How bad do you want to create the life you want? How hard would you push yourself? Would you push yourself to actual death only to be revived?
Sometimes it’s good to put into perspective what some have to go through to achieve their life’s dream.
It makes what we possibly have to go through seem not as bad.
The toughest training in the world
That’s what sailors put themselves through when they have a goal of becoming a Navy SEAL. It’s 25 weeks of training to test their endurance and will.
Cold, miserable, and tired are three words that sum up the experience.
Master Chief Information Systems Technician Dennis Wilbanks, head SEAL recruiter said, “You have to want the program. And mentally, never give yourself the option to quit.”
70% drop out within the first few weeks. That number is pretty high considering sailors know what they are signing up for.
They want them to be able to work flawlessly under intense mental and physical exhaustion. Why? As one instructor put it, “Mistakes made when working with explosives only happen once.”
He makes a good point.
Navy SEALs raided Bin Laden’s compound last year. I read an article in Esquire magazine about the man who actually shot Bin Laden. A fascinating firsthand account of what it was like inside.
One story in the Esquire article really stood out to me. It really put in perspective how badly some of these guys want to become Navy SEALs.
One test during Basic Underwater Demolition School/SEAL (BUD/S) he describes, but I bet words can’t begin to show how grueling it really is.
They break them down and see how physically and mentally tough they are. It sometimes reaches the point of death and resurrection.
“One of the tests is they make you dive to the bottom of a pool and tie five knots,” the Shooter says. “One guy got to the fifth knot and blacked out underwater. We pulled him up he was, like, dead. They made the class face the fence while they tried to resuscitate him. The first words as he spit out water were ‘Did I pass? Did I tie the fifth knot?’ The instructor told him, ‘We didn’t want to find out if you could tie the knots, you asshole, we wanted to know how hard you’d push yourself. You killed yourself. You passed.”
But that’s what it takes to become a Navy SEAL. Unrelenting drive and a willingness to not quit.
Isn’t that what separates the ordinary from the extraordinary amongst us as well? The ones who have success in life act like the guy who tried to tie that fifth knot.
Life is a bunch of tests
We all start kicking and screaming when we come into this world. We are trainees and we want to get to an elite level. As we go through life, we have to respond to different tests thrown our way.
As we get older, the tests get more intense. It might feel like Hell Week at times.
What’s Hell Week exactly?
That’s when sailors are subjected to a series of mentally and physically crushing workouts. They must swim dozens of miles in freezing, rough surf, and then run and roll in the sand and mud – all in full gear.
Sand burns their eyes and makes their skin raw. They consume 7,000 calories a day and still lose weight. Over the entire five days, they are only allowed four hours of sleep.
This is when the majority of the trainees quit, and even the act of quitting is painful. They must ring a brass bell to signal they don’t have what it takes to be a SEAL. The whole camp can hear them ring that bell.
Despite being physically exhausting, the reason many quit is their inner voice telling them to.
“The belief that BUD/S is about physical strength is a common misconception. Actually, it’s 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical,” said a BUD/S instructor at the San Diego facility. “(Students) just decide that they are too cold, too sandy, too sore or too wet to go on. It’s their minds that give up on them, not their bodies.”
They know all they have to do is ring that bell and they don’t have to endure it anymore. They can be taking a hot shower and sleeping in a warm bed, while the rest are still out there going through hell.
Have you rung that bell?
I know whatever challenge you’re going through is more mental than anything else. When the first sign of trouble comes, you want to ring that bell. It’s much easier to do that.
Have you decided to not pursue your dreams and sit on the couch instead watching your fifth hour of television, rather than writing that book, creating a business plan, or doing anything on your life’s to-do list?
If so, you’ve let your inner voice get the better of you. You’ve given up way too easily. The ones you are jealous of have survived Hell Week. In fact, they may have gone through a dozen hell weeks in their lives.
Yet, they never rang that bell.
Since they faced those challenges, they’re more strong and confident because of them. They’ve won some and lost some, but they’re better off for trying. Any problem that comes along doesn’t scare them. Ringing that bell is not an option. They don’t think “I can’.t” Instead they think, “How can I?”
You might see their lives and think “It must be nice. They’re just lucky.” If you think that, that’s why you’re where you are and they aren’t.
How about giving yourself a real chance at a life you desire? We’ve only got one shot at this life. How terrifying can it be to take risks and see what happens?
In the end, we all die anyway.
However, some die knowing they had a good life, while many die wondering what type of life it could have been.
If you tried your damn hardest and failed, it’s not the end of the world. Failure doesn’t have to be such a negative event. Many people have found success despite many failures. Failure is only a failure if you don’t learn something from it.
Tell your inner voice to SHUT UP
At times you’re not going to want to keep trying. That inner voice is going to think, “This is stupid. Is all this work really worth it? You’re going to fail anyway, so quit now!”
You question when you will start seeing results. You wonder if life will get better than it is now.
That’s the moment when you have a choice. You can ring that bell or push even harder. You have to decide to ignore that stupid voice in your head.
Don’t think about “what if.” I doubt that guy who went down to tie that fifth knot wondered what would happen if he tried. He just knew it had to be done. His reward for attempting was he died momentarily yet his first words were, “Did I pass? Did I tie the fifth knot?”
You must decide to tie that fifth knot. You’re not going to come close to dying, I promise that. You just need that attitude. Prove it to yourself how bad you want it.
The pain you feel will be temporary, but the pain of quitting lasts forever.
I know you want to do more in life. That’s why you’re at my blog. You didn’t come here for help growing tomatoes. You’re here cause you want live a more exciting life. I’m here to push you into that water and you get you to tie that fifth knot.
You’ll thank yourself you tried hard. The memories you’ll smile back on are the ones where you had to overcome adversity, and triumphed.
Sailor or Navy SEAL?
Moving forward, when you start to have doubts, don’t imagine the worst case scenario. You’re only going to convince yourself that it’s not worth trying.
Instead, imagine what it’s like when you do achieve your goal. Think about how your life would be, how awesome you’ll feel, and how exciting life finally is.
To achieve that, you’re not going to have to actually crawl under barbed wire while covering your ears during simulated explosions, or nearly die from trying to tie a fifth knot, unless you do want to become a Navy SEAL. But it’s going to feel like Hell Week sometimes.
You have to want the challenges in order to get the rewards in life.
So take the attitude of a Navy Seal who doesn’t know the meaning of quitting. The ones who do quit don’t get the distinction of being called a SEAL. The ones who quit are just known as sailors.
What about you?
Do you want to be known as extraordinary or just ordinary?
Never ring that bell.
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Photo by tomsaint