Food For Thought: The Circus

One of my inspirations, Brett McKay from the Art of Manliness, recently interviewed Admiral William McRaven.  McRaven spoke about his time as a Navy SEAL and his upbringing in the special operations community.  One of the most resounding things he spoke about was his time training to become a SEAL.

In SEAL training you spend your day running, swimming, doing calisthenics, then doing more running and swimming and of course, more calisthenics. At the end of the day if you failed to meet any of the standards set out for you during your normal training day (ie: failed a timed run or swim) then you would get sent to remedial training called The Circus.

The Circus was a two hour “end of the day” physical training session designed to either help you build the strength you needed to make the standard, or to wear you down further and drive you out of the course.  If you were physically, mentally, and emotionally fit enough the training would push you further so you could grow to meet the requirements.  If you weren’t, then you would likely find yourself in a downward spiral of continuing to fail your requirements and getting sent back to the circus every day until you couldn’t go on.

The moral of this story and the parallel to our lives is that overcoming adversity REQUIRES physical, mental, and emotional preparation.  Life will send you to the circus, it is up to you to recognize this and prepare for it when the time comes.

What do you think?  Have you been to the circus… what got you through it?

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Live Skillfully!


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