Life Lesson 9
If you want to change the world
start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud
We all know someone who’s annoyingly optimistic — that friend considers the glass half full if it contains only a drop of water. This life lesson is dedicated to that person.
In the last week of SEAL training, called Hell Week, Admiral McRaven and the rest of his class paddled to the Tijuana Mud Flats. There, the instructors ordered the recruits to get into the freezing mud. It swallowed them up to their necks. If just five men quit, the instructors said, the rest would be freed from the mud. Otherwise, they’d have to stay there all night.
Then, in the darkness, one recruit began to sing. The rest of the shivering, miserable men joined in. “And somehow, the mud seemed a little warmer, the wind a little tamer and the dawn not so far away.”
What this life lesson means to us
Hope is the most important lesson learned in life. You can be strong, you can be smart and you can be diligent, but none of this matters unless you truly believe you have the power to make the future better than the present.
How do you raise a hopeful child? By living your own life hopefully, psychologist Dr. Yair Emanuel says: “Hopeful kids have at least one hopeful parent, someone busy planning new things, taking initiatives.” Be the one singing in the neck-deep mud, and your child will join in the song.