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What Fuels Your Life

Fear, and Love are just a few of the things that fuel our Lives. I was thinking about this while filling up my
car the other day. I have always had a
love for American muscle cars. At 36
years old, I finally bought myself one early this year. I always put 91 Octane into the tank of my “fast car” as my daughters call it. Not because it is the most expensive but
because it is a much cleaner burning fuel than the other options available and
I want my cars engine to run strong and last.
In reality, I want to take great care of it. As I was staring at the different octanes
that I could choose from, 83, 87, and 91, I started to think about the
similarities between the different gasoline options and the emotions, thoughts
and habits that fuel my success and failures.
I continued to ponder this correlation the next couple days and my
thoughts grew from just what fueled my success and failures into a much larger
body, my life. What fuels me? The decisions I make, the way I treat people and
how I spend my limited time.

If I am being completely honest,
unlike with my muscle car I often pour different grades of fuel into my
personal tank. I have been known to run
at times on pure anger, anxiety, and very often fear. Sometimes I will even mix a little vanity and
pride into the mixture. I have found
that fear is one of my “go to” fuels. When I started training to become a SEAL I was
aware that many friends and some family had started to set low expectations for
me and what I would become. I hadn’t
given them any reason to think otherwise.
I was afraid that I wouldn’t amount to anything. I have found FEAR to very powerful and even
effective in helping my achieve goals.
The bad part about using fear as a tool is that it’s no way to live and it’s
impossible to enjoy the ride when you’re constantly afraid.

One of my other favorite, lesser octane fuels that I run on
is PRIDE. My parents taught me when I
was young that pride comes before a fall.
I try hard to keep myself in check but often find myself thinking, “Did
that person just say that to me” “They
better recognize.” When I take a step
back and realize what I’m doing and that I’m running on the wrong fuel, with
the wrong motives and intentions I will try to get back on track, re-calibrate
and fill up with clean burning, long lasting fuel like Love. This is probably got some of you that know me
laughing out loud. I am definitely not
your Kumbaya singing, dread lock wearing, hippy type that goes around giving hugs
and chaining myself to trees. To those
same people that actually know me. They
understand that my real success, drive and motivation are rooted in a love for God,
family and country.

Many of these other fuels that we
use on a daily basis like fear, pride, vanity, etc.… can in fact keep our
engines going and keep us moving but just like the lesser octane fuels in our
vehicles the impurities that lay within their very makeup will build up and
ruin your engine. You might be asking
yourself. How do I fill my personal tank
with love? Though the concept is pretty simple, carrying this out in our daily
lives can prove to be very difficult. I
know from experience. If you choose to make love the foundation of your goals
and relationships you will find that you will be able to pursue them and be
much more resilient in the inevitable face of adversity. It usually starts with a question and some
honesty. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing
this?” As I write this blog I am in the
middle of a tough couple weeks. I
recently lost a very good friend and former team mate Charles Keating. Chuck, as we called him was fighting ISIS
when he was killed. Another good friend
and young man I had mentored was there during the battle when Chuck was
killed. He was able to call me shortly
after. I cautioned him to rely less on
anger and hatred moving forward with the deployment and focus his emotions more
on Love. Love for his platoon mates,
Love for his country etc. I have
learned from experience that Love is so much stronger than these other
fuels. In the Bible within Corinthians
it spells this out for us. Cor 13:13 and now
these three things remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. Hate and Revenge can drive a warrior for a
very long time but in the end it always leads them to the same place it leads
the rest of us. Brokenness.

When I think long and hard about it, my WHY always needs to
boil down to love. I love my family and
won’t allow them to suffer or be deprived of a good life and freedom. I love my children and want them to have good
examples and role models to look back on when they encounter difficult times. I love this country and by serving in the
military and manufacturing my products here in the USA I can support the land I
love. I love my parents and want them to
be proud of me and see that maybe I did listen to a couple of the lessons they
must have thought to be futile. I also
love many of our team members here at work (except for Chris R. and Gregg) and
want them to be able to support themselves, their families and know that their
work here supports something bigger than us all. I love the fact that I get to be an American
and wake up every day and try to be a better husband, dad and business
owner. When I look back I sometimes
shake my head at how foolish and ignorant I have been about so many
things. I will always be my biggest
critic. That’s a full time job in
itself! I can only hope as I get older
that Love becomes the “Go to” fuel in my personal life and that the other
octanes will stay at the pump where they belong.

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