George Andreas Fereos
5 min readDec 23, 2022


Motivation. Discipline. Inspiration. How does the sea teach us these human behavioural models?

Let’s make this an immersive experience. I’ve not met many people that dislike the ocean, I’m sure there’s a few, but if you saw the photo above and curiosity led you here, then I’ll assume you are one of those that like the ocean.

Please, after this sentence, close your eyes for 10 seconds and envision your ocean. Go.

What did you see? (Take a few seconds to answer).

Unless you’re a surfer, I would believe there’s a calmness to your ocean and the waves are not the gigantic thrill inviters that boarders get a high on, but if it was, then that’s cool too.

I do not want to spoil your ocean, but I would like three fundamental pieces to your sea that will make this reading an immersive experience.

  1. Waves
  2. The sea
  3. The seabed.
The Waves — The motivation

The waves are the motivation. By the noun definition, motivation is a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way. If we look deeper, motivation is derived from the word ‘motive’, which indicates needs, desires, wants, or urges. It is the process of motivating individuals to take action to achieve a goal. The etymology (origin) of motive comes from the Medieval Latin mōtīvus, meaning “serving to move.”

If you look at the waves, do they serve you to move? For me there’s not much more of a better motivating feeling than running in that ocean (mines a freezing 6am summer sunrise visual), and diving into the slightly rough rise of the waves. So, it serves well.

Q- Once you’re in, what’s guiding you?

A- The sea.

Q- And what does the sea deliver?

A- Inspiration.

Q- How?

A- The etymology of inspiration originates from the Latin word “inspirare”, which means “Divine guidance”. So, surrender any objections you might have to an outside force bigger and more powerful than you, that is ready to release your inner guide.

The Sea — The inspiration

Think about the very first time you swam in the sea, regardless of age, you either have a vivid or vague, or somewhere in the middle thought of that time. How did you float? Where were you going? How kind was the ocean to allow you back?

There’s something magnificent about the sea, and I’m aware there’s many arguments to what I stated above, such as, “I know how to swim, and that’s how I floated or got back”, conversely, there’s a truth that when we are swimming in the sea, we are at the mercy of the vast unpredictable water, and we surrender to the fact that we will return to shore invigorated, maybe tired, but no doubt dripping with inspiration.

I mentioned there’s a force outside of you, an incredibly powerful force that is ready to release your “inner guide”. Not only does the water deliver a “divine guidance”, but it brings out your “in spirit”. Trace the word “inspire” and you will find many branches stemming from the Latin meaning, where one of them is “INICIO” which means “beginnings”.

To be inspired is to create new beginnings. Every time you come out of that water, be ready to get creative, because you are in spirit.

Sometimes you want your confirmation bias to not be challenged, but when it does, you also want to have the resilience and the humility to accept the challenge, but not to accept someone else’s bias. Assume your stance, become benevolent and deliver a thought through a different lens, because it might help someone to see.

The “someone” in this case was me, and my delivery comes from the learnings and teachings I’ve experienced in how the ocean seabed can teach us discipline.

Discipline is a fascinating word, and the origins are the reasons why it’s fascinating.

The Seabed — The discipline

Once again, the Latins bring us the word to our lexicon as “Discipulus”, which means “Pupil”. My confirmation could have ended there, and I could have finished this peace by saying Discipline makes you the pupil. Unfortunately, that is not my style, and I am “long form”. So, diving in deeper, and travelling down the timeline of discipline, it comes to a halt at the Middle English period (around the time of the Norman conquest in 1066 to the end of the 15th century), where discipline is described as the “mortification by scourging oneself”. It was my duty to pick this apart, so the description translates to “an embarrassment or shame by whipping (causing great suffering to) self”. Bloody hell! So much for discipline.

But hold on, that’s exactly what discipline is. It’s having the humility, the bravery to face your challenges knowing that once you conquer the challenge, or at least try, you will come out on the other side educated, invigorated, inspired, happy, schooled, learned, and experienced.

In whatever area of life, if you want to make an investment of improvement, do you want to be guided by someone new to the game or experienced? I’ll plant that seed there and continue how the seabed teaches you discipline.

There’s no embarrassment about drowning, but if you’re not touching the seabed no more, and you're unable to swim or tread water, then chances are, you will drown.

The discipline with the seabed is the teachings it gives you that no matter how deep you go, it will always be there. You might think that’s a weak consolation, but you also might agree and think to yourself, “yeah, I get it. I must learn to swim in this thing called life”.

Revise in your mind the ocean you thought of in the beginning. Did you see the seabed? A case can be made where you envisioned the shoreline, but the seabed, I would imagine, would have been dismissed. There’s a subliminal meaning for this. We cannot see discipline.

I will conclude with another valuable meaning of inspiration…It is a feeling of enthusiasm you get from someone or something, that gives you new and creative ideas.

I am faithful that this has been delivered.