Resistance to change in the status quo.
People who don't think about why it's important to them.
Indifference, fear of ambiguity, and the desire to get back into your comfort zone.
Physical, mental and spiritual fatigue.
Worry over damaging relationships.
All are conditions which exist everywhere, everyday. The overwhelming situation makes you want to quit trying to do something new and amazing, doesn't it?
Quit tomorrow, then.
There I was: Day two of U.S. Army Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia. I hadn't slept in the past 48 hours. The entire time was filled unrelenting vigorous physical challenge in a program intended to weed out the weak. I was exhausted. I'd cracked two ribs on one of the sections of the obstacle course earlier that day. I hurt.
The first four days of Ranger School is where 60% of dropouts occur. Our class had already lost a large number of strong, determined soldiers who'd prepared for months by sundown on day two.
It had been a hot day and now that the sun had gone down the temperature was dipping into the 40's. We were on Malvesti Field slogging through the red Georgia clay. Malvesti Field is that place you always see on television. You know the scene, bald-headed soldiers crawling with their miserable faces pushed down in the mud beneath a ceiling of barbed wire. To add to my exhaustion and the ribs, which shot bolts of excruciating pain throughout my body everytime I raised my right arm over my shoulder, I now had what felt like a half-gallon of red Georgia clay underneath my eyelids. I was almost blind and trying to negotiate the challenges Malvesti and the Ranger Instructors (RI's) delivered while I begged my eyes to produce enough tears to wash out the sticky mud.
While I pushed my body, there was a war going on in my head. I was thinking about the fact that it was only day two and I had over two months to go! I thought; with all of these forces lined up against me, if I am feeling this weak and vulnerable on day two, how can I possibly last? A feeling of despair came over me. I had a choice to make, hide my weakness, or tell someone about it in an environment full of the toughest people on the planet.
I decided to take a risk.
"I'm not sure I can make it through this course," I whispered to my Ranger buddy, Arjmandi. He was going through the same things I was. He also knew about my ribs and my eyes.
"Come on, Eakin. I'm going to help you through this."
"No, I'm telling you. I'm not sure I can get through the next 60 days."
"Eakin, I'll make a deal with you. Get through tonight, with me, and we'll both quit tomorrow."
Getting through the night seemed possible. How much worse could it get? Besides, Arjmandi was going to help me. What if he needed me later on? I couldn't help him if I wasn't there, could I? I committed myself in the moment to that short-term goal. "OK. I'm with you, buddy."
"OK, Eakin, these RI's want to break us if they can. This next time through, let's scream like madmen and show them they can't break us."
We screamed like banshees! We laughed the whole way through the suck! We made it through every event that night brought us. For our efforts, we got a few hours of sleep that night.
When we woke up, I looked at Arjmandi.
He was grinning from ear to ear. "You still going to quit tomorrow, Eakin?"
I smiled back at him. "Yeah buddy, I'm going to quit tomorrow."
When you're feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of your situation or the challenges you've taken on. Find something productive and meaningful you can focus on and do it.
Remember, there is someone out there who believes in you and what you're doing. Lean on them when you need them. The love, brotherhood, and trust you create in those relationships will always be the core of your success.
If you don't take a risk and ask for help, you won't get what you really want. Real strength is not shown in facing your problems alone, it comes from having the courage to let others know you need them.
Sometimes you're the weakest, sometimes the strongest. Give what you can, when you can.
Quit tomorrow. Why? It is always today. Tomorrow never comes.
I haven't talked to Arjmandi since we graduated from Ranger School in February, 1999 (Class 2-98), two months after he gave me this powerful gift. If I knew how to get in touch with him today, here's what I'd say:
"Thank you, Arjmandi, for being worthy of my trust in a time where I was most vulnerable. You taught me a lesson which has served me well and has helped me accomplish more than I ever thought possible. I will always love you like a brother for that. It's been fifteen years, but I still know I can count on you and that, my friend, is priceless. For you, and because of you, I will always quit tomorrow."
I hope this article finds you some day. When it does, drop me a line. We'll catch up.
If you're tired of feeling overwhelmed by the challenges life throws at you, it's time to pick new challenges. Find people who will support you and show you the way. Download our Success Planning Guide for FREE! This guide is full of tools designed to help you through GPS Theory's process of changing the way you think and is a companion to my new book, Finding Success: Get what you really want.
At BoomLife We Want To Share Values-Driven Success
If you're looking for inspiration, take a look at our BoomShare! videos. We wanted to share stories about people who are inspired to do great things so we created this series of interviews. These people want to help people find success. Hear their stories and learn how you can connect with them...and help.
If you know someone who is doing great things to help others in meaningful ways, we'd appreciate it if you'd make an introduction so we can connect and feature their story in a future BoomShare! episode. You can email your submission to: email@example.com
If you were to ask what one thing every person on this planet really wants, I could provide you an answer with complete confidence. There is not one person capable of rational thought on this planet who would disagree with this answer. It is a fact.
I'm not talking about what I believe. It's not about my faith (although my faith plays a role in it and vice versa...as does yours and what you believe). If you asked every human being on this planet if they wanted this one thing, they would say, "Yes," without even thinking about it. Ask the rich and the poor. Male and female. Ask a Wall Street investor and a Yanomami tribe member if they want it and they'll both answer in the affirmative. Ask professional athletes, spiritual advisors, corporate leaders, homeless people, healthy people, sick people. Ask buyers. Ask sellers. Ask everyone! Ask anyone. People of all colors, shapes and sizes will all say, "Yes. I want that."
So, get on with it, you're saying, "What is it, already!?!"
The answer is simple: Success. Every living person on this planet really wants to be successful.
What Is It?
Ever since I started talking about success in public forums, every time I've asked the question, "What is success," at least one person in the audience will say, "Getting what you want." Once having heard that simplification of the definition, typically everyone else pretty much agrees. If you look up the word "success" in the dictionary, you'll find several definitions which collectively support that simple view. So, let's go with that, for now. Success is getting what you want.
The Problem With It
The problem with defining success as "getting what you want" is every one of us uses a different path to define it. Not only that, we often use a different method of determining how to achieve it in each situation we find ourselves in. As we all try to get what we want, we're competing with each other in a world where resources are constrained and unevenly distributed. So naturally, trying to get what we want creates conflict. Things escalate from there. The magnitude of every conflict is based on the scale of the disparity and the strength of the desire each person or group has to get and keep what they want. When we're primarily driven to get what we want, we lose sight of what we really want. Every person wants to be perceived in a positive way which means we desire for others to see our actions as "good".
The moment I realized this fact, my whole life changed. I became obsessed with trying to understand the concept of success so I could be successful. Isn't it ironic that the one thing every single one of us wants is also the cause of all of the problems we face? My own experience with this universal, but preventable human problem, inspired me to find a solution that could help anyone who wants to find success. I recognized I couldn't, and shouldn't, try to make everyone want the same things. So, I focused finding a way to define it in a meaningful way that can be consistently applied to every situation we face and then measure our progress as we take actions to live out our values. From a critical moment in my own life, GPS Theory was born.
The Solution For It
I propose a simple addition to the definition of success because, in truth, trying only to get what we want isn't enough for any of us. Every one of us has our fill of the problems this world brings. The truth is, we create those for each other and if we really want that to change we must learn to define success in a different way. That's where values-driven success comes in.
Values-driven success is "getting what you want and being the person you want to be." Here's the catch: You can't really get what you want when you are not first the person you want to be. GPS Theory helps you get both. I didn't change the definition of success, I added a component and a new ideal to strive for. GPS Theory operates under the hypothesis that our values represent what is virtuous and "good" when it comes to human beings.
Our behaviors are a reflection of what we truly value which does not always accurately reflect what we say we do. The definition of values-driven success helps us think in a way that will lead to getting what we really want.
1. Think about the person you want to be and the things you want. 2. Do things that will reflect that person while you strive to get what you want. 3. Become driven by your values and you will get what you really want with conviction and tenacity.
At BoomLife We Want To Share Values-Driven Success
If you're looking for inspiration, take a look at our BoomShare! videos. We wanted to share stories about people who are inspired to do great things so we created this series of interviews. These people want to help people find success. Hear their stories and learn how you can connect with them...and help. If you know someone who is doing great things to help others in meaningful ways, we'd appreciate it if you'd make an introduction so we can connect and feature their story in a future BoomShare! episode. You can email your submission to: firstname.lastname@example.org or use the comment section, below.