My friend interviewed Admiral Bill McRaven recently. He was the 4-star seal commander in charge of the Bin Laden raid. They discussed a speech he did at a graduation ceremony at the University of Texas at Austin so I went back to listen to it.
It 16 minutes and highly recommend it. You can click on the link above.
Here are his 10 recommendations on living a great life.
1. Make your bed. Doing one thing right first thing in the morning leads to doing more small things right. One success leads to more success. Life is about doing the small things right.
2. Find people to help you paddle. Seals had to row for hours to storm the beach during one test. Only the teams rowing at the same cadence and speed would make it. You can’t accomplish anything alone.
3. Respect everyone. They had seals from all different backgrounds and diversity which made everyone better. Each person has unique skills that contribute. Respect all people.
4. Life is not fair, move forward. Upon inspection of uniforms each day, someone would always fail and have to do extra laps in the ocean. It would happen to everyone over their time at BUDS (Seal Training). It was by design. Accept the obstacles and move forward.
5. Don’t be afraid to fail often. Learn from failure and let it raise the bar for you every time you compete. Play the long game.
6. Take risks. Everyone climbed down a 200-foot rope until one day a new recruit slid down it face first and broke the course record.
7. Swim with Sharks. To complete their training each seal had to complete an overnight swim through shark-infested waters. Be brave, don’t back down from sharks/bullies, and punch them in the nose when encountered.
8. Step up at the toughest times. On a training mission, each seal needs to swim under the dark keel of the ship where they can’t see their hand in front of their face. They need to be calm and trust themselves.
9. One person can spark hope. When seals were surviving in a cold sandpit training exercise overnight they were losing motivation. One seal started singing to keep the spirits up. They sang all night and passed as a team.
10. Never ring the bell. There was a bell in the middle of the compound. To pull out of Seal training and all the misery, all you had to do was ring the bell. With a group of people supporting you, face adversity and don’t ever give up and ring the bell.
There are lessons to be learned from warriors that push themselves to the brink and beyond.
The kick in the pants you need. Sign-up for a better start to your work day.