Needless to say I have had more time on my hands recently. Daytime can get boring, but I have found a new television show to watch called “Surviving the Cut” on the Discovery Channel. Thankfully, my older sons introduced me to this show. The premise of the show is soldiers who want to be considered the best of the best and it takes you through the training and sacrifices they do to become Navy Seals, Night Rangers, Elite Marksmen, etc. Not all of them make it but certain traits seem to always stand out for those who do. These include determination, perseverance, desire, and will, among many others. But two qualities always seem to stand out: Mental Toughness to overcome anything and Teamwork. These two qualities seem to propel those who survive the rigors to make the cut over those who don’t. I have seen some of the physically strongest soldiers fail because they did not have the mental toughness some of the physically weaker soldiers possessed. It is also obvious how teamwork superseded the individual. In the military, the team or unit will never leave a soldier behind and will always be there to help the individual to overcome things that perhaps he/she couldn’t do alone. I have soon realized how similar this is to my life now.
Today I am in the Mental Toughness battle of my life. If you see me, no doubt you will notice the physical changes that have occurred and will continue to occur as time goes on. Just like soldiers who are challenged physically beyond what they think they can endure, the question is will I have the mental toughness to overcome? Trust me there are many times I want to give up. Shaving, showering, and getting dressed are exhausting every morning. I have to throw a towel on the bed just so I can bend over and dry my hair because the towel is too heavy to lift. I won’t go into eating but you can guess how hard that has become. I could go on and on about the little things that come so easy to many have become so difficult. This is where the mental toughness comes in. Less than a few years ago my life was fairly normal; heck I was still playing adult ice hockey. It would be easy to give up, but I refuse. I would be letting down myself, my children and my God. As a father, husband, and Christian, I still have plenty of work to do here. Don’t get me wrong, I have my moments but then something or someone does something to pick me up and get me refocused. This brings me to teamwork.
I have noticed that the best leaders and most successful people in life surround themselves with the best people; the best team if you will. In the military, a battle may be lost but in the long haul the war will be won by the best team. Thankfully, I have surrounded myself with the best people to make my team. I know I have a difficult battle ahead of me but if I fall someone will be there to pick me up. I have acquired a team of people who will drop everything to help me or my family when needed. It can be a humbling feeling to call someone to come change some light bulbs, but I have learned I have a team in place to do just that. I am one of the lucky ones. Many people are facing battles like mine alone. Those are the people I pray for and hope to help.
Here is my challenge for you: If you know someone struggling in life, be a part of the team that will help when they fall. If you are facing a difficult challenge, surround yourself with the most positive people you can to help you when you feel like giving up. We all can and deserve to survive the Cut but it starts and ends with Mental Toughness and Teamwork. Combine those two traits and we all will be Surviving the Cut!