DSC_4981It’s only been a few months but The Leadership Mindset has gained some great followers and is read by a small international audience.  My editor and I want to extend a heartfelt thanks for taking the time to read and engage with us as we work towards crushing everything that stands for mediocrity in our lives.

Never in a millions years did I imagine I would have the opportunity to share my ideas about leadership, discipline and a few random topics that stem from challenges in my own life.  This post is to set the record straight.

I’m the biggest failure of all time.

I have a lifetime of proof to support my statement. I failed at school my entire childhood.  I failed at making friends.  I was bullied. I failed as an athlete. I failed as a partner, I failed miserably as a business owner. I lost all my money and lived in a 12 x 22 ft garage without electricity and running water for two years.  Even now, I still don’t have electricity but I have a generator and I’ve upgraded to living in a trailer.

I failed at work – yes, in the Special Forces. I got comfortable at my job. Comfort leads to complacency and complacency leads to a stagnant state of mind. Even though I earned a place within an elite group, I failed at achieving and pursuing growth. I was never an outstanding soldier, even less a leader.  I wasn’t an officer. I didn’t earn medals and awards. Somewhere along the way, I stopped caring about the higher cause of service and the reasons why I had wanted to be there.  But most critically, I failed at recognizing it all.

The complete destruction of my life occurred after my second shoulder reconstruction surgery.  By then, I had lost every single one of my assets and my bank account ran dry.  I lived in a garage, my friendships were shattered, and I had no option but to return to school in the hopes that higher education could replace my lost career.

Hardship shapes your character and the entire process hurts. Alot. And it sucks. There was no one to help me and I didn’t even bother to complain because there was no one to listen.  I took a long, hard look at my situation and endured every uncomfortable moment in its entirety. I also waited to watch the worst of the feelings dissipate so I could recognize the tiniest moments of progress and change. I wanted every part of my DNA to remember how it felt to survive and the incredible value of working harder and smarter.

The first thing I see when I wake up in the morning is a giant poster with the following quote: Work while they sleep, Learn while they party, Save while they spend and Live like they dream.  That sets my intentions for the day. I’m focussed on creating the best version of myself, one solid and disciplined step at a time.

Don’t let your failures dictate the outcome or your future. Failure is the stepping stone of success. It is necessary. Let failure be your teacher and learn from it.





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