Guest blogger: Tom Rancich
A friend of mine came up to me at a party once and said—“You saved my marriage.” I was fairly surprised as I hadn’t realized that I had made an attempt to do so. I asked—“How so?” She said, words to the effect of, well, “We were talking one night and blah blah blah and then you (Tom) asked me," “Where is he?” I said---"He is at home" and you replied, "No—he is there". My friend continued, "And you were right—he was there and always was there----and all of his imperfections and annoyances became less important than the fact that he was there---always." What she had realized was that he could have been anywhere but he chose---and continues to choose--to be with her in their life. That is worth a lot in a man’s view of the world.
So, what does that have to do with anything—well—mostly just this---are you there? Are you there for yourself? Do you stand up for yourself? Are you the friend to yourself that you always wanted to have at your side?
I know that might sound a bit huggy feely—even to the point of cheesy, but it is an important question to answer—because at the end of the day, or even the beginning, if you are not there for yourself then the day is lost.
So why wouldn’t you be there for yourself? I ask that as a serious question---but at BUD/S I saw it over and over---men walking away from themselves because they had decided that they weren’t worth the effort---and back then I didn’t care---good riddance to the quitters—but not anymore. I see the fallacy in that emotion---people need to understand that success starts and ends with ego. Ego is not something we are born with, it is something that develops---and for most of us our egos get developed around the things that embarrassed us—the things we fail at. I mean, I won hundreds of races that I don’t recall---but I certainly recall the one I lost by 2 one hundredths of a second. So here is the point---in my lectures I call it active introspection: Actively, consciously and periodically ask yourself what, why and how you are doing things… take time to define for yourself your:
a)Formative Experiences-Those experiences or events that formed the way you think, act, react, view your-self etc.
b)Definitive experiences- Those experiences that define the way you think, act, react, view your-self etc.
So through active introspection you can understand why you are making the decisions that you are making---if you are honest—and begin to sculpt how you make decisions to better achieve your true goals. I tried to start a tradition at BUD/S whereby the class leader from the class that had just made it through Hellweek would talk to the class about to go through Hellweek---my talk was pretty simple—“If you quit during Hellweek it is not because you can’t make it or because you are too cold or because all along you really wanted to be a teacher (actual excuse given to me from a quitter)—it is because you are willing to walk away from your brother when he is struggling for his life dream”. Okay a little harsh perhaps but I did have two people from my boat crew quit during log PT (4 people carrying log a lot harder than 6). Point is, that if you spend some time to know why you make decisions—honestly—you will start to see that a lot of decisions are made on old biases and are counter to your goals---oh, and doing this allows you to make bad decisions if you want to---just not lie to yourself about it!
If you are not there for yourself—no one is. If you are not thinking--actively and introspectively--about why you are doing things then you are not there for yourself. And if you are beating yourself up because you are short or fat or old or ugly---then you are not there for yourself. I told one of my dearest friends in the world once, “If anyone talked about you the way you talked about yourself, I would break their nose.” Don’t let your ego prevent you from being your friend.
Lt. Commander Thomas Rancich, US Navy SEAL (Ret.) is the co-founder of VRHabilis, a disabled veteran-owned small business that seeks to employ the highly trained and motivated veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for work in construction and related fields. Rancich and co-founder Elliott Adler are pioneering the concept of using adaptive technology to bridge the gap between industrial and medical technology. Their company contributes proceeds to two worthy causes: a fund for the development of adaptive technology that will allow disabled veterans to pursue their desired career path and the EOD Wounded Warrior Fund.
Through his consulting firm, Off-Shore Consulting, Tom provides professional advice on leadership and team building, often as a motivational speaker, in addition to being an expert consultant to the entertainment industry.
Alden Mills and Charlie Mike blogger Tom Rancich served together in the Teams.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Guest blogger: Tom Rancich