Why No Surrender and No Retreat Will Lead to No Regrets

A U.S. Military Academy cadet, along with Italian soldiers, climbs a mountain.
A U.S. Military Academy cadet, along with Italian soldiers, finishes climbing a mountain during an internship in conjunction with the Advanced Individual Academic Development program in Italy, July 29, 2013. (Sgt. Terysa M. King/U.S. Army photo)

Contributed by Larry Broughton

It is an honor to introduce you to Larry Broughton. He's a former Green Beret, a remarkable entrepreneur and a man on a mission to help others defy the odds. I hope you find him as inspiring as I do, and I believe you'll find his message is more than fitting for Charlie Mike -- never give up on your dreams! Thanks, LB, for being a guest writer! AMM

Among the most powerful lessons I took from serving on Special Forces A-Teams (the Green Berets) in the U.S. Army were the importance of possessing a tenacious spirit and maintaining a positive attitude despite difficult, challenging circumstances. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that those who have experienced extraordinary and enduring success in business, the arts, athletics, and virtually every other field have embraced these two powerful "disciplines."

I was blessed last week by meeting Jack Canfield (co-author of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series, and author of "The Success Principles"). Among other pearls of wisdom that seemed to flow from him was this: "Everything we want is outside our comfort zone." Wow. The clarity of this idea was like a brick to the head for me. Whether we're pursuing personal, spiritual, financial or physical goals, if it weren't uncomfortable (and even a little painful, at times), we'd very likely already possess it or have achieved it.

Every successful person has faced challenges and experienced setbacks and failures on their journey toward success. It's a natural part of growing. For those who learn to anticipate it, embrace it and take corrective action toward improvement, they find extraordinary success as their sweet reward. Winston Churchill has some of the most poignant quotes on this topic, and described the process this way, "Success is the ability to move from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."

An important key to success is how we respond to the challenges and setbacks we face, and the attitude we choose to adopt when we're knocked down. Too often, after a setback, we find ourselves curled in the fetal position, licking our wounds and embracing a victim's mentality. Has that approach ever launched anyone toward their goal? A good attitude won't guarantee victory, but a bad one will guarantee defeat.

If you've neglected your workout routine, missed a deadline or fallen short of your goals, beating yourself up or wallowing in pity is a waste of time and energy and will serve no good purpose. Instead, consider executing an after-action report (we conducted these after every mission in Special Forces) to (a) identify problem areas that need improvement; (b) develop measures to counteract these problem areas; and (c) pinpoint "lessons learned."

Churchill said, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts." So I encourage you to avoid the negative chatter in your mind, assess the situation, take corrective action, learn your lesson and drive on.

Here's to your success.

Larry Broughton is founder & CEO of Broughton Hospitality and served eight years on Special Forces A-Teams in the U.S. Army. He is also an author, speaker and executive coach, parlaying leadership lessons from the Green Berets to the business arena. www.LarryBroughton.net.

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