[November 18, 2019] The day I met Hal Moore was more thrilling than speaking with all the Hollywood stars in California. There sometimes comes a time in your life when you get to meet someone who is truly uncommon. Hal Moore, who distinguished himself at the Battle of Ia Drang Vietnam, was that person.
“In the American Civil War, it was a matter of principle that a good officer rode his horse as little as possible. There were sound reasons for this. If you are riding and your soldiers are marching, how can you judge how tired they are, how thirsty, how heavy their packs weigh on their shoulders?” – Hal Moore
Fortunately, I also learned a few things from uncommon people. We should be asking ourselves the questions, “Do I want to be uncommon?” Do I want to sacrifice myself to be not just the best, but so far above the best, it would be impossible to catch me? Here is a short list; an itemization of what some said was the secret to being better than others. These are quotes as close as I could remember:
- Be around folks who will push you outside your comfort zone every day.
- The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline.
- Truth matters, truth redeems you, nothing else will clear your vision.
- You are responsible for everything that happens – so be it – live it with gusto.
- To be the best is to be the monster in the room.
- Sacrifice all – there is no alternative.
- Walk the hard road, without shoes, for nothing matters except what makes you stronger.
I’ve been unusually lucky to have met just a few of these folks I refer to as the Uncommon People. These are people who stand out among the standouts. They are not ‘the best in their class’ or ‘the smartest in the room.’ Those I believe are uncommon are the men and women who possess social, physical, and emotional skills so far above others that we look like ants pushing bread crumbs. They are the best of the best.
Professors in college tell us that everyone has equal abilities and intelligence, only random chances, and social barriers prevent us from achieving greatness. Hogwash! That is so far from describing reality that any child knows better. A few folks are born with tremendous potential, but only a few of them make good use of their ability. Those few who do are the uncommon people.
Lieutenant General Hal Moore was an uncommon man who stood out among those who went to war. He was a mythical figure that made everyone look his way when he talked; a mystic, primordial, and exceptional. If you are ever fortunate enough to meet one of them, you will know it without being told.