Shark diving isn’t for the faint of heart. For Tanner Mansell, the ocean and life around sharks is a lifestyle that he couldn’t ignore.
I’ve always been addicted to adventure. I am uneasy, mentally, and physically when I am not pushing boundaries. Life gets dull, and boring when there isn’t some kind of edge to walk on. And at some point in my life I realized it really doesn’t matter what others think about you. Our society tries to suck us into a system, a turning of predictable events and it seems to me people seek to understand by categorizing, and labelling, and all I've ever wanted was to be different.
I earned a degree in physics, started working for a Fortune 500 company, as a manufacturing engineer. I always knew this wasn't the way, but every single day I woke up and tried to climb the corporate ladder, I lost a bit of myself. I lost my creativity, I lost a bit of my passion to explore. I became more unmotivated to follow my dreams in life and be somebody I could truly be proud of.
Until one day I had had enough, and I decided to dedicate my life to the ocean. The only place I knew I would never get tired of. Where I could be free, creative, a place I could continue to explore and appreciate for the rest of my life. I went to Florida and got offered part time work as a deckhand on a shark diving boat. I called Intel and quit that day. I haven’t looked back, I haven’t had a single day that has gone by where I have regretted or second guessed my decision. I was determined to live my life doing the things I love no matter how much money I made or how much security I had. I needed to live my life in the ocean and around sharks.
I received a lot of back-lash. I had friends, and family calling me crazy. But they didn’t see the vision. Do you blame them? I had everything you could want. My first real job for a massive tech company, health benefits, a great salary, bonuses, stability, and yet I knew something wasn’t right. What is the point of making a lot of money when I was just going to spend it doing things I loved? I realized the most important thing in life is to work on things you're passionate about. Life is so short and your energy is so valuable. I couldn’t stand to waste it on anything that I didn’t absolutely love to do.