Don't Be a Gazelle!

I recently finished reading Charles Beckwith's memoir entitled "Delta Force". For anyone who is unfamiliar with Colonel Beckwith, he was a 22-year veteran of the United States Army Special Forces and the founder of Delta Force, our military's most elite and most secretive anti-terrorist, hostage rescue unit.

There are many great lessons to be drawn from his story! If you have any interest in the warrior mindset and the motivations that drive some of our country's leading fighting men, I would highly recommend that you get his book.

One of the chapters I found particularly interesting examined how the Delta Force selection process worked. As you can imagine, the training and testing procedure is arduous and pushes each candidate to the edge of human endurance, both mentally and physically. Although, what I found most fascinating was that those who had the easiest time passing were rarely the ones chosen to join the unit.

As the Colonel expressed it, he didn't want gazelles, he wanted slugs.

He considered "gazelles" as those to whom things came easy. The problem, he explains, is that they have never been truly tested and would be the ones who might let you down when the pressure of a life and death situation came up.

The type of soldier he was looking for was the one who constantly struggled but refused to give up; someone who, when they fell down, would get back up again; and, a person who would sweat blood before they would quit. I appreciate that the various experiences I've had in my life have helped to demonstrate this mindset. I love battling through challenges.

Colonel Beckwith understood that skills could be taught and physical abilities developed but "heart" was something that these men had to bring to the table themselves. No amount of training could give it to them and no amount of education could instill it.

In my mind, Colonel Beckwith was looking for true winners who understood that you have to bring your A-Game to find success. When times get really hard--not just uncomfortable but down and dirty, do or die, "failure is not an option" kind of times--it is the one who understands how to struggle through who will come out on top.

Here is the kicker though: Regardless of what part of life you are talking about, even if you are the best at something, you will never be a true winner until you face your limit and refuse to surrender. It is only then that you can realize your true potential.

My challenge for you this week:

Push yourself to the edge so that you can jump right off into a higher level of thinking, feeling, and doing.

  1. What area of your life do you want to change from being good at to becoming great at?

  2. Make a list of the potential challenges you may experience on the pathway to greatness.

  3. Write down potential solutions for each potential challenge.

  4. Starting today, view yourself as a powerful warrior, accepting every challenge with a determination to win.

  5. Now, start taking consistent action!

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