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The SEAL that did not break

Going through a rough patch in my life, I found I was saying to myself, (actually chanting to myself), “The Seal that did not break”. Sometimes, this is how I get a message to my subconscious mind when I need to plough through a tough situation - and this is based on a story I heard (or read) from a former Navy SEAL.

He was giving a talk and said there was a period of training known as “Hell’s week”. It is a period where experienced soldiers who want to join the elite ranks of the Navy SEALs undergo a period of training - and a period of sieving. There are numerous accounts of what that experience is like including sleeping only four hours daily, getting drilled consistently, dealing with fatigue and cold from training in the sea. We’re talking subzero temperatures, carrying logs and boats, lying down as cold sea waves roll over you, doing treks and timed runs with all the accumulated sand and mud - on the beach. Like he said, sometimes you’re awake for so long that you start to hallucinate. As someone explained it, your brain is so tired, your body wants to sleep, but you can’t - and so your dreams start to find their way into reality!

So, people quit.

Now, this is perfectly understandable because some develop injuries or health issues. Others just get too cold, too tired, too uncomfortable and they give up. I cannot fault them; it’s always very easy to comment and critique from the sidelines. But there was a group of guys he spoke about. We can call them “The Losers Club”.

The Navy SEAL recounting his experience had said there were some who constantly came last, who were not fast enough, who struggled to complete drills and exercises - and who constantly got penalized. So, they had to do more reps, run additional miles, swim some more hours, carry logs farther and stay longer in the freezing seas. They didn’t quit but they just got penalized time and time again - and these ones quickly became some of the strongest of the lot.

What struck me was how what was meant to break them did not. It had forged them into stronger soldiers just because they stayed with the situation and did not allow it break them. What tends to happen with painful situations is they wear down morale till the individual is broken. But like the Navy SEAL said, they found that they were ten times tougher than their minds felt. Basically, if you think you can’t take it, it is often your mind lying because your comfort zone is being squeezed.

At the time of writing this, I am still going through my rough patch. It’s not yet over. There are moments when things feel difficult, where I feel like breaking, ringing the bell that says “I quit”. And then, I remember that I am actually ten times tougher than my mind feels and if I stay with the situation, take it like the pain of working out, I will get stronger. I will be one of the strongest of the lot. Hoping this gives you something to ponder on if you’re going through a rough patch.

Don’t quit.

By J.C. Nova. Enjoyed this post? Like and SHARE!


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