Become the Cause and the Effect Will Take Care of Itself

The biggest test in life is that you don’t quit. In 1986 I went through basic training and AIT (Advanced Individual Training) in the US Army. There were numerous, specific tests you had to pass in order to move to the next level—a weight test, height test, physical agility test, ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test. I remember stressing out about it. As the tests became progressively more challenging, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to pass them. Meanwhile, exhaustion was overcoming me. To this day, I’ve never felt that exhausted in mind or body in my life.


There are also “tests” when it comes to school, grades, and other areas of life where you want to move forward. With the Army, the idea wasn’t so much that you pass the test—but that you didn’t quit when things got rough.


In this episode I discuss:


  • How Army life revolved around very little sleep, constant physical exercise, mental exercise, and training all the time
  • How they try to get you to quit in the Navy SEALs—because if you can’t pass the tests, then you’ll never be as good as you need to be, to endure real-life assignments assignments as a Navy SEAL
  • How my mentor drilled into me the idea that I had to make a decision—the decision needed to be mine, and I needed to follow through on it
  • How my mind found more reasons to quit than to move forward—yet everything I did with my mentor was based on the idea that I had to “step into it”
  • “The test isn’t the real test” and, “whatever problem you’re trying to solve, isn’t the real problem”
  • How business is nothing but problem-solving day after day—and you must be willing to make mistakes just to have enough data to be able to make a different decision, so you can continue to move forward


Failure only exists in the mind of someone who’s going to quit. The real test for success is—are you willing to keep going, no matter what? Do you have what it takes to keep going, regardless of the outcome? Do you have the drive and willpower to keep going beyond what you think your physical and mental capabilities are?

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