We’re Jason and Matt, two dads and business partners from Richmond, Virginia. Between us we have four young kids, and we believe our most important job is helping them to grow up to be good people. To be brave. To be kind. To be resilient.
But it’s hard to teach these values. Our kids are — well, they’re kids. They’re distracted and impatient. We’re overcaffeinated and overscheduled. And we don’t always know how to get the message across.
The Navy SEAL Speech
Then, in May 2014 we heard Admiral William McRaven’s commencement speech at the University of Texas at Austin. Admiral McRaven is a pretty amazing guy. He served as the commander of U.S. Special Operations and led Operation Neptune Spear, which resulted in the killing of Osama bin Laden.
In Admiral McRaven’s humble, funny and moving commencement speech, he shared the 10 Life Lessons he learned in Navy SEAL basic training. This speech changed our lives. If you haven’t seen it, you really should watch the whole thing here.
The 10 Life Lessons
The speech made us realize that the way to teach life lessons to our kids is to show them that every moment matters, especially those moments when they feel like they’re failing. The true test of their character is not how many gold stars or trophies they earn, but what they do when the water is cold, the waves are high and sunrise seems very far away.
While the 10 Life Lessons were learned during Admiral McRaven’s time in the Navy, he says “it matters not whether you ever served a day in uniform.” We told the admiral how much his words meant to us, and he gave us his permission to create this site dedicated to the 10 Life Lessons from his Navy SEAL commencement speech. (Admiral McRaven does not endorse or have any affiliation with 10LifeLessons.com.)
Here, we share inspiration for parents and ways to teach the 10 Life Lessons to your children. We also make products designed to remind us of these lessons, so we can build a daily habit of living them (see Life Lesson Number 1). We donate 15 percent of the proceeds to worthy charitable causes. Find out who you’re helping this month on our giving page.