Great Advice from a 36-Year Navy SEAL

By | July 10, 2017

[July 10, 2017]  If there is one thing being a U.S. military officer taught me, it was that I could do absolutely nothing without the assistance of others.  My job – if I was willing to accept it – was to provide a vision and convince others to follow me.  That is what leadership is about and it is what humans are all about.  Today, I’m providing advice on how to be successful in life from a U.S. Navy SEAL.

“We [Navy SEALs] seek to find those who can lead in an environment of constant stress, chaos, failure, and hardships.” – U.S. Naval Admiral William H. McRaven

I’ve known a lot of people during my 40 years in the U.S. Army (in the military and civilian world).  Most of those like senior leaders like Admiral William H. McRaven give advice to other senior leaders.  But McRaven gives those of us starting off in life some tips on how to change the world and be the best person we can be.

He will convince you that you can change the world, if – and only if – you are willing to do certain things.  Here they are as taken from a graduation speech he gave at the University of Texas at Austin in 2014 (see YouTube video link here; 19:26 minutes); those things he learned during his training to be a Navy SEAL:

  1. Make your bed every morning [little things matter; encourages you to do the next task; encouragement and discipline]
  2. Find someone to help you paddle [teamwork, everyone must make a contribution, find someone who can help you]
  3. Measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers [your race, gender, religion doesn’t matter; the will to succeed is what counts]
  4. Sometimes no matter how well you prepare/perform you will fail [keep moving forward; never give up; you will never be perfect]
  5. Life is full of multiple failures, don’t be afraid of failure [it will make you stronger; being on the circus list]
  6. If you want to change the world, sometimes you have to go head first [be innovative; don’t fear the new]
  7. There are a lot of sharks in the world, if you hope to complete the swim you will have to deal with them [don’t back down from the sharks; stand your ground; don’t act like you’re afraid]
  8. You must be your very best in the darkest moments [stay calm; bring to bear your inner strength]
  9. The power of hope [the power of hope; one person can change the world by giving people hope (start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud)]
  10. If you want to change the world don’t ever ring the bell (quit) [never ever ever give up]

If you do these things and practice them, you too can change the world.

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.