The Strongest Move You’ll Ever Make

One small mistake can snowball into a huge personal crisis. That’s how Chris Dreisbach described his full-blow heroin addiction in a recent Unbeatable podcast interview. It’s easy to be critical of his mistakes that led him to financial ruin and years in prison. However, when you listen objectively to this story, it’s clear that this could happen to anyone who started down the same path that Chris traveled.

What’s even more impressive are the people who stepped into Chris’s self-inflicted problems and helped him change his life. While listening to his recount of the long, hard road to sobriety and recovery, it occurred to me that all of us need outside help when we stumble in life. The strongest move you’ll ever make is admitting that you need a steady arm when you start to stumble.

Like a child learning how to walk, all of us have moments in life when our legs are too shaky to stand on their own.  It’s moments like this when we need a steady arm to lean against. I think there’s a lesson most adults can learn from the way that children find the strength to walk.

We all stumble

We will all stumble in life. Maybe it won’t eventually lead to a heroin addiction like Chris’s, but there will be moments in every human life when we need a strong arm to help pull us out of the ditch. You’re going to need a partner who is strong when you’re at your weakest moments to face the biggest challenges in life.

I learned this firsthand while preparing for the Best Ranger Competition. The beauty of this event is that the competition is designed to test a human being in all aspects of their physical ability. This competition is also built around the two-man buddy team philosophy. I have never seen a competitor that didn’t have a weak moment or two during this grueling 60-hour competition. Without exception, there’s a point for every team in the competition when one member becomes weak. Your only hope to win the competition is for your partner to be strong when you’re weak and vice versa.

Leaning on a steady arm

The strongest move you’ll ever make is admitting that you need someone else’s help.  Unfortunately, this is countercultural in our society this self-made, fiercely independent society rewards people who can overcome obstacles by sheer willpower and effort. However, this also creates a false narrative that many people believe about individual strength.

The strongest warriors I have ever met in my life are those who have had points in their lives where they had no choice but to reach out to other people for help. Most modern warriors would say that it’s entirely insane to go onto the battlefield alone. All of us need someone who can protect our six in combat. If the greatest warriors are trained to depend on each other, why does the rest of society struggle to accept this reality?

Able to stand on our own

Leaning on your partner’s strong arm might give you the ability to get your legs underneath you after facing a challenging obstacle. No one wants to live a life completely dependent on other people. All of us want to be able to get strong enough to stand on our own 2 feet just like a toddler trying to walk across the room to their parents. You already know what happens next because it happened to you, just like every other human being on this planet who can walk on their ability.

Eventually, mom and dad help their child’s legs get strong and stable so that they can take a few steps on their own.  This is the point when the cell phones come out and people gather around the room to watch this child develop the strength and stability to take the first few steps on their own. 

Holding on to somebody’s steady arm temporarily is not a sign that the child is weak. Rather, it’s a sign that the child is getting strong enough to be able to stand on their own. Every time a man or woman reaches out to somebody and admits that they need help it is a sign of strength… the strength needed to be able to stand on their own 2 feet at some point in the future.

Letting others lean on your steady arm

Chris had no choice but to lean on others to help get his life back underneath him after being released from prison period he needed help to find a job. He needed help securing a place to live. He needed help from people who would hold him accountable when he was feeling the urge to turn back to drugs. 

His life completely turned around because a few good people were willing to take a risk on him and provide him a steady arm to hold onto when others didn’t see any hope in his future.  It’s not hard to imagine where his life would be today if it wasn’t for a few good people who were willing to provide him a steady arm when he was in great need.

Now he is paying that forward. He has since started a nonprofit to help other people who are right now today where he once was. He is ultimately handing people a steady arm that is trying to get their feet back underneath him. God forbid you ever find yourself in the need that he was in after being released from prison… but I hope you have a few good people in your life who are willing to lend a steady arm when your feet stumble beneath you. As important as these people are, it’s even more important to be the kind of person that’s willing to admit you need help when you start to stumble.

Listen to my whole interview with Chris HERE

Further reading

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