You owe you. Stop making excuses.

I apologize for the long delay since the last post. There’s been a lot going on and I’ll probably share an update about it all before too long.

Until then, here’s some great motivation from one of my favorite speakers. I think he’s right: You owe you. Stop making excuses.

Keep pushing,

Stan R. Mitchell


Stan R. Mitchell, author and prior Marine, is best known for his Nick Woods Marine Sniper series, which has remained in the Top 100 on Amazon for more than three years. The series has also been picked up by for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story. Learn more at


Filed under Motivation

My thoughts on the SEALs

It’s been since December that I last posted a chapter on “My time in the Corps,” but I’ve finally finished the next chapter. Here she be. (All earlier chapters here.)

Chapter 6: My thoughts on the SEALs

I want to share my thoughts on the Navy SEALs in this chapter not because my views matter, but rather because a look at how I viewed them back in the day will give some revealing insight into the mentality of a Marine.

Best of all, I think it’ll also teach you a few lessons that’ll help you in your current situation in life.

As I mentioned in the previous chapter, my platoon was fortunate to spend almost a year with the elite Marines known as Force Recon. And during several of those training ops, we got to train with the SEALs as well. Specifically, it was SEAL Team 2 out of Little Creek, Virginia.

So, what did nineteen-year-old Lance Corporal Mitchell think of the SEALs? In short, I’d say that we thought we were just as good as they were. (Please don’t attack me over this until you read further!)

It’s funny. I went into the Corps holding the SEALs up in my mind as some kind of supermen. Some kind of Rambo-like force of bullet-proof men.

But it wasn’t long upon arriving to the Fleet that their sky-high reputation began taking hits from higher ranking Marines and instructors who trained me. Even at the School of Infantry, which you attend immediately after Boot Camp, I’ll never forget a salty sergeant talking about doing a machine gunner’s course in Israel with the SEALs. According to him, after the SEALs and Marines had finished their initial iteration of the fire-and-movement range, the SEALs decided to do it again.

Except this time, he said they were showing out. Going much faster and showboating in front of the Marines there, trying to really destroy the time it took to clear the course. And during this run, one of the Navy SEAL machine gunners let his machine gun get away from him on a long burst and some rounds bounced off a wall and hit a SEAL teammate. The story got a little more outrageous at that point when my Marine Corps instructor claimed the SEALs froze up upon seeing the devastating wound and were crying and panicking over their bleeding buddy. According to this tale, the sergeant ran forward and put a tourniquet on the SEAL’s leg — the man had allegedly been hit in the quad muscle.

So in short, the sergeant was saying the Marines saved the day, so to speak, after these elite SEALs made a stupid mistake and then froze up at the sight of a wounded comrade.

Even as a brand-new Marine, I didn’t believe the latter part of the story of them freezing up. It’s just nearly impossible to imagine a dozen or more SEALs just panicking and not providing first aid. Hell, even brand new Marines in Boot Camp are taught first aid and how to apply a tourniquet. Surely the SEALs master this skill as well.

Honestly, I’m even a tad skeptical of the first part of the story. For all I know it never even happened. While it’s true the sergeant told lots of vivid details about the incident, he may have been simply a gifted story teller.

Perhaps it happened, but he simply stretched the truth about the SEALs panicking. But the greater point is that in the Corps, they were hacking away at the reputation of the SEALs from some of my earliest training days. And I don’t think that was accidental.

The sergeant wanted us to believe that we were every bit as good as the SEALs or any other force out there. It was part of the mindset they were trying to hammer into our heads.

Every time the SEALs slipped up, the rumors would fly through the ranks of the Corps. “Yeah, they’re not the good.” “They’re just cocky, arrogant surfer boys who can’t do the basics well.”

On and on you would hear it.

I’ll never forget when a squad of Marines were playing the bad guys in an observed operation. A battalion of Marines were on ship and were playing the good guys, invading some make-believe small country that had overthrown their government. Waiting for the battalion on the beach and in defensive positions further in country was an op force, or opposing force. If memory serves me correctly, there was a company of these Marines playing the bad guys.

But the only part of the story that bears telling is a squad of these bad guys (regular infantry Marines, just like me), was to defend the beaches on where the good guys might land. And there were like only three places the battalion could safely land.

So these Marines studied the maps, make their best educated guess, and guarded one of those beaches, while the other hundred Marines in their company dug in deeper inland.

Day after day these Marines stayed hidden, watching the beach, hoping the SEALs or the rest of the battalion would land on their beach. The bad guys didn’t know when it would happen — or even if it would happen on that beach — but they held onto hope that they’d picked right. And sure enough, one night the SEALs showed up on their beach.

These Marines used their night vision to watch two scout swimmers land right in front of them. And instead of firing their blanks at the two SEALs, the Marines stayed hidden and somehow managed to not get seen. The two SEALs, thinking the beach was clear and safe, signaled for the rest of the SEALs to come in with their rubber boat.

And as the boat landed and the SEALs worked to drag it up the beach, these Marines launched their ambush, firing blanks and yelling like a bunch of crazy maniacs. An impartial observer, who was with the Marines watching the action, said the Marines would have wiped out the entire SEAL squad, and I remember holding onto that story as if my life depended on it.

Sure, it would probably never happen again. Not even in a hundred more attempts, but at least once, a squad of Marines had stayed exceptionally disciplined and hidden, and the Marines had bested one of the most elite units our nation has to offer. Appalachian State had beaten Michigan.

When you’re a young Marine who thinks he’s six feet tall and bulletproof, you hold onto stories like that. You tell friends at home about situations like this. And you say with absolute confidence that Marine infantry are as good as Navy SEALs.

Obviously, this isn’t close to being true. The SEALs are a much smaller unit. Their selection standards and training metrics are far more difficult. I could go on and on, but I don’t have to: you already know the SEALs are better than the Marines. Much better.

Even though it was mostly foolish that we thought we were as good as the SEALs, I still think there’s a lesson in this situation.

The Marine Corps has it right about comparing yourself to others: you shouldn’t ever see yourself as being inferior to others. You shouldn’t ever sell yourself short or think your team or company isn’t as good as the competition.

I remember when I finally got to meet the SEALs, I glared at them and wanted them to absolutely know I didn’t think they were any better than me. My buddies did the same. Even my squad leader, who I barely respected (more on that later), bragged about being able to run better than them. He had run on the flight deck with a bunch of them and since he was a gifted runner (that was about all he was), he just wouldn’t shut up about how bad they were at running.

There’s a lot more to combat than running, but instead of reminding him of that, I basked in his take down of them as well. I wanted to believe I was as good as they were, and any (and all) evidence of such a thing was gladly accepted by me.

As any service member who’s ever served in any branch knows, competition between services is fierce. And frankly, this competition is good. It sharpens each of our branches of services.

To be a Marine, you have to think you’re the best. It doesn’t mean it’s true, but it does mean you have to believe it.

Likewise, no matter what sector of work we’re in as civilians (or branch as service members), you need to think you’re the best as well. You need to have pride and high standards. You need to push as hard as you can, pretending you’re as good as a Navy SEAL if that’s what it takes to up your game.

Competition as a civilian is crushing. You literally have to be better than those around you or you will lose out. You’ll miss out on that promotion. You’ll be cut when it’s time for the company to tighten its belt.

Likewise, if you don’t have high standards in the military, it could cost you your life. You need to think you’re the best and require those around you who are dropping the ball to step it up. A unit is only as good as its weakest link,

In short, I hope each of you reading this will no longer see a coworker or fellow squad member as being better than yourself. If you believe that, then you need to change your views. Change that mindset because it will cost you at some point, if it’s not already.

Once you’ve changed your mental beliefs, start stepping up your game. If you’re a civilian, dress nicer. Show up earlier. Stay later. Work on your attitude and watch who you’re hanging out with. If co-workers are complaining about the company, politely excuse yourself. Don’t allow that poison to infect yourself.

Think of the good things about the job. Make a list of ten things you enjoy about the job, even if it’s a struggle. Change your mindset, grow your gratitude, and rise to another level. And if you’ve outgrown your job, have the courage to begin looking for the next step in your career.

Keep pushing, my friend. We may not be Navy SEALs, but we don’t have to think they’re any better than us.

Keep pushing,

Stan R. Mitchell


Stan R. Mitchell, author and prior Marine, is best known for his Nick Woods Marine Sniper series, which has remained in the Top 100 on Amazon for more than three years. The series has also been picked up by for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story. Learn more at


Filed under Marine Corps, Motivation, My time in the Corps

Some outstanding motivation and wisdom worth reading on a regular basis

Hey, guys!

Thought I’d share something that might strike a cord with some of you.

This comes from the book “The Greatest Salesman in the World.” I personally try to read it about once a week or so, and while it’s about sales, you can replace the word “sales” with whatever you do (i.e. woodworking, painting, repairing, writing, etc.).

No matter what it is, if you can put love in your heart toward the work and customers/clients you are serving, you’re going to land higher and achieve more. Here’s the speech, which I’ve edited down and condensed (bold emphasis is my own):

  • Only principles endure, and good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure. Thus, the first law is I will form good habits and become their slave.
  • As I read these principles each day, I will begin to awake, each morning, with a vitality I have never known before. My vigor will increase, my enthusiasm will rise, my desire to meet the world will overcome every fear I once knew at sunrise, and I will be happier than I ever believed possible to be in a world full of strife and sorrow.
  • Soon, these actions and reactions will become easy to perform, for any act with practice becomes easy.
  • And when an act becomes easy through constant repetition, it becomes a pleasure to perform and if it is a pleasure to perform it is a man’s nature to perform it often.
  • Today, my old skin has become as dust. I will walk tall among men and they will know me not, for today I am a new man, with a new life.
  • When I am making sales, I will make love my greatest weapon, and none on whom I call can defend against its force. My reasoning they may counter; my speech they may distrust; my apparel they may disapprove; my face they may reject; and even my bargains may cause them suspicion; yet my love will melt all hearts just as the sun’s rays soften the coldest clay.
  • I will greet this day with love in my heart.
  • And how will I do this? Henceforth I will look on all things with love and I will be born again. I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. I will welcome happiness for it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul. I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge.
  • And how will I speak? I will laud mine enemies and they will become friends; I will encourage my friends and they will become brothers. Always I will dig for reasons to applaud; never will I scratch for excuses to gossip.
  • How will I react to others? With love. For just as love is my weapon to open the hearts of men, love is also my shield to repulse the arrows of hate and the spears of anger.
  • And how will I confront each person that I meet? In only one way. In silence and to myself I will address him and say I Love You. Though spoken in silence these words will shine in my eyes, unwrinkle my brow, bring a smile to my lips, and echo in my voice; and his heart will be opened. And who is there who will say nay to my goods when his heart feels my love?
  • I will cherish my body with cleanliness and moderation.
  • Never will I allow my heart to become small and bitter, rather I will share it and it will grow and warm the earth.
  • I will persist until I succeed.
  • With love I will increase my sales a hundredfold and become a great salesman. If I have no other qualities, I will succeed with love alone. Without it, I will fail though I possess all the knowledge and skills of the world.
  • I will greet this day with love and I will succeed.
  • I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd. I am a lion and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep. I will hear not those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious. Let them join the sheep. The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny.
  • The prizes of life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginning.
  • Always, I will take another step. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult.
  • Henceforth, I will consider each day’s effort as but one blow of my blade against a mighty oak. The first blow may cause not a tremor in the wood, nor the second, nor the third. Each blow, of itself, may be trifling, and seem of no consequence. Yet from childish swipes the oak will eventually tumble. So it will be with my efforts of today.
  • I will build my castle one brick at a time for I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking.
  • I will never consider defeat and I will remove from my vocabulary such words and phrases as quit, cannot, unable, impossible, out of the question, improbable, failure, unworkable, hopeless, and retreat; for they are the words of fools. I will avoid despair but if this disease of the mind should infect me, then I will work on despair. I will toil and I will endure.
  • I must fail often to succeed only once.
  • I will try, and try, and try again.
  • When each day is ended, not regarding whether it has been a success or failure, I will attempt to achieve one more sale.
  • I am nature’s greatest miracle. A hundredfold or more can I increase my accomplishments of yesterday and this I will do, beginning today.
  • I am here for a purpose, and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand.
  • I will practice, and improve, and polish the words I utter to sell my goods, for this is the foundation on which I will build my career and never will I forget that many have attained great wealth and success with only one sales talk, delivered with excellence. Also, I will seek constantly to improve my manners and graces, for they are the sugar to which all are attracted.
  • I will live this day as if it is my last. Yesterday is buried forever and I will think of it no more. Neither will I think of tomorrow. Why should I throw now after maybe? And why should I torment myself with problems that may never come to pass?
  • Each hour of this day will I cherish for it can never return. Each minute of this day will I grasp with both hands and cherish with love for its value is beyond price. What dying man can purchase another breath? What price dare I place on the hours ahead? I will make them priceless!
  • I will avoid with fury the killers of time. Procrastination I will destroy with action; doubt I will bury under faith; fear I will dismember with confidence.
  • Where there are idle hands, I will linger not; where there are idle bodies, I will visit not. From here on out, I know that to court idleness is to steal food, clothing, and warmth from those I love. I am not a thief. I am a man of love and today is my last chance to prove my love and my greatness.
  • Today I shall embrace my woman with sweet kisses; Today I shall lift up a friend in need; Today I shall make the best day of my life. I will drink every minute to its full. I will savor its taste and give thanks. I will make every hour count and each minute I will trade for something of value. I will labor harder than ever before and push my muscles until they cry for relief, and then I will continue. I will make more calls than ever before. I will sell more goods than ever before. I will earn more money than ever before. Each minute of today will be more fruitful than hours of yesterday. My last must be my best. I will live this day as if it is my last, for it is my last.
  • I make my own weather. If I bring rain and gloom and darkness to my customers, then they will react with rain and gloom and darkness.
  • Ignore your thoughts. Each day you awaken, before sadness, self-pity, or failure captures me, I will follow this plan of action:
    — If I feel depressed, I will sing.
    — If I feel sad, I will laugh.
    — If I feel ill, I will double my labor.
    — If I feel fear, I will plunge ahead.
    — If I feel inferior, I will wear new garments.
    — If I feel uncertain, I will think of wealth to come.
    — If I feel poverty, I will think of wealth to come.
    — If I feel incompetent, I will remember past success.
    — If I feel insignificant, I will remember my goals.
    — Today I will master my emotions.
  • Despair and sadness are easy to recognize, but these dangers approach without you noticing:
    – If I feel overconfident, I will recall my failures.
    – If I overindulge, I will think of past hungers.
    – If I feel complacency, I will remember my competition.
    – If I enjoy moments of greatness, I will remember moments of shame.
    – If I feel all powerful, I will try to stop the wind.
    – If I attain great wealth, I will remember one unfed mouth.
    – If I become overly proud, I will remember a moment of weakness.
    – If I feel my skill is unmatched, I will look at the stars.
  • No longer will I judge a man on one meeting; no longer will I fail to call again tomorrow on he who meets me with hate today.
  • I will laugh and my life will be lengthened, for this is the great secret of long life and now it is mine. I will laugh at my failures and they will vanish in clouds of new dreams.
  • Each day will be successful only when my smiles bring forth smiles from others and this I do in selfishness, for those on whom I frown are those who purchase not my goods.
  • Only with laughter and happiness can I truly become a success.
  • I have a choice. I will not let my life be fed to swine nor will I let it be ground under the rocks of failure and despair, only to be broken open and devoured by the will of others. Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold. And how will I accomplish this?
    — Today, I will set goals for the day, the week, the month, the year, and for my entire life.
    — Today, I will surpass every action I performed yesterday.
    — Today, I will do the work that a failure will not do.
    — Today, I will not be content with my performance in the market.
    — Today, I will strive to make the next hour better than this one.
    — Yet, never will I proclaim my own accomplishments. Let the world, instead, approach me with praise and may I have the wisdom to receive it in humility.
  • I will act now.
  • I will act now.
  • I will act now.
  • Only action determines my value in the marketplace and to multiply my value I must multiply my actions.
  • Tomorrow is the day reserved for the labor of the lazy. I am not lazy. Tomorrow is the day when the weak become strong. I am not weak. Tomorrow is the day when the failure will succeed. I am not a failure.
  • I hunger for success. I thirst for happiness and peace of mind. Lest I act, I will perish in a life of failure, misery, and sleepless nights.

Hope you guys got half as much from that as me! I’d suggest reading it on a regular basis and modifying it to suit your own industry or trade, so that you can read it as if it’s a daily or weekly mantra. (Maybe Monday before commuting to your job or Sunday night as you’re dreading going back to work?)

Here’s the link to the book again in case you’re interested in it: “The Greatest Salesman in the World.”

Keep pushing,

Stan R. Mitchell

P.S. Enjoy my writing or videos?! You can leave me a tip at this PayPal link. : )


Stan R. Mitchell, author and prior Marine, is best known for his Nick Woods Marine Sniper series, which has remained in the Top 100 on Amazon for more than three years. The series has also been picked up by for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story. Learn more at

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Filed under Faith in the world, Motivation