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Entrepreneurial Lifestyle: Fighter Pilots and Navy Seals Mindset. Failure is not an option!

Updated: Feb 29



Failure is not an option
Fighter Pilots and NAvy Seals Mindset

However, failure is a need in the process of growth.


“Not failure but low aim is the crime, in great attempts, it is glorious even fail!” Bruce Lee

I dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot as I admire their tenancy to achieve success on every mission, and how they create that mindset but, above all, I wanted to know why and how they learn to trust each other. I found this attitude more particularly established in the military culture in the US Army (AF and Navy) something similar in the British Army, where later I knew that teaching/learning to trust each other is part of the magic that makes their success a fact.  Yes! Teamwork, they never leave one man behind, they watch each other six, and they never fly solo.

Even more, some of them who are working for private airlines said that is easier for them to communicate in the cockpit when both pilot and copilot are or were in the army, they speak the same language.


“If you want to understand something, take it to the extremes or examine its opposites.” John Boyd

This is only one of many things that caught my attention; failure is not an option! Each time I was researching about those warriors I always read or listened to that phrase from them, failure is not an option.


How are they taught to trust each other’s abilities and strengths or taught to teach others? How do they learn to compete with the enemy, not with their teammates?  This is key; they are taught to help to overcome their teammates’ weaknesses and reinforce each other’s strengths.


Then a few years ago, looking for answers I put myself on a bold mission, bold because the military is something we must take seriously. So, I started to look for elite fighter pilots and navy seals all over the world, allow me to tell you that this is how technology opens frontiers. I wanted to put all that wisdom in a book that I started to write and eventually, I stopped writing due to my psychology at that time, you know the internal game in which I am always working. I must admit I was feeling overwhelmed and defeated when I started that mission therefore, I wanted to know how or what they were doing that made them successful in the military and businesses. I thought that that book could not only help me but also help more people who were crossing overwhelming valleys in their lives.


I must share that I got outstanding outcomes interviewing and exchanging lines with those warriors besides the trust and friendship of some of them, I grew up emotionally, and I got positive points for my internal game, which today helped me to get out almost emotionally untouched from a business investment failure, that I shared on a previous blog post with the title   -Everyone wants to learn how to win, but no one wants to learn how to accept defeat.  Business Pivot-


Unfortunately, I couldn’t connect successfully with any Navy Seal, well this is embarrassing but I made a connection with one strong and brave Navy Seal who owns the Purple Heart medal, but he scared me as he wanted to meet me in person first before answering any interview saying; you are attractive and smart, I will travel to your country to meet you and then we´ll see. That was bold but he never asked if I agreed with that strategy and he didn't open any other possibility, so he closed the door completely.  Then I won't say the fighter pilots are cooler but they were, I will say, more open to cooperating with the cause. I won't say either that was easier to connect with fighter pilots because it wasn’t and Thor won't allow me to lie, I tried many, more than many times to connect with him here on LinkedIn as much as that the platform sent me a warning to cancel my account by harassment.  But something that characterizes me is persistence, so I finally earned Thor´s trust.


I wanted to know the fighter pilots' and navy seals' mindsets about failure, I found the opportunity and I asked Joel "Thor" Neeb if I could share his point of view posted on his social media.


I will give up on the turn to him, then briefly, I will share that I met the Lieutenant Colonel - Chief Instructor Pilot Joel "Thor" Neeb throughout the cyber world when he was the CEO at Afterburner now Thor is VP, Execution and Transformation, Office of the CEO at VMware 


VMware is a leader in cloud infrastructure, it offers cross-cloud services: an integrated portfolio of SaaS solutions that provides a consistent approach to build, deploy, manage, connect, and secure apps across all your clouds.


It is fantastic how the correct mindset (your inner world) added to the 20% (what you do on the outside) can make you successful in whatever you do! Joel "Thor" Neeb is a successful leader and survivor, so I recommend you pay close attention to his lines.



Fear was a common part of my training to be a fighter pilot, but this was different. If I couldn’t stay awake in the jet under high G-forces, it didn’t matter how good of a pilot I was. I would crash and die, like some of my friends already had.


I feared leaving my family behind, I feared the prospect of letting my wingmen down in combat someday if I couldn’t conquer this.


I was afraid. And I kept failing.


It hung like a cloud over my flights, and it would even haunt my dreams.


I remember one time waking up from a nightmare, my arms thrusting out in the dark, grabbing for fight controls in case I was waking up in the jet, and I had seconds to save myself from impacting the ground.


But I persevered. And I practiced and trained. And little by little I improved. Until I finally passed the test.


We don’t love failure, we don’t “embrace it” But we have learned to accept it. I know that if I am not failing, I haven’t explored the boundaries of what I am capable of.

Elite teams don’t try to brush failure under the rug. They inspect failure for the lesson and move on, wiser from the experience.


I wish we could all see failure for what it really is a - necessary milestone on our path to greatness-


Don’t hide from your failures. Use the lesson of failures to fuel your life´s adventure.




You can find this and more about Thor´s insight on his social media. Here is the link to this specific insight where you can watch the impressive video of his training as a fighter pilot. Additionally, I will mention that he and one of his best fighter pilot friends together they wrote a bestseller book: Survivor´s Obligation: Navigating and Intentional Life, which I highly recommend, whit this book you can learn about the second chance that will inspire you to face whatever circumstances life brings to your way as it summary says.


Then, I will share that finally! I understood the powerful meaning of that phrase that the USAF teaches.

Failure is not an option!

As failure is not a choice like success is, therefore is simply another step on the way to success. Learning this and having it in mind, will help you to manage failure throughout your path.

In The School of Your Pass for a Better You, we teach a class on self-consciousness or awareness of self, which dramatically increases your effectiveness in working on your weaknesses.


What is the action you know you must do but you fear failure? What are you willing to do to make that fear of failure a lesson learned? Or maybe you must ask yourself this question: Do I fear failure, or do I fear success?


To be or to do, which way will you go? John Boyd 

If you are interested in reading more about Entrepreneurial Life Insights, you can visit my podcast “Your Pass for a Better You” which is coming soon, and my blog “The Alpha Blog”.


The School of Your Pass for a Better You is currently closed for enrollment, but you can enter your information HERE or share our link with a friend, to get on the waitlist and be notified when doors open again.


Strength and honor!


See you in the arena...



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