Let’s face it, life is tough.

All of us will face significant and at times seemingly insurmountable challenges in our lives.

While precious few of us will be Navy Seals, we can all learn lessons from their intense training.

During his commencement speech at the University of Texas at Austin, U.S. Navy Admiral William H. McRaven provided the graduates with 10 lessons from Seal training.

Lesson 4: If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.

Several times a week, the instructors would line up the class and do a uniform inspection. It was exceptionally thorough.

Your hat had to be perfectly starched, your uniform immaculately pressed and your belt buckle shiny and void of any smudges.

But it seemed that no matter how much effort you put into starching your hat, or pressing your uniform or polishing your belt buckle— it just wasn’t good enough.

The instructors would fine “something” wrong.

For failing the uniform inspection, the student 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. That no matter how hard they tried to get the uniform right—it was unappreciated.

Those students didn’t make it through training.

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.

Sometimes no matter how well you prepare or how well you perform you still end up as a sugar cookie.

It’s just the way life is sometimes.

If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.

Read about McRaven’s speech at Business Insider.

Video courtesy of University of Texas at Austin

 

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