How would you like to have been a prisoner of war in 1970's Vietnam for 2100 days?
Tomorrow, I am interviewing such a man - his name is Capt. Charlie Plumb. While doing my research on his story, I came across a video interview clip of him and 2 other brave men who were also POW's in Vietnam. One of them, Capt. Guy Gruters said something profound that I wanted to share as the subject of today's Warrior Wednesday Blog. During the ABC interview with Diane Sawyer, Capt. Gruters was asked what courage was. This was his simple but brilliant response:
"Courage is fear that has said its prayers."
Wow. What a profound statement that could only be spoken by a true warrior who has had to endure and overcome incredible adversity.
For the past 2.5 years, I have interviewed over 100 protectors from all walks of life: military, police, survivors of violence, government agents, executive protectors, etc. and I've asked them to discuss what virtues are necessary in order for one to successfully protect.
During that time, I have discovered that putting virtue into words is quite difficult. Few have been able to succinctly state and form the proper words to discuss the virtue required to serve as a protector. This phrase by Capt. Gruters on courage comes close - "Courage is fear that has said its prayers."
What images does your mind picture as you read this phrase? I see a man or woman going through a difficult struggle, taking a moment to kneel down, clasp their hands together in prayer, lifting their head toward heaven as their mouth moves with the words of their prayer and petition, and then rising to their feet to continue to fight. Knowing the fight is not over, knowing the fight could continue indefinitely, and yet facing the struggle anyway and moving forward.
Courage isn't sexy like they show in lots of movies. Courage is getting down on your hands and knees when you're tired, bloody, and weary of the fight, saying your prayers, and continuing to fight despite your weariness, despite your fear, despite your desire for the bad thing to go away.
I have linked the original ABC News interview below with Capt. Charlie Plumb and Capt. Guy Gruters. We are just a few days past Memorial Day and this video will fill you with admiration and appreciation for our warriors & our protectors.
Live in the battleground my friend & may all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace.
Did you know that you probably have gold in your backyard? Let me explain...
The gold in your backyard is likely just sitting there, waiting to be discovered and used for your benefit. How much would your life change if you found this gold? Yeah, mine too.
Let me share with you a story about the gold that I discovered and it was right in my own backyard ... I just didn't see it.
I recently returned home from attending a mastermind in Dallas, TX. I was one of the keynote speakers for the event which was amazing. But let me back up for a second - when I was first talking with my friend Robert (the COO of the organization) about coming in to speak, I wanted to do a presentation about the virtues of a warrior that I have discovered by interviewing 115 protectors from across the industry. But Robert saw a different gold nugget that I hadn't seen.
He suggested that I talk about the PROCESS of how I was able to acquire so many interviews with so many industry leaders - most of whom had never met me before. Interesting. I had been so focused on the CONTENT I had discovered that I failed to see the gold of the PROCESS.
Fast forward to my speech which was titled, How to Become Connected and Credible in Any Industry in 1 Year of Less. Sounds cool right? It was and is. Lots of the mastermind members approached me later and told me how cool the topic was and that this fit right in with what they were looking to do in the future. One man even said he had been wanting to write a book for some time but now he knew how he would approach doing it (the process). Awesome!
Think to your own life now - is there something that you've done really well for a long time (a process) that could add a lot of value to other people's lives? Maybe you cannot see this gold in your own backyard, so here's a tip: ASK SOMEONE ELSE THIS QUESTION!
Ask a trusted friend or advisor, “Hey, is there something that I’ve done or am still doing that could add a lot of value to people’s lives?” Make sure this person knows you well enough and your background to be able to answer the question.
You may be like me and be unable to see the gold in your own backyard. My friend Robert pointed out the gold to me. Do you have a Robert who can see the bigger picture of what you do?
Robert reminded me of a warrior principle that I know and yet didn't apply to myself - oftentimes, the PROCESS is more important than the thing itself. Sometimes, the process has even more value than the object in question. Take a step back in your life and focus on your processes to all the things you do.
Maybe you have a process that allows you to catch more fish in less time when you go fishing. Maybe you know a unique process that allows you to sew more clothes in less time. I don't know what the gold in your backyard is for you and maybe you don't either. That's ok. Ask someone else to see if they can see it. Had I not talked to Robert, I never would have discovered this unique gold in my own backyard.
Live in the battleground warriors and keep your eyes open for the gold in your own backyard.
Do I need to say more?
Most of you spend too much time thinking and not enough time doing. If you act, you can course correct and adapt while moving. If you do not act, then you cannot course correct because you haven't even left the port yet.
Action is movement and movement is action.
I am not saying you should be impetuous - but take some action. Get out and move. Apply this action-taking attitude to all areas of your life and see how things improve.
Marriage, business, children, work, hobbies, etc. Just go do it. Get it done. Act. Move. FIGHT!
Welcome to the Anatomy of a Warrior Blog!
National Speaker, author, blogger, and life-long student of warrior arts and science.