Invictus, the short poem about an “unconquerable” man who endured life’s hardships, was published in 1888 by English Poet William Ernest Henley. While the poem was published in 1888, the title Invictus was not given until years later. As you’ll see from the poem, the title is appropriate. It’s a poem that every man should know and live out.[Read more…] about Invictus: Why a Man Must Be Unconquerable
I was walking down the sidewalk in front of my house with a 55-lb kettlebell in one hand and a 45-lb weight plate in the other. I’d just finished three sets of deadlifts and three sets of lunges, and now I was doing farmer’s walks. My grip was smoked and my whole body was tired. “Why the hell am I doing this”, I asked myself. “Just stop after this set. There’s no reason to keep going.” Every person who has ever struggled to do something hard is familiar with this conversation, this internal dialogue that arises when we start moving past our comfort zones. Any time we try to grow we will face growing pains, and that voice inside of us will rise up and ask that familiar question “Why the hell am I doing this?” If we don’t have a sufficient answer, our best intentions will be left unrealized, our potential left untapped, and our goals left unmet.[Read more…] about The Why and How of Building Toughness
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