Hello, I am Ron White, memory training expert . I would like to share with you some lessons on discipline I have learned while working with my friend and former Navy SEAL, T.C. Cummings.

People refer to someone who has not just a passion, but a determination within them as having a “fire in their gut,” or “fire in their belly.” This means that everything inside of them is working to achieve a certain goal. They have the drive, and the determination, to get what they set their mind to. If you have fire in your gut you are ready to utilize all your energy and determination in a fight for what you believe is right and just.

Having a fire in your gut does not mean just a passion. Passion has an ebb and flow quality to it that can burn out, while fire in the gut, on the other hand, has a drive that doesn’t burn out.

T.C. Cummings tells how the Navy SEALs have to undergo “Hell Week” in their BUDS (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs) training before they become a full-fledged Navy SEAL. BUDS training is 26 weeks, but the worst is Hell Week – five days of grueling races with very little sleep. T.C. said when he underwent Hell Week – from Sunday night until Friday afternoon, his class was able to sleep only three times, for 40 minutes each. Their bodies were pushed beyond any normal physical limit, and it is during this part of the training that most trainees ring the bell and leave the group (approximately 85% of those who start BUDS do not go on to finish Navy SEAL training). Those with the fire in their gut to succeed and wear the Navy SEAL trident were the ones who stayed. At the end of Hell Week the troops elect, among themselves, one man to receive the “Fire in the Gut” award.

What drives a person to be able to overcome and push on beyond the scope of normal men? You will find that person has been driven their whole life. They work hard for everything they set their mind to, and don’t give up until it is accomplished. They know what hard work is, and are not afraid to give it their all in order to get what they want. It’s in their DNA to be driven, and they always will be. They are disciplined to carry a job through to completion.

People with this type of drive have something to prove to the world. It could be to show people they can succeed, despite negativity around them. They may be trying to prove something to their parents, their peers, or their neighborhood. They don’t question themselves as to whether they can succeed or not, they know they can.

I have a friend who wanted to own her own business. She did not finish college, did not have any money, her husband has recently died and left her with four young children, she and did not appear on the outside to be exceptional. Educated and wealthy people looked down on her. What she did have was an exceptional mind capable of assessing everything around her, and the will to succeed despite others telling her she would never make it. She was determined to prove them wrong (hated to be underestimated), and went on to become a successful newspaper owner, publisher and community activist. What she had was a fire in her belly that plowed on even if she had to go it alone. Nothing was going to stop her because she had something to prove and was determined to do it. Without this fire she would have just given up. The more successful she became, the better she felt about herself and her abilities to keep on going. Fire keeps burning inside someone with this kind of discipline and drive.

People with fire in their gut have had to overcome obstacles in their life – either the loss of a parent, child or spouse; have had some physical setbacks; or have been through some life-altering event. People who are determined to break down doors to succeed usually already have had to do that to survive.

When you find someone with these qualities they are the ones who become U.S. Navy SEALs, top executives and successful entrepreneurs. If you are an executive looking for an employee you can trust to do the job to the best of their ability, one who comes to work every day with the “can do” attitude, and who will be successful at everything they attempt, you want someone with fire in their gut.

For this and other valuable lessons on discipline check out the training CDs “Mind of a Navy SEAL,” and “Think Like A U.S. Navy SEAL” workshops.




“Mind of a U.S. Navy SEAL” workshop

Bloomberg Business Week (Nov. 30, 2010) – Hire Employees with ‘Fire in the Belly’: http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/tips/archives/2010/11/hire_employees_with_fire_in_the_belly.html