How Navy Seals Do the Impossible by Moe Abdou

In my sophomore year of college, one of my closest friends opted to forgo school and give the military a shot.  Josh and I grew up together, starting out in soccer, before we quickly learned that football was our true calling.  Neither of us had played pop warner, but we loved the game so much that in the summer before our freshman year, we made a pack to give it a shot.  We were both small - around 5’6’’ and a mere 140 pounds, not hardly the linebacker physique, still we were determined to prove our naysayers wrong.  So, we turned to weight training and luckily for us, the owner of the gym was a former Navy Seal who appreciated our commitment and decided to mentor us.  

He taught us how to nourish our bodies, build our strength, stretch our endurance; still, it was his focus on our mental preparation that made the biggest difference.  It was he who first introduced us to the phrase ‘mind as a weapon’ and we needed every bit of that mental resilience to fulfill our dream.  It was during that summer that I had a hunch that one day, Josh would one day would become a Seal; and his quest started six years later when he decided to leave George Mason University.  Josh had a remarkable experience, and is a constant reminder for me as to why SEALS are a special breed.  Another former Seal, Mark Divine writes in his book - The Way of the SEAL:  Think Like an Elite Warrior to Lead and Succeed - that ‘if you lack an underlying commitment to self-mastery and growth, even the best theory won’t help you lead yourself or a team to success.’  Here’s why ..... 

Further Reading
  • The Crucial Case for Founders to Detach: Why Realizing Her Business Isn't Her Lifeblood Made Kellee Khalil a Stronger CEO — Each time I have a conversation with my friend Kellee Khalil, the Founder and CEO of Loverly, I walk away a more well-rounded individual. Whether it’s watching her light up as she talks about her nieces and nephews or hearing the fire in her voice when she discusses Loverly’s work executing WWD - Wedding World Domination - she always motivates me to make my dreams a reality and to never take no for an answer.
  • Why Five Founders Made the Decision to 'Choose Must' — The ‘A-ha moment’ in my shift to adulthood (Translation: Post Grad life) was reading Elle Luna’s story The Crossroads of Should and Must. I stumbled on Elle’s narrative while dealing with one of my then weekly quarter life crises. Her invigorating call to choose must - “the intuition that explodes inside of us” -  put my existential fears in perspective.
  • Cultivating the Courage to Take the Buzzer Shot — Each time I challenge my dad’s insight to “enjoy the process,” he reminds me,“It doesn’t matter how many home runs I hit. It matters how many times I step up to the plate.” The sentiment echoes the advice my friend William King, the Founder and CEO of Zephyr Health, gives to young startups: Fire a lot of bullets and then shoot the canon.

back to the blog