Admiral William McRaven’s speech at The University of Texas in 2014 was not only inspiring but released a vison into the audience that anyone can change the world. His simple yet effective methodologies gave the vision that no matter what, or who everyone can change at least one person’s life resulting in changing the world. These lessons come from some of the many extreme and difficult tasks he faced during his trainingThe lessons in the speech are:
Make your bed. Our training is not a sprint, but a marathon. Simple things matter. Each day we are tasked, tested, and mentally challenged. Learning to appreciate the simple victories in our training will give us the ability to wake up the next day with a fresh start and continue with the end goal in mind. By completing many small mindless tasks throughout the day, it is possible to sit back at the end of the day and see how all of those small mindless tasks have cultivated into that person having a better day than if they never made their bed. Find someone to paddle with you. Never rely on just you, your team is there to help you along the way. We can’t do this alone. We are learning each day to work together. We have and are struggling to find balance in this process. At times one may be tired and picking up the slack of someone who is unable to paddle at the moment. Getting to the destination is a team effort and it’s a culmination of family, friends, instructors, and even the will of strangers to make an achievement possible. We didn’t get to where we are today all on our own, but it was through the effort of a support group. It will take a support group like this to strive for more in the future. Don’t measure a person by the size of their flippers. Giving everyone the same opportunity to succeed or fail. We all have different abilities and talents. Allowing everyone to experience different aspects of the requirements of training will not only make them stronger but make the team stronger. Continuously learning and growing is the ultimate goal. We may be surprised by the capabilities of the individual by allowing them to learn different aspects of the process that they may be uncomfortable with. Motivation seems to trump intelligence and if we work at strengthening both, we can change the outcome of anything.
Get over being a sugar cookie. No matter the downfall or failure we need to keep our heads up and remain in a forward direction. We fail! We fail every day and failing is an aspect of life and leadership. Being comfortable with being uncomfortable needs to be a reality. The lesson here is that there is no reason to worry and fret over the possibility of failing. That failing is something to learn from and that it helps individuals move forward in life. Learn from mistakes and don’t dwell on the failures. We can all relate to the thoughts of failing and see how, if we weren’t so caught up with worrying about the fact that we have failed, we could have bettered our life and training from learning from the experience instead. Don’t be afraid of circuses. Circuses make us stronger and the stronger we are the better we are. Always improving, always striving to be better. The lesson to learn from this is that those who did the extra training became stronger and better. They overcame their failure and built upon it, unlike those who didn’t understand the lesson and ultimately were the ones who dropped out. Or training is difficult. The challenges we are faced with are mentally tiring but there is no reason to dwell on failure and let it bring us down. Those who fail or those who don’t meet the standards become better because they learn from their mistakes and work harder to prevent them from happening again. Slide down the obstacles head first. Don’t be afraid to do something differently. Make it our own and stand by our decision.
This course was designed to test the trainees physically, and mentally. Sometimes it is beneficial to lead headfirst and attack all obstacles. Sometimes taking the path less traveled or taking risks can be beneficial to the outcome. Being different and thinking outside the box is good. Don’t back down from the sharks. There are bullies and bad apples in every group. Don’t shy away from standing up for what is right. Standing your ground on a personal position or a subject or a thought and to not let yourself get pushed around. Lock in on your values and ethics. The ‘Win-Win’ is a good place to start, particularly if our setting. So take a stand for yourself and others to achieve a better outcome. Be your very best in the darkest moments. No matter how hard training gets always put your best foot forward. This teaches us the ability to get through the tough times, the ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the ability to muster up the strength to endure hardships. Overcoming obstacles with internal willpower will help us become stronger and achieve many things. We may not be in SEAL training, but we do have our values, our spirituality, and our relationships to pull us through. It’s not how you start but how you finish that counts! Start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud. At the end of the day no matter how hard and arduous it was, we need to keep smiling. this out by giving the example of individuals who are defined leaders in history, those of who have made a great change in society. It was an affirmation of what can be not what is. So you can use your voice in music (no matter how bad it is) to transform a dark moment into hope so long as you seize it. Don’t ever, ever ring the bell. Don’t EVER give up! No matter how hard something gets, you should never give up and always strive for the best outcome. Life is full of difficulties. But someone has it worse than us. If we have pity or feel sorrowful for the way we have been treated, blaming your circumstances on someone else, then life and our final week will be long and difficult. If you refuse to give up on your dreams, stand tall and strong against all odds. Life is what we make it. Never, ever, ring the bell!
In conclusion, practicing the lessons and living by these lessons will not only help us but for me as an individual. We all have so much knowledge and determination to contribute to the mess. Living by the above rules can contribute to the mess as a whole but to each individuals’ everyday life. My determination and technical knowledge, in my opinion, will be the biggest asset to the mess. Contributing those qualities, in my opinion, will bring strength and knowledge to the mess. Life is not fair and we will fail often. Our mindset is what will get us through and achieve great things.
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