9 Thoughts for Farmers from Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell

Marcus Luttrell says he’s never been the strongest, the fastest, or the smartest. Instead, at the bottom of each page of his Navy Seal journal he wrote, “Work harder than everybody else.” That’s a philosophy that has helped him get through many life-threatening challenges, including Operation Redwing in Afghanistan, of which he was the lone survivor. A book and movie, each titled Lone Survivor, have been created based on his service.

Luttrell captivated an audience of farmers for nearly two hours at Farmer Business Network’s recent Farmer 2 Farmer conference. While the Texas native shared his harrowing experiences and recounted the lessons he has learned over his career, he offered some key points for farmers facing adversity.

  • Discipline results in respect. Luttrell recalls his father telling him and his twin brother, Morgan, “I’m going to give you discipline, and through that, you’re going to gain respect – respect for yourself and respect for other people. The only time you ever lose your respect is when you lose your discipline. You’re the only one who can throw that away.”
  • Hard times are necessary. “If you had to write out your story, would it all be good times? No. You can’t even measure a good time if you haven’t had a bad one.”
  • Discipline trumps patience. “When people get into a bad situation, when the pressure goes on, the patience goes off. What I have is discipline. Discipline to stay in one spot for however long. Discipline to take that pain for however long. That only comes from time in service, which means life. That’s how you get that.”
  • You are unique. “Each human is designed differently. Everyone is unique. Every one of you has something inside of you that’s completely unique to yourself.”
  • Who surrounds you? “You need to look at yourself as a blade. As you go through life, everybody around you are stones. They’re either going to sharpen you, polish you, or dull you out.”
  • Listen to your fear. “There’s a difference between being afraid and having fear. Fear is the fuel for your willpower. That’s what drives you in the direction you need to go. If you come up on something and it kind of gives you the heebie jeebies, the fear, you need to look at it. That’s your body telling you to check it out.”
  • Take time to understand people. “A lot of people walk around somebody for the first time and they’ll see something that aggravates them or they don’t like. Instead of just getting through that and understanding it, they just kind of walk away. You know, each person you run into is designed to unlock one thing inside of you that nobody else can. If you don’t take time to see what that is, you might miss something.”
  • Perspective for hard days. “There really are no bad days down here. Just hard ones. Just ones you’re not trained for. The more times you re-enter the game, the more proficient you get at it.”
  • Don’t be afraid of mistakes. “The only time you’re going to make a mistake is when you’re out there trying. Don’t think because you’re doing this, that something somewhere else is greener or better. It’s not. Go after that thing that starts as nothing, then a little flame that goes red, and then it turns blue to where you can’t even slow down.”
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