Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Learn to Crawl Before You Walk"

by T.C. Cummings

Stallions like to run. Indeed, they were born to run. But they didn’t start their lives running. They had to grow gradually. Even as they fell—and they do fall—the pain and recovery was relative to their ability and growth at the time. A natural rule applies.

That rule, this philosophy, is crucial to the development of elite commandos or anyone with the strong desire to develop personally. People of this caliber—in applying themselves to personal betterment—need to constantly be reminded of the importance of respecting this rule of “walk before you run.” As a Navy SEAL, I know that after swimming for three miles while wearing dive fins in the cold ocean, a swimmer’s body is not prepared to hit the beach running. The mind can envision this action and may forget the rule, but the rule still applies.

To get to that place where the body and mind align, the body must transition. Muscles must reactivate, and rhythms must adjust. Only by respecting the rule can the envisioned outcome be achieved. If not, the would-be runner falls to the ground, disillusioned with his or her own belief.
Due to the high caliber of clients with whom I’ve had the honor of working in the civilian sector, I’ve been privy to see men and women possessing the same “stallion” characteristics in their business dealings as commandos possess in their operational battles.

In both cases, these “stallions” need to be reined in from hurting themselves when they seek to run before they can walk. It may be difficult for them to see this when they are in the moment, but it’s clear as a bell to an external observer who is an excellent listener.

We can only grow to the extent that we envision ourselves. Unless our inner representation grows as fast as our external growth, we will actually hold ourselves back from lasting success.
Do you know anyone who has dramatically lost weight with great joy only to revert to his or her old habits and weight?

Do you know people who have earned the money they really deserve only to squander it away and regress to their former income?

Who do you know that finally met the person of his or her dreams only to dump that loved one because of a list of silly reasons?

Leaping from crawling to running sets us up for a painful fall. We don’t achieve true personal growth, and because we find ourselves back at square one we may become disgruntled and distrustful of the process, often blaming anyone and anything but ourselves.

If you want to change, you must do the work. Go back to basics. In football, professionals earning millions of dollars annually practice the most basic drills throughout the season. Professional artists go back through the strokes and lighting. If you make millions of dollars consistently, most likely it’s because you go back to the basics of budgeting, saving and investing consistently.

Whenever you are seeking to grow—and you have a clear vision of what you wish to do—make sure that who you are being is big enough to consistently be doing what it is you wish to do. Make sure of this so you can consistently achieve your desired results.

If you are the “stallion,” then use your power and set yourself up to win with a coach or trainer whom you trust to observe and protect you from your own impetuous eagerness. And let them help train your muscles and harness your power so you can first walk and then run with a purpose.

If you are a leader responsible for “stallions,” then you must protect them from themselves as they seek to skyrocket up the corporate ladder. As a mentor, this is very much your charge. The personal damage—an increase of fear and frustrations—can be the result of falling on one’s face too often. This damage can be overcome, but recovery from it can take the wind out of your “stallion’s” sails. So as a leader, help them master the fundamentals so their climb up the ladder of growth and personal betterment is a lasting success.

Having the power of choice, we humans don’t automatically follow all of the rules as the stallions do in nature. We will never see a healthy plant provide fruit out of the natural order. For lasting success we need to consciously be aware that we must “learn to crawl before we walk, and walk before we run.”

TC Cummings is a professional speaker and a former Navy SEAL. Through 8 years in the U.S. Navy as an Operator and Corpsman on elite commando SEAL Teams, he traveled the world learning communication and teamwork on the cutting edge.

Reproduced with permission from the Ron White Newsletter. To subscribe to Ron White's Newsletter, go to Copyright 2010 All rights reserved worldwide.All contents Copyright 2010 except where indicated otherwise. All rights reserved worldwide. **Duplication or reprints only with express permission or approved Credits (see above). All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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