Andy Stumpf, retired member of the US Navy SEAL Team 3, shares with great leaders his compelling insights on the importance of perseverance in difficult times and never giving up.
Everyone wants to be a Frogman on Friday. One of my favorite quotes from the Teams, because it applies to everyone and every goal.
To use SEAL training as an example, 80-85 percent don’t see the third day of hell week, let alone the last day of training. It takes a lot of work to even show up for day one, but it doesn’t take much to end it. All you have to do is say “I quit”, ring the bell in the picture three times, and it’s over. There is paperwork later, but in essence, that is the end.
All SEAL training is really about is pushing people to their lowest point, and watching the decisions they make. When you are at your lowest point, tired, hungry, cold…do you give in and take the easy way out?
During the most difficult portions of training, the instructors bring the bell with them, to make it that much more enticing and easy to quit. It sits right there, in plain sight, always ready for the next taker.
I have noticed that most people focus on the illusion of the shiny object, not the reality of what it takes to achieve it. The amateur can only see the end state. The professional focuses on the fundamentals and incremental progress.
If you think the “bell” doesn’t exist in your life, your eyes are closed. It is everywhere. The only difference between the BUD/s (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL School) bell and everywhere else, is that in BUD/s, when you ring it, the outcome is instantaneous.
Laziness, procrastination, selfishness, lack of discipline, you fill in the blank…all small rings of the bell. The bell is everywhere, and it is always calling you. Ring it enough times and you will find yourself looking back filled with regret. Everyone wants to be a Frogman on Friday, but you will never get there if you give in on Tuesday.
I know the sound of the bell haunts many men. Don’t let the decisions you make when things get difficult end up haunting you.
If you don’t push your limits, you will never know what your limits are. May you push your limits and beyond each day, never giving up and taking the easy way out. In doing this, you will be that remarkable and extraordinary Frog Man/Frog Woman on Friday… because you choose to be!
Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!