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10 Life Lessons from Basic SEAL Training from Admiral William H. McRaven

By Steve Nguyen, Ph.D.

 

University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address – Admiral William H. McRaven

Watch his speech above or directly on YouTube, https://youtu.be/pxBQLFLei70

An inspiring and powerful 20-minute commencement speech by Naval Admiral William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, at the University-wide Commencement at The University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014.

Admiral McRaven’s commencement speech is perhaps one of the best commencement speeches I have ever heard. It is on point and offers some fantastic life and business lessons.

Below are excerpts from his amazing speech.

10 Life Lessons from Basic SEAL Training

1. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
“If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”

2. If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.
“You can’t change the world alone—you will need some help— and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the good will of strangers and a strong coxswain to guide them.”

3. If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.
“SEAL training was a great equalizer. Nothing mattered but your will to succeed. Not your color, not your ethnic background, not your education and not your social status.”

4. If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.
“Sometimes no matter how well you prepare or how well you perform you still end up as a sugar cookie.”

“For failing the uniform inspection, the student [in Basic SEAL training] had to run, fully clothed into the surfzone and then, wet from head to toe, roll around on the beach until every part of your body was covered with sand. The effect was known as a ‘sugar cookie.’ You stayed in that uniform the rest of the day — cold, wet and sandy.”

“There were many a student who just couldn’t accept the fact that all their effort was in vain. . . Those students didn’t understand the purpose of the drill. You were never going to succeed. You were never going to have a perfect uniform.”

5. If you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circuses.
“Every day during training you were challenged with multiple physical events — long runs, long swims, obstacle courses, hours of calisthenics — something designed to test your mettle. Every event had standards — times you had to meet. If you failed to meet those standards your name was posted on a list, and at the end of the day those on the list were invited to a ‘circus.’ A circus was two hours of additional calisthenics designed to wear you down, to break your spirit, to force you to quit.”

“Life is filled with circuses. You will fail. You will likely fail often. It will be painful. It will be discouraging. At times it will test you to your very core.”

6. If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.

7. If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.
“There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim you will have to deal with them.”

8. If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.
“At the darkest moment of the mission is the time when you must be calm, composed—when all your tactical skills, your physical power and all your inner strength must be brought to bear.”

9. If you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.
“If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person—Washington, Lincoln, King, Mandela and even a young girl from Pakistan, Malala—one person can change the world by giving people hope.”

10. If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.
“In SEAL training there is a bell. A brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all the students to see. All you have to do to quit—is ring the bell. Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at 5 o’clock. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the freezing cold swims. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the runs, the obstacle course, the PT—and you no longer have to endure the hardships of training. Just ring the bell. If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.”

——

“Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up — if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.”

“It matters not your gender, your ethnic or religious background, your orientation, or your social status. Our struggles in this world are similar and the lessons to overcome those struggles and to move forward—changing ourselves and the world around us—will apply equally to all.”

“Changing the world can happen anywhere and anyone can do it.”

Written By: Steve Nguyen, Ph.D.
Leadership Advisor & Talent Development Consultant

Link

University of Texas at Austin – Adm. McRaven Urges Graduates to Find Courage to Change the World   https://news.utexas.edu/2014/05/16/mcraven-urges-graduates-to-find-courage-to-change-the-world

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Planning A Business Function On A Budget

A business function is a great way to meet potential new clients as well as showing the ones you already have how much they are appreciated. Alternatively it could be a great way to show your staff a well-earned good time and pay them back for the hard work they do for your company.

Either way though you need to ensure that you don’t go overboard and lay on a lavish evening when you really can’t afford it. Times are tough for businesses all over the world at the moment and therefore you will probably wish to put on a pleasant event without breaking the bank. Here are some great ideas for planning that all important business function on a budget.

Guest List –

If you are trying to keep the costs to a minimum then this often depends quite a bit on how many people attend your event. You will obviously want all the important people to be there but you may want to consider whether you allow them to bring their partners or not. Making it a function solely for them is a great way of cutting your guest list in half nearly and will mean you can do more networking as they are more likely to mingle whilst away from the comfort of their respective plus ones.

Entertainment –

At these types of events entertainment usually comes in the form of music but this is also the perfect place to keep costs to a minimum. Consider foregoing a DJ and arranging the music yourself with the help of some speakers and an MP3 player. With the technology available today you should be able to pre-set the music you want and allow it to play through without being continually monitored.

If alternatively you want to impress and entertain your guests with some live music then you could cut costs by only having the band play for a short while. Jazz music is great to have in the background at these formal occasions and jazz band hire will look the part without breaking the bank.

Food –

Although the catering is one area where you can afford to limit costs somewhat; it is important that you still put on a good spread or your guests. The last thing you want is for potential business partners to be leaving your function with a bad taste in their mouths, literally. For most occasions you should be able to get away with a simple buffet but try not to scrimp too much on the quality of the food. It is better to have less food of a high quality which people will love than loads of tasteless food which will leave people wishing they had eaten before they came out.

The Business Potential –

Ultimately the best way to ensure that your function is financially viable is to make sure you get some future business as a result of it. Therefore you should mingle as much as possible and try to spread the word about your company; gaining new contacts as you go. If you end up gaining a couple of yearly contracts from the event then the money outlaid will definitely be worth it.

Featured images:

Chris Mayhew understands the need to budget everything effectively within a business. He is working on behalf of Sax and Honey who are a professional jazz band available to hire for weddings and business functions.

 

 

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How To Put On A (successful) Gig

32612c95eab017aa71621705f40Slash-05The music business is one of THE most difficult businesses to get yourself into, believe me I have seen many try and fail!  But one thing I did notice about people who were looking to get into the business is they had the thirst and the determination to put on some really crummy gigs in some even worse bars.

So I thought I would share some of my experience of putting on a gig and hopefully can help some people who are thinking about putting a gig on somewhere and how they can put it all together.

Seek some experience

Ask around some local music bars and get in touch with organisers and promoters who can set you up with some experience.  Offering to be a roadie, which essentially is a dogsbody but what this allows you to do is to be near musical acts and understand the finer points of putting on a night of your own.

Speak to local acts

Build up a relationship with local acts and meet as many as you can.  By doing this you can then approach them about playing at your night and also puts your name out there.  Don’t forget all the online resources there are too such as Twitter and MySpace.

Find a venue

Check out your local area for venues that are available for rent.  Schools, cinemas and function rooms should all be available to you but keep in mind the size of the venue and also the facilities that they offer as part of the deal.  Will the venue provide sound engineers or a PA system and in particular the last point as this can save you money down the line.

Costing the project

It always makes sense to cost the venue for the night and add it to your total budget, some venues insist on taking a cut on ticket sales and if this is the case make sure that it does not exceed 40% as this can eat into your budget too heavily.

Organise Security

This is one point I cannot stress enough.  Speak to a reputable company and have them supply security for you.  If something happens then it is always safer to have people who are trained in dealing with those situations.  Some laws even insist that security is undertaken by professionals.

Liability insurance

Going to all the hassle and expense of putting on a gig shouldn’t be at jeopardy because of $200 or so.  Getting Public Liability Insurance protects you from any damages that may occur and is generally a good idea.

BANDS

Determine which bands you will have playing at your gig and a wise move is to choose a band who have a good following so you have a better chance of getting more people through the door.

PROMOTION

I cannot stress enough how important it is to promote your night as best as possible.  Get some friends to hand out flyers, set up a Facebook page or Twitter account and push what you are doing to people.  Ask the bands that are to perform to mention the night on their profiles too.  Also another great idea is contacting local radio station and ask them to spread the message, sending demos will do no harm either.

Michael Wood has spent many years providing merchandise including lanyards and badges to bands and music promoters, if you would like to speak to Michael about blogging or seek advice you can email him at woodie19838@gmail.com.

 

 

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The Grateful Dead and the Top 40

by Seth Godin

I wonder if Jerry ever got jealous of acts that were able to put songs on the radio. (The Dead had exactly one hit record…)

I hope not. Jerry was in a different business. Sure, he played music. Elton John also plays music. But they were in different businesses, performing for different audiences, generating revenue in different ways, creating different sorts of art.

In a world filled with metrics and bestseller lists, it’s easy to decide that everyone is your competitor and easier still to worry about your rank. Worry all you want, but if it gets in the way of your art or starts changing your mission, it’s probably a mistake.

It used to be that the non-customers, passers-by and quiet critics of your venture were totally invisible to you. They drove by, or muttered under their breath or simply went to someone else. Now, all is visible. Just because you’re vividly aware of your shortcomings in market share doesn’t mean it’s important.

The next time you have a choice between chasing the charts (whichever charts you keep track of) and doing the work your customers crave, do the work instead.

 

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While my guitar gently weeps

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at the floor and I see it need sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know why nobody told you
how to unfold you love
I don’t know how someone controlled you
they bought and sold you

I look at the world and I notice it’s turning
While my guitar gently weeps
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know how you were diverted
you were perverted too
I don’t know how you were inverted
no one alerted you

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at you all
Still my guitar gently weeps

 

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