Lessons From My Secret Life as a Navy SEAL

Lessons From My Secret Life as a Navy SEAL
Posted in: Featured, Inspirational Stories

“What is daddy’s job?”

“A Navy SEAL,” my son replied.

I smiled. My mom frowned. “You know, he’s going to tell people you’re a Navy SEAL. His teachers at school probably think you’re a Navy SEAL.”

I never thought about that. I was sharing my fantasy with our toddler. I wasn’t expecting that he’d share it with others. Maybe he told his teachers — not that his teachers or anyone in their right mind would look at me and think I’m a Navy Seal. That said, I decided I would put an end to our son saying I was a Navy SEAL — clearly I’m not, and it’s certainly not fair to the true heroes of our armed forces.

That said, I explained to my mom that every guy wants to be a Superhero and sometimes fantasizes about it. To me that could be Jack Bauer, a Navy SEAL or any number of folks. In the middle of boring meetings I’ve even imagined that I’d get called away to join my commando team on a mission that was actually important.

This was at a family dinner and my mother, brother, sister-in-law and father all told me I was crazy. Maybe you think like this when you’re 13 but not when you’re 40. They told me this wasn’t normal.(Although my dad did admit later that he sometimes thought it would be cool to be a super hero.)

So, I went around asking every guy I knew – people at work meetings, folks I met at parties, and anyone I bumped into. Like almost everyone, the principals of the digital agency Archer Group agreed. Unlike most people, we quickly started talking about what types of tights and capes they’d wear. (Who wouldn’t love working with these guys?)

I’m not planning to wear tights or a cape. And, I’ll continue to try to keep those dreams to myself (not to mention that dream about the Sports Illustrated models). But that doesn’t mean I can’t be a hero and impact someone’s life every day. We have an amazing power to make a difference, and we only need to do little things.

I can:

  • Find a way to do something nice every day. For example, help a neighbor carry in groceries or let someone cross the street in front of my car instead of zooming through the intersection.
  • Send a “thank you” note.
  • Call an old friend or family member I haven’t spoken to in a while to see how he is doing.
  • Volunteer. (Perhaps with a veterans nonprofit to help real heroes. For more information on this view my post with ideas for thanking veterans and soldiers.)
  • Help someone at work.
  • Smile and say “hello” to someone who looks like they’re having a bad day.
  • Really listen when my wife, or anyone for that matter, tells me something.

Have you been a superhero lately? What kind of superhero have you fantasized about becoming? For the ladies out there, do you feel this way too?

If you’re interested in making a difference, here are 80 Acts of Kindness that Will Make You an Everyday Hero.

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