Becoming the Best Version of You

by Dr. Christopher on August 1, 2010

Never give in.  Never give in.  Never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty – never give in except to the convictions of honor and good sense.  Never yield to force.  Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. ~ Winston Churchill  

After reading Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell, I became aware of how weak of a person I had become.    

A first person account of courage and strength, Lone Survivor is a true story of a Navy SEAL who defies the odds as he survives 6 days MIA in the mountains of Afghanistan, under constant attack by the Taliban.  Luttrell’s story takes him through SEAL training, among the most challenging military training in the world, through the friendships he makes along the way, and his struggles with the rules of engagement, which ultimately becomes the cause of nineteen American deaths.  

Murph from Lone Survivor, Hero WOD in Crossfit

  The passion that Luttrell uses to describe the persistence needed to be a SEAL and the compassion with which he speaks about his fellow SEALS is truly admirable.  Every time I picked up the book, I became nauseous at my own lack of drive and not living to my potential.  

Living an unfulfilled life leaves us unsatisfied.  We become “soft” or bendable, conforming to the environment and not holding strong to our values and convictions.  Signs that we are living unfulfilled include: 

  • emotional stress
  • anxiety
  • confusion
  • a sense of doing something greater
  • inability to relax

Having a rock-solid attitude in our values and convictions allows us to never accept defeat, and give a larger than life effort that we may not have thought possible.  

What areas in your life do you feel like you lack commitment or drive?  Is it because you aren’t really passionate in those areas or because you lack the inspiration?  For most of us, it’s the latter.  

Navy SEALS are the type of people who don’t give up.  Failure is NOT an option.  While mentally tough people, we all can touch our inner Navy SEAL, if we know where to look.  

I have been coasting with my health for some time now, the last eight years of my life.  Before that time, I played college football and refused to accept anything but my best effort, which allowed me to succeed as a smaller than average athlete.  

But I stopped pushing.   

When workouts got hard, I rested.    

When I decided I didn’t feel well and would eat healthy for the rest of the day, I’d reach for the cookies every time.  

When I needed to do the courageous thing in my career or personal life, I chose the easy road.  

I became pathetic.  Sick of the face I see in the mirror when I think about the courage that the U.S. military shows everyday in the face of death, I know I can do better.  

In fact, I believe that everyone of us has a huge potential inside of them.  

We can view exercise as a character builder and pursue fitness with sheer determination.  We can choose to eat healthy foods and obey our deepest desires when faced with choices.  We can look at our life dreams with awe and wonder, and chase them with the innocence of a 5-year old child who doesn’t know any better. We can choose to be the best version of ourselves that we can. 

How can you be the best version of yourself? 

“Murph” is a Hero WOD (workout of the day) in the Crossfit philosophy of exercise.  Having done Crossfit workouts for the past two years, I did not realize who “Murph” was until I compared him to Mike Murphy in Luttrell’s book.  Crossfit, as the principal training methodology of many military operations, names workouts after women and military heroes to pay respect to the people who defend our country.  Here’s why “Murph” deserves our respect …  

With one already dead, the three remaining SEALS were taking heavy fire in close-quarters from the Taliban.  Having already been shot in the chest, Lt. Murphy “walked out into the open ground.  He walked until he was more or less in the center, gunfire all around him, and he sat on a small rock and began punching in the numbers to HQ.  

I could hear him talking.  ‘My men are taking heavy fire … we’re getting picked apart.  My guys are dying out here … we need help.’  

And right then Mikey took a bullet straight in the back.  I saw the blood spurt from his chest.  He slumped forward, dropping his phone and his rifle.  But then he braced himself, grabbed them both, sat upright again, and once more put the phone to his ear.  

I heard him speak again. ‘Roger that sir.  Thank you.’  Then he stood up and staggered out to our bad position, the one guarding our left, and Mikey just started fighting again, firing at the enemy…  

Only I knew what Mikey had done.  He’d understood we had only one realistic chance, and that was to call in help.  He also knew there was only one place form which he could possibly make that cell phone work: out in the open, away from the cliff walls.   

Knowing the risk, understanding the danger, in the full knowledge the phone call could cost him his life, Lieutenant Michael Patrick Murphy, son of Maureen, fiance of the beautiful Heather, walked out into the firestorm…  

Roger that, sir.  Thank you.  Will those words ever dim in my memory, even if I live to be a hundred?  Will I ever forget them?  Would you?”  ~ Marcus Luttrell (p.237)  

Inspired by Lone Survivor, I wish that we can all renew our vows towards excellence, conviction, and courage.  

What area of your life can you take renewed discipline in order to experience the fruits of the best version of you?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

DK August 2, 2010 at 12:38 am

This might now relate to this post but I felt like sharing. So the other night we did a full moon night hike. Well it started in the back of a valley and climbed up to a ridge overlooking the back of another valley. There was many spots where you could lay down and just gaze at the moon with a strong wind and fast passing clouds it was incredible. Even though I was doing my best to get out of the lights and houses still looking back at Waikiki and Honolulu was beautiful too. Getting to the point and trying to tie this in to your question…..The best version of me is when I turn the lights off and just hike by moon light or my senses, getting those nervous feelings that shoot adrenaline from my heart then I feel it travel through my arms and to my finger tips (I think its my fight or flight). Standing on the top of a cliff toes on the edge looking at a pool below getting the courage to jump. To me that feeling is great.

Try taking a walkabout somewhere during the night (full moons are my favorite). Get out of the artificial light and let your senses come alive. Then aske yourself that question again!

Hope this makes any sense to you…I have a lot in the mind but have a tough time expressing it; never seems to come out right

DK August 2, 2010 at 12:39 am

oh and now was suppose to be not in that first line

Chris August 2, 2010 at 7:10 pm

DK…are you trying to make us jealous? It is working. I understand what you mean. To me, you are describing connecting with nature. Sometimes it is hard to do that when you live so close to one of the biggest cities in the world. I’ve found that there are still pockets of nature here as long as you are aware of them. And yes, connecting with nature does make me feel like ME, at home in my own skin.

I’m proud that you’ve grown so fond of being outside! I’ll be there soon.

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