A Navy SEAL Makes His Own Destiny

Hello, I am Ron White,  two-time USA Memory Champion. 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.

Have you ever started out the day asking yourself: “Who do I want to be today?” I’m not talking about impersonating someone else, I’m talking about what kind of person you want to be today that will help get you to your goals? I’m certain you won’t choose a wimp who lets others walk all over you, so what kind of person do you want to be to assert yourself and feel confident?

Asking yourself this simple question may seem foolish, but if you are not sure of the person you are going to be today, how can you expect to succeed?  You have to be able to know where you going, and how to get there, and if you don’t know that you aren’t going to make it.

U.S. Navy SEALs undergo rigorous training that ultimately eliminates those who don’t have the discipline or inborn desire to push himself to accomplish his goal. This is the reason only about 85% of those who start out in the Navy SEAL training don’t actually finish. The ones who survive the physical and mental training prove themselves to be the best-of-the-best because of their mental attitude and self-discipline. No man can survive on just getting by in this program, they have to be depended upon to succeed in the most bizarre and dangerous situations – extreme weather, under heavy gunfire, in the bottom of the ocean, etc. and if they start out in the morning not believing they can do it – they won’t. That would put everyone on his team in jeopardy.

When you recognize who you are, and where you are going, especially when the going gets tough, you can muster up the endurance that comes from within and are not depending on something outside of you. You make your own destiny!

SEALs work together as a team, yet function individually knowing they have the same goal and they each have a role to play. They know often that they are going into life and death situations, yet carry on. Each has the knowledge of who he wants to be that day to accomplish his mission, and does not stop or falter because doing so puts everyone on the team in harm’s way. Even if they are to die, they set out with the purpose of succeeding, and failure is not an option.

“To set out on any holy purpose and to die along the way is to succeed.” ~ Hindu saying

One tragic example T.C. Cummings gives in our “Mind of a U.S. Navy SEAL” workshop is about a team of four SEALs stationed in Baghdad. They were exchanging heavy fire with enemy troops from inside a building where there were four windows and a door. Each man was positioned at a window. While exchanging fire, a hand grenade was thrown through the door. The SEAL stationed closest to the door saw it come in, and although he had the opportunity to run out he knew that by doing so he was dooming his brothers to die. The soldier did what he knew was right and fell on the grenade, thus saving his buddies lives. If he had chosen the easy way out, and saved himself, he would have lived the rest of his life feeling guilty for the lives of his three friends. Sometimes being disciplined means doing what’s right, no matter what the consequences.

Self discipline means deliberately aligning our energy with our values and priorities. Through mental practice we focus in on a task before us, and lets other temptations and distractions pass us by.

Navy SEALs are goal oriented. They are aware of consequences, but have the mindset to not let those consequences become a distraction. Although most of us will never see the kind of action the SEALs do, the same mindset is what makes a successful leader who instills loyalty and trust – and that can come from anyone in any walk of life.

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.

 

 

Sources:

“Mind of a U.S. Navy SEAL” workshop

Wisdom Commons – Self-Discipline: http://www.wisdomcommons.org/virtue/115-self-discipline/lifestories

True Self-Esteem Stories: One Story – Many Lessons:  http://www.selfesteem.org/menu/stories/true/lessons.htm

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