When Things Get Tough Encouragement for Leaders Under Pressure
Achieving anything great in our lives requires a fight and sacrifice. Above all it demands that we never give up when things get tough.
I recently heard a Navy SEAL talking about what it takes to become a member of this elite unit. He recounted a story of a young man who aspired to join the SEALs. The young man asked what he should work on to get ready for BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL), SEAL Training. The veteran Navy SEAL told him, “Don’t give up.”
Believing that he had been misunderstood, the young man asked again, “No, I mean what should I work on? Endurance? Strengthening a certain part of my body?” The veteran answered again, “No. All you need to do is not give up.” He went on to explain how the strongest and most fit individuals don’t always pass BUD/S. Sometimes a small scrawny man moves on because he refused to give up. It takes a tenacious spirit to become a SEAL or to achieve anything great in life or leadership.
We have two tendencies when things get tough. First, we tend to quit. We allow quitting to become an option. Great leaders acknowledge that never giving up and always fighting must be their norm. Second, when we find ourselves under intense pressure, we may convince ourselves to downgrade our dream. We settle for mediocrity and adjust our target below our full potential. We begin to believe we are not really cut out for what we had originally set out to do. When you get this tendency remember this: Don’t downgrade your dream; upgrade your faith. Elevate your sacrifice.
I pray to have tenacity of spirit. It is this same spirit that I look for in the leaders who work closely with me. I am blessed to work with a few such leaders who inspire me and uplift me daily. To them I say thank you.
I salute all of you today who refuse to give up! It is because of people like you that progress is achieved.
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