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Best selling author and US Navy SEAL, Thom Shea discusses what life is like when you stop quitting and become the best version of yourself.


Jan 5, 2020

Let’s all take a moment and look back at 2019.  Specifically let’s all look at the things we learned.  The older I get, and the more distance unfolds from my life in the SEAL teams the more humor I find in my day-to-day life.  As I look back at 2019, I cannot help but laugh.


I look at my life in five areas.  Obviously, health is a big area and as I get older big is the operative word.  The next area is work and accumulation of wealth.  Ironically, the older I get the wiser my choices and the more opportunities I see and can act on.  Another area of great value, at least to me, is the area of learning.  This area is filled with infinite possibilities to once again learn lessons I could have learned as a child.  Not so humorous realizing I am not as smart as I thought I was on a great many things.  The final two areas are relationships and spiritual discovery.  And you have to admit god has a sense of humor when you recognize “you get what you need and rarely what you want in either area”.


So let’s acknowledge the lessons from health we learned, or at least let me share what I learned so that you can laugh:

  1. Ultra-marathon runners are not right in the head. They are excited to run a race even though they know they will throw up at least once.  They are thrilled to see others laying on the side of the trail at mile 89 and often try to tell you “you are doing great” as you lay there trying to die in peace.
  2. At age 51 getting out of bed and walking to the kitchen could pass as a workout.
  3. Yoga is a four-letter word. Not to be used in the presence of young children.
  4. Be honest with yourself and recognize you will have to add two more months to the training plan that a 30 year old, highly ranked running coach gives you.
  5. The key lesson, learned in the SEAL teams, is still in play. Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. And fast is slow. 
  6. No matter how prepared you are there is a 30 year old 20 miles ahead of you who isn’t intimated by you or even concerned you want to kill him because he isn’t even breaking a sweat.


The next series of lessons from 2019 is the acquisition of knowledge:

  1. At 51 you have forgotten more than most people younger than you even realize.  The problem is you can no longer recall.
  2. Key lesson from childhood still applies, say thank you and people will help. Be a angry bitch and you are on your own.
  3. It is easier to learn something when you actually open the book and learn it, than it is to read the intro and suggest you got it.
  4. No matter how great a shot you were, each time you shoot is a new lesson that you have forgotten. So shoot more and talk about the past less.
  5. Dumb is a state of mind. You can learn anything if you are committed.
  6. Ask for help from people who are better than you and you will learn lessons you have yet to learn. Ask for help from people who are less and watch the how fast you waste your time and energy.

This year in business has been tremendous.  Let me caveat, that statement with it has been painfully lucrative.  The lessons that were painful to learn are:

  1. Hustle makes you excited and tired.  The wise business man hires a team of wolves.
  2. Only spend an hour of your day with existing business clients or engaged in things you are comfortable doing.
  3. If you aren’t fighting to get in front of 20 people a day than you may feel great but you are not going to win.
  4. Surround yourself with 5 people every day who are committed to pushing you in spite of your attitude. You can actually measure success by determining who the 5 people you hang with.
  5. Social media must be the only way to succeed? Texting is the only way to do deals.  And everyone on you tube must be rich and sexy, and happy.  Sadly, none of that is true and branding in social media is lucrative for the media company and pales in comparison to real human engagement.
  6. Every minute and every person is an opportunity. Once you see that to be true money is easy.


Relationships are the fun area, and the lessons keep giving whether you are in the mood or not:

  1. Spend time with your kids because if you don’t, no amount of money you make can buy them back.
  2. The woman makes the man, the man protects the woman so she can keep giving.
  3. Women raise boys to become men.
  4. Men raise strong daughters, this is a truth lost in society these days.
  5. If you don’t give your spouse 10 minutes a day they will demand 6 hours.
  6. Listen before you speak, share what you are doing not your issues. And touch your family often. Intimacy solves more problems than you can imagine.


Alas, we end with spiritual discovery:

  1. Your body is a temple, no amount of prayer or meditation will overcome a broken temple. 
  2. Your eyes are a passage to your spirit. Your ears are a link to god so listen more.  Your sense of smell determines if you are a predator or a sheep…learn to smell better.  Your sense of taste determines your appetite.  And finally your spiritual soars with touch and intimacy.  Don’t squander touch. 
  3. Speak about your goals and plans every day. If you don’t you will find darkness quickly.
  4. Seek more silence because that is where greatness begins. Loud chaotic environments make for dark times.
  5. Be completely tired at the end of each day. Hold nothing back.  Your spirit will thank you for it.
  6. Start over more often than you like.