[October 22, 2018] Occasionally, I run across a story that impresses me; not because it’s about someone overcoming adversity (which is newsworthy) but because important lessons are learned from it. David Goggins is a retired Navy SEAL and shares a story of his difficult journey and in doing so gives us a number of valuable life and leadership lessons.
“For a living, I speak to what the superficial world thinks are the best of the best – the athletes and the people who get called heroes. I don’t get nervous in front of them because I know the difference between real heroes and the other ones.” – David Goggins, retired Navy SEAL
Groggins grew up with little self-esteem but he knew that this was not a way to make himself happy or fulfilled. Fortunately, he saw the military as a way to overcome his fears. As a 19-year old he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force to become a pararescueman (aka a PJ). For those new to the military, PJ training is difficult and the dropout rate is exceptionally high. He dropped out due to medical reasons and an ability to get over being too comfortable while not training.
From this he gleaned a valuable lesson; negativity becomes ‘dynamite.’ His PJ training failure had made him feel less of a man and he was tired of it. Groggins tells us that this who episode made him feel horrible and it was at this time he made up his mind to find a way out. The negatives in his life were blowing up his manhood, his self-esteem, and his ability to relate to others.
Groggins then, surprisingly, got into the Navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training and finished it after having to repeat it three times. Not only did he finish the training but he excelled. He was highly motivated this time to finish and from it he tells us of another of life’s valuable lessons.
Motivation comes and goes. Competition is challenging and is hard work but it is the mental attribute that keeps us going. Groggins now is a motivational speaker and raises millions of dollars for Special Operations Warrior Foundation; an organization that provides scholarships and counseling for children of fallen special operators.
More can be found out about retired Navy SEAL David Goggins at the VFW Magazine (link here).