#09: Embrace the Struggle

#09: Embrace the Struggle

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In this Five Minute Friday, Jeff reviews a theme from the previous two episodes and talks about:


–  The Door

–  The enemy

– The Struggle


Sooner or later, you’re going to end up facing the door. The door is the last thing that stands between you and the rest of your life; it is what separates you from what you know best and the unknown of what lies on the other side. There could be a barricaded shooter just waiting to ambush you, a family sleeping, a wire rigged to pull the pin on a grenade, or a disgruntled boss about to chew your ass. You don’t know. But you do know that you must go through that door.

While facing this gateway into uncertainty, your heart beats through your chest, your body tenses up, your eyes widen to try and see more out of fear for missing the smallest detail that could be the last mistake you ever make. The stress increases as your nerves soak up fear, adrenaline, excitement, and suspense all in one. It’s like trying to tame a bottle rocket of emotion and every second that passes, the pressure inside the bottle grows tenfold–along with the addiction for more. It’s a strange dichotomy. The uncertainty of what lies behind the door and the certainty needed to face it.

You are in the gap between adaptability and leadership, where the four pillars of performance have brought you to the door, and it’s now time to make a decision: adapt, lead and win, or not.

And if you do not open that door—the purpose that calls your name, the risk that must be assumed in order to find its certainty—then those threats will not only remain behind the door, but they will evolve into an unfathomable enemy that snowballs into a much larger, totally overwhelming force that you cannot reconcile alone. The threats will grow, keep killing the innocent (or keep eating away at you just like every other stressor at work), and metastasize in numbers until they become so populous that they become a much more lethal force than anticipated. This is your competitor–and it looks just like you.

“The door” is a metaphor for fear, for risk, for courage–all those “things” that show up when we don’t know what’s gonna happen.

The thing is, you never know what’s behind that next door, until you open it,

And you summon the courage TO open it, by believing.

Look, do you know how many doors I was in front of after getting shot both the first and second time? Quite a few. Getting shot leaves an impression on you, for sure. Getting shot AGAIN leaves a significant impression on you and every single time I faced a door or a doorway when I was on target, I always wondered what or who would be waiting for me on the other side.

But you know what? I still opened that door.

And I did so because I believed–I believed that whatever was on the other side, that ultimately they would lose, and I would win.

And I’ll tell you what, that’s what EVERY SEAL believes when they’re on a mission. Nobody expects to lose, we all expect to win because we believed in ourselves, in each other, and the cause.

And if you don’t think that belief is a weapon, think again.

You know what it was that compelled the terrorist attacks of 9/11? Belief.

You know what compels someone to strap a bomb on a kid and send him into a crowd? Belief.

You know what compelled that suicide bomber in Iraq to run at us and blow himself up? Belief.

Belief isn’t tangible, but it exists nonetheless,

So the question is, how do you fight something that doesn’t “exist?” How do you fight a construct? — Something that you can’t put your finger on?

You fight belief, with belief.

You have to, because if you don’t believe in something then chances are you’re not going to buy into actioning it. You’re not going to serve that believe if you don’t acknowledge it as part of you.

The SEAL team member we lost this past week in yemen, held a belief. They all did–every member of that team holds a very powerful belief,

You know what that belief is?

 Send. Me.

Send me to conquer evil.

Send me to brush with death.

Send me into the fray because,

you know what?…

If not me, then who?

That’s what Ryan believed.

That’s what we all believe.

I’m going to share something with you real quick and I want you to listen, listen really good:

There is another group of people out there. A group that doesn’t care about democracy, A group that doesn’t care about capitalism, A group that doesn’t care about service or giving back or saying please or thank you, they don’t care about any of these things, they only care about one thing: and that’s fulfilling their belief that you are bad, and they are good, and killing you to eradicate what they view as evil.

But this is the enemy we face.

This is the enemy we chase.

They’re not the enemy we chose, but they’re the enemy we pursue.

The only other enemy besides the one “out there,” is the one “in here.”

And that enemy, is–sometimes–your own beliefs.

Embrace the struggle because the struggle lives on.

That’s a struggle worth fighting for–the struggle to believe.

The struggle to believe that what you’re doing is right, despite so many “wrongs” in your way.

The struggle to believe you’re the right person for the job, despite all the other candidates who applied.

The struggle to believe that you’re ready for that next presentation, despite the fact that you “just didn’t have enough time to prepare.”

The struggle is real and it continues, on and on every day, moment by moment. Embrace the struggle, and believe in yourself.

Because if not you, then who?