The Navy SEALs lead by example, that's what is so alluring about them. They don't wait for others to show them the way or ask for permission either. They simply go about their business with conviction and purpose.
And in so doing, they invite others to live with conviction and purpose too. Among many things, I feel that this is one of their greatest gifts.
They also show us that being uncomfortable is okay, that failing is a part of the process, continued learning is the key to success, working towards a common goal makes for a formidable force, and the only limitations we face are the ones we place on ourselves.
Below are seven more characteristics that define the Navy SEALs and are very much worth emulating too.
They are worthy of emulation because they are human qualities that create a fulfilling life. And above all else, that is all we're searching for in the end.
1. Well trained
One of my favourite quotes by the Navy SEALs is - "When you're under pressure you don't rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training"
To have the mental capacity and emotional resilience to stay focused, calm, and balanced in the heat of the moment makes some people crumble and others unflappable. However, as the Navy SEALs quote above suggests, it's not about rising to the occasion, but rather being prepared for it when it arrives.
A lot of that comes down to how well trained and prepared the body, mind, and spirit are when that moment comes.
The Navy SEALs take it to the extreme but they're in extreme situations.
A simpler way of saying it comes from Benjamin Franklin - "failing to prepare is preparing to fail"
2. Dedicated & Committed
"Champions aren't made in the gym. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill" - Muhammed Ali
For anyone to go through something as intense as hell week must first be hella dedicated to completing it otherwise there must be a million and one reasons to quit.
If nothing else, the Navy SEALs will to succeed helps them build up a strong enough skill set to match it. Rarely does a strong skillset produce a strong will but a strong will can produce anything it wants in the end.
"There are only two ways to do something … the right way, and again" - Navy SEALs
Remember: No one is born a Navy SEAL, they have to work f*cking hard to earn it. That takes dedication and commitment, not just to become a Navy SEAL but to a way of life.
It takes dedication and commitment to one's own journey, growth, and betterment.
"You've only got three choices in life: Give up, give in, or give it all you've got." - Navy SEALs
The Navy SEALs are all in, all of the time so the first two options don't exist. They give it all they've got and because of that, they often succeed.
Or as Thomas Edison so beautifully said - "Many of life's failures are people who did realise how close they were to success when they gave up."
4. Courage & Vulnerability
"Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage." - Brené Brown
To have the courage to go after anything meaningful in life means that our ass is on the line. That's a vulnerable place to be. However, not going after it for the fear of failing doesn't bear thinking about.
Having the courage to show up, get knocked down, be a part of a community that is dependent upon one another, and learn to rise all over again is what the Navy SEALs are best at.
But one thing is for sure, they show enormous amounts of courage and vulnerability to make it possible.
Perhaps nothing showcases this more than a quote that defines them:
"Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds" - Navy SEALs
Their togetherness creates a loyalty and camaraderie that's unparalleled. They know that if the team is strong, each individual is stronger but the same cannot be said the other way around.
So, that means that the whole is more important than its parts. After all, no individual can win the game but a team certainly can.
To go through what the Navy SEALs endure requires grit, determination and courage. But also passion.
They must believe in what they're doing, enjoy it, and be passionate about it otherwise they'd quit.
Passion provides a great source of energy, purpose, and meaning. So, together, they make it easy to continue even in the face of adversity, which is something the Navy SEALs face daily.
"Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up." - Navy SEALs
When I say strength, I'm not talking about their physical strength but rather their inner strength. The kind that helps them to get back up, fight for what they believe in, and feel worthy enough to achieve it.
This kind of strength must first be cultivated and nurtured. It's the kind of strength that comes from a deep commitment to self and a bigger vision.
It's the kind of strength that knows deep down that they will fall because they've been brave enough to stand up many times. It's the kind of strength that knows that that's okay and that it will make them stronger in the long run.
It's the kind of strength that knows:
"You don't lose if you get knocked down, you lose if you stay down" - Muhammed Ali
To close, I'd like to leave you with something else Muhammed Ali said as it's pertinent to the mindset of the Navy SEALs.
"Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion."
The Navy SEALs certainly remind us of this too.
So, create your own vision. Dream big. Take tiny steps forward every day and dare to go after it. You'll get your ass kicked for sure but that's okay. Even the Navy SEALs get their ass kicked on occasion.
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