What Does Being a Navy SEAL Have to Do With Success? - TC Cummings Interview by Jerry Clark (excerpted from the 2004 Jim Rohn Weekend Event)
Jerry Clark: Hello everyone this is Jerry "DRhino" Clark. We have here an individual with us who happens to be the Master Coach for the Jim Rohn International coaching program. TC Cumming is a guest speaker at this Weekend Event and is also a former U.S. Navy SEAL. So we really want to learn how to get that Navy SEAL mental toughness. Hey, TC welcome to the program.
TC: Good to be here.
Jerry Clark: Now TC with regard to being a former Navy SEAL how does one become a Navy SEAL and what is the mindset you need to want to be a Navy SEAL?
TC: Its about loving challenge. You want to play big with the SEALs. When I say you want to play big, you've really got to want to play big. I'll give you an ideal; 154 men started in my class to become a SEAL and most of the guys wanted to be a SEAL all of their lives, yet only 18 of us became SEALs. So you've really, really ridiculously got to want to play big.
Jerry: So tell us about this program, because this correlates to success in life. Some of the principles that you have to have in order to go through this training and make it, because 90% of these people, who all their life wanted to be Navy SEALs, didn't make it through the program. Not that they couldn't make it but for some reason they didn't. Was it the mental toughness? I'm sure they all had the physique, they were all strong, they were all powerful, and they did all the preliminary working out. So tell us about that.
TC: In fact Jerry, most of the guys that were the biggest were the first to quit because they were not used to losing. The mental toughness is not about winning, it is about what you do under adverse or inopportune conditions. What do you do, do you react or do you respond?
Jerry: What is the difference between reacting and responding?
TC: Excellent question. When we react we are coming from a programmed egotistical place. We are either reacting aggressively or passively. Oh, I'm not good enough. Hey, does everybody see how cool I am. Reactive.
When we are responding, when you say, "Hey, you did a great job." and I say, "Thank you. What was great about it?" I am responding, I'm doing it on purpose. Response is on purpose. Reactive is our ego. So nothing wrong with that because we all have ego. We have a lot of ego and we all are reactive. When we shut down that reactive nature, we become more clear because when we are doing things on purpose; we are choosing who we are going to be with. We are choosing who we are going to surround ourselves with. We are choosing the path we are going to take. When you are sitting in freezing water, it's not really freezing water. You're sitting in the water and you are freezing because of the evaporation process; you are getting cold. No matter how long you stay there when the water comes over you and goes away you get cold. When the cold hits, where is you mind? Are you a victim, are you going to react or are you going to respond? In my mind I would respond by saying, "I'm so cold but there are other guys still here, I'm not dead yet. So I can keep doing this." Other guys would react and say, "I'm out of here, I quit." I remember very clearly in my mind the biggest guy; this guy could do pull-ups till the cows came home. He could run, he could carry people, he could do one arm rope climbs, and he quit. Bam! Like that and as soon as he quit, six other guys said, "My God, if he can't make it I can't make it." They all quit -- Reactivity. They were choosing; these men in their minds, they chose.
Are you going to react or respond? Your son, when he was younger, he's poking you saying, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy..." If you say, "What, what do you want?" You are reacting. You'd never choose to do that. You put your arm around him and say, "You wait until I'm done talking with your Mother." That is a response, that is what you're choosing. So the same thing is true with making money or in any of our relationships. The biggest element though of course, is our relationship with ourself and are we reactive with ourself? With Jim Rohn International Coaching, we support an environment that gets to show this to other people, so you get to see your own reactivity or your responsiveness. Because reactivity is weak, it is disempowering. It's not bad -- it's human. But pro-activity, taking the opportunity by the horns is empowering. Just look at yourself and what you have created, very much at core, if you did it because, "I'll show them", it is reactive. If you did it because "I can, I need to do it, it's my destiny to fulfill; I've got a talent I need to put it to good use. I choose to be successful", that is where the power is.