions or new opportunities often we find ourselves crippled by the lack of knowledge. We justify inaction with our insecurities in not knowing the right way to move forward. Or we trap ourselves in an endless search for knowledge to attempt to reassure our actions.
Over the course of my career and journey as an entrepreneur, I have learned that success and fulfillment is found when we push ourselves beyond our comfort zone. There is tremendous value in having knowledge ahead of time—I am now CPR certified—but simply taking action is often what it takes.
You don’t have to do it right. You just have to do something.
This was story originally posted to my blog, but with the significance of the event it felt appropriate to share it with a new audience on Medium for my first post.