CHAPTER 9Continually Improve Your Situation

The goal of the decisions that you make should be to improve your current situation as much as possible. That’s an obvious statement if I am choosing what to eat for dinner, but most decisions are a bit grayer. For instance, after my back surgery, I took pain medication for a few weeks. I’m glad that we live in a time that medications are available for intense pain. Less than a month after my surgery I decided to get off painkillers despite the doctor telling me that he would give me enough for two additional months if I wanted them. I chose to avoid chemical addiction because turning one problem into two seemed like a bad idea. Taking pain meds would make me feel better, but my situation would not have improved at all were I to become addicted to opioids.

Sometimes these decisions are obvious, but sometimes it is hard to see which choice will have the optimal outcome. Other times we don’t have many options available to us. This is a story about having to choose between horrible and terrible. Now that you know my mentor and platoon chief Jim, I want to share a story about when I had to make a decision that would determine his fate.

The SEAL Delivery Vehicle

In the final weeks of BUD/S, students eagerly await orders to their first SEAL team. The BUD/S student receives his orders when he has been away from his family for a month of training. That happens off the coast of Southern California. I would imagine that they do this so that ...

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