Every man is on a quest to find and fill his life with what matters most. While finding what matters most is often a journey filled with dead ends and re-starts, by the time we reach the middle of our lives, most of us have learned that money, fame, and material things aren’t the answer. Still, the voices around us call out different answers, and we have a hard time figuring out what really matters.[Read more…] about What Matters Most
In the military, a mission is a smaller subset of a larger overall purpose. While the purpose in Iraq may have been to overthrow Saddam, defeat the Iraqi army, and rid individual areas of insurgents so that a democratic government could be instituted and thrive, that plan was carried out via thousands of coordinated missions. So, in the process of finding our next mission, we must be ever mindful of the larger purpose, calling, or vision for our lives, so that we can ensure that each particular mission contributes to that purpose. Don’t get hung up on particular terminology here, just understand the difference between the overarching plan/goal/vision/purpose/mission and the smaller missions that are used to achieve the larger one. For ease of use, I’m going to refer to the overarching plan/goal/vision/mission as one’s “purpose” and the smaller ones as the “mission”. But these aren’t gospel, so feel free to think of them in your own way. [Read more…] about Identifying Your Next Mission, Part I: Bringing Back Physicality
This is the third installment in Lessons from the SEALs; be sure to read Part One and Part Two as well. Operation Red Wings began on June 27, 2005, when a team of four Navy SEALs was inserted via helicopter onto a mountain in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan for the purpose of observing and perhaps taking out Ahmad Shah, a local insurgent leader. While they attempted to conceal themselves on the side of the mountain overlooking the village where the target was located, their location became compromised. Three Afghani goat herders and around 100 goats unknowingly walked right up on them. The goat herders were unarmed, and the SEALs quickly surrounded them. [Read more…] about Lessons from the SEALs – What We Can Learn from Lone Survivor
As we discussed in my last post, most people don’t make it through BUD/S. They ring the bell, place their helmet in the Grinder, and move on, considered DOR’s (Drop On Request). But where do they go? They go to a purgatory-like existence at another part of the training complex at Coronado. So, they’re still technically around, although they don’t get to live in the same barracks as those still in BUD/S. This DOR group is referred to as the X Division, or X-Div.
X-Div members get moved to another part of the islands, where they typically do menial labor until they get their next assignment from the Navy. As you might expect, the atmosphere among them is not great. They’ve just let go of the rope and given up their dream of becoming a SEAL, and few of them walk away from it in a good state of mind. Regret, frustration, bitterness, anger, resentment, fear, and a lack of direction on where to go next are standard responses. [Read more…] about Lessons from the SEALs: Ignoring the Haters
In 1962, as the Vietnam War raged on, President John F. Kennedy officially created a new group of military special operators who could perform unconventional war operations in the waters that flowed through Vietnam. This group was to be the naval counterpart to the Army’s Green Berets. They were named the Navy SEALs, a name borne out of their ability to conduct SEa, Air, and Land operations.
Since that time, there are few groups of people in the world more admired, respected, or esteemed than the SEALs. In my estimation, there’s likely no group in the world that deserves it more. At a time when we idolize musicians, athletes, and celebrities well beyond the level of value that they contribute to society, it’s refreshing to know that almost everyone recognizes that SEALs are badasses. While SEALs probably get the lion’s share of attention and recognition, the other special operations teams (Army Rangers, Delta Force, Green Berets, etc.) are equally worthy of our respect. [Read more…] about Lessons from the SEALs: Doing the Impossible