One of my co-workers is in the United States Army National Guard and recently attended a 2 week long pseudo boot camp for officer training. He spent weeks googling about this experience prior and started psyching himself out. He read countless stories from former athletes, police officers, FBI, etc, who couldn’t make it through the training and rang “the bell”.
He kept reading about this “bell” and it was freaking him out. What was this bell? The bell was simply a bell on a pedestal that was the center of all of their intense training exercises. Upon entering training school, each candidate was treated as you would expect the military to treat its trainees, harshly, to build toughness, character, and to test your limits in times of great distress.
At any time, if the training became too much, you could ring the bell. Once it was rung, there was no going back. You were done your training, and treated like a civilian again. You were nicely and quietly escorted to grab your things, and escorted to the door, you were no longer an officer candidate.
I felt this “bell” was a relevant metaphor for life. Within the chaos, sadness, toughness, blood, sweat, tears, and uphill battles in your life, in the middle sits the bell. Easy to ring, and easy to walk away from it all. Will you give up and ring it? Or will you stand resolute, rely on your will to succeed, refuse to give up, and press on?
When my co-worker told me about this bell, I immediately got chills and pictured what my bell would look like in the middle of nowhere, because I am nowhere in sight to ring it.
Oh, and he refused to ring the bell and passed officer candidate school.