Ron White, two-time USA Memory Champion, memory training expert, and memory keynote speaker, would like to share with you this awesome lesson I learned about confidence and living an authentic life from former U.S. Navy Seal, T.C. Cummings.

“It’s better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!” As quoted in Liberation Theologies in North America and Europe‎ (1979) by Gerald H. Anderson and Thomas F. Stransky, (p. 281)

My interpretation of this quote is that you should live your life true to your own convictions.  Navy SEALs learn the life of a samurai. Students of the martial arts (Bushido) are taught to live a life of virtue – courage, benevolence, politeness, sincerity, honor, loyalty and self-control.

One perfect example of this philosophy is in the story of  77-year-old Mexican rancher, Alejo Garza Tamez. The elderly man was being threatened by a drug cartel. They wanted to take over his property, and were putting pressure on him to either sell or get out. Senior Tamez has worked his entire life and wasn’t going to give it all away to thugs, even if he had to defend it to his death.

One Saturday, Tamez gave his ranch hands the weekend off and told them to go into town and not stay around the ranch. He spent the majority of the day building up an arsenal to defend his land. When the law officials arrived the next day they found four dead gunmen and two seriously wounded outside the home, and the lone rancher dead inside. The others were run off before the officials arrived. The old man had taken on a dozen or more drug thugs with the honor and valor of any soldier more than half his age. He did not die on his knees, he fought for what he believed in his heart to be right, and he knew before he started there was a big possibility that he would die in the attempt. To him, dying for what was right was more important than living on his knees and letting others walk over him.

Another recent example is a young Australian schoolboy, Casey Haynes. Casey is big for his age, and had been bullied by another, smaller boy for several months before he actually snapped. The video of Casey turning on his harasser and slamming him to the ground made the rounds of talk shows, news and uTube for several weeks. This was an instance where a young man finally pulled up something within himself to take control of his life. In interviews afterward you can see the confident look he had on his face, and how much better he felt about himself. In the future, Casey knows what he has inside of himself to take control of his own life and not let what others do cause him to self-destruct.

If you are letting others bully or harass you, you are the one who has to take control. These decisions will instill in you a confidence you had not thought you had. People can only bully you as long as you allow it.

Start making decisions that benefit you. If you take on the role of a victim you will remain a victim. The more you allow yourself to be put in that role the lower your self-esteem will be. Once you have regained control of your life your confidence will be bolstered, and the more you take control the more confident you will become.

A Navy SEAL is constantly in danger, but he can’t let his fear of the possibilities even become a part of his thinking. He NEVER asks himself, “Am I going to compromise my integrity, my fortitude, something essential to me or my success in order to live?” A SEAL with that type of mindset has to take himself out of the program because he is no good to himself, his team, or the mission. If we allow our thoughts to compromise (put in danger) something essential for our success, we can no longer be successful.

In our lives we are confronted with roadblocks all along the way. We have to make the choice whether to compromise, or to cooperate. There is a big difference. Compromise means you give up something of yourself or your principles in order to allow someone else to get what he or she wants. Cooperate means you work together to achieve a common goal. Navy SEALs NEVER compromise, that would mean they are giving up their authentic life. Compromise will take them down a road that no longer will get them their desired result. They will cooperate to work together.

You are living on our knees if you compromise; you are living on your feet if you cooperate.

“A person who is emotionally free has no desire to convince, cajole, insist, beg, seduce, manipulate or control. He/she is free to love.”~ Deepak Chopra

You will find lessons in building confidence in the training CDs “Mind of a Navy SEAL,” and in our training “Think Like A U.S. Navy SEAL” workshops.



“Mind of a U.S. Navy SEAL” workshop

Wikkipedia – Confidence:

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Northwest Firearms – It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees:

Yardy, Yardy, Yardy – Die On Your Feet or Live On Your Knees: