Life Lesson 10
If you want to change the world
don’t ever, ever ring the bell
SEAL training sounds completely miserable, doesn’t it? Luckily, there’s a way out: a brass bell hanging in the center of the compound.
“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.”
Ring the bell, and you are no longer a Navy SEAL.
What this life lesson means to us
After listening to Admiral McRaven’s speech, we doubt we could have endured everything he did. Once our instructor started telling us to punch a shark in the nose, we probably would have raced to ring that bell.
That’s OK. To us, Life Lesson Number 10 does not mean “Never, ever quit.” It means, “Just hold on a little longer. You can do more than you think you can do.”
The quality called “grit” has been shown to predict success more reliably than intelligence. To teach grit to your kids, encourage them to pursue things that don’t come easily to them. Psychologist Angela Duckworth, who studies grit, has a rule for her family: “Don’t quit on a bad day.” That means committing to an activity, whether a sport or music lessons, until the end of the season or session. Then, a child can decide if it’s worth continuing. We don’t think it’s right to shame kids by calling them quitters. It’s our job as parents to let them make the call themselves.