#1662 The First SOF Truth

People Are More Important than Hardware

As I was creating the last +1 on Freedom Isn’t Free, I went to the U.S. Special Operations Command website (SOCOM.mil) to grab a link I could share with you so you could learn more about the elite special forces command that plays such a vital role in protecting the freedoms on which our flourishing are so dependent.

When I went to the SOCOM website, I was pleasantly surprised to see a picture from the event I attended at the top of their web site. I happen to be in that picture. And, I happen to have that picture as the wallpaper on my Mac’s desktop as another reminder of the sacred work I am blessed to do with Heroic.

The following morning I clicked on the link that was at the top of the home page to an article entitled: “USSOCOM hosts 1st SOF Truth conference focusing on force health.”

I had seen SOCOM’s LinkedIn post on the event but didn’t realize they had written an article on the event. Nor did I realize that I happened to be quoted at the end of that article.

That’s what we’re going to talk about Today.


Quick context.

All 70,000 special forces operators (including all Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Marine Raiders, and Air Force special operators) and their command support personnel report to four-star General Bryan P. Fenton.

General Fenton was introduced to Heroic through a mutual friend and became a fan of our work. He invited me to give my talk on Resiliency.

This was a “First SOF Truth” event.

The First SOF Truth is as simple as it is powerful: “People are more important than hardware.”

I got goosebumps typing that.

Note: That is a truth in EVERY organization. The most elite organizations KNOW that their people are their most valuable assets and they invest in bringing out the best in those people to fulfill their missions.


In my presentation on Resiliency, I started by establishing the fact that we want to move past Resiliency to being ANTIFRAGILE—using life’s inevitable challenges as fuel to get stronger.

I talked about the fact that Nassim Taleb coined the word “antifragile” and I quoted him and the metaphor he uses to make his point.

Taleb tells us that the wind will EXTINGUISH a candle but that very same wind will FUEL a fire.

My talk was, essentially, all about how we can operationalize that wisdom as we embrace the First LIFE Truth that the ULTIMATE war isn’t external—it’s INTERNAL.

All of which brings us back to the article.

After recapping the wisdom shared by the other speakers, the article concludes by saying: “Finally, Brian Johnson founder and CEO of Heroic Public Benefit Corporation gave a briefing on how his company Heroic uses ancient philosophers’ wisdom to empower and strengthen the modern mind.

‘If people are more important than hardware, the ultimate war is internal [the mind], not external, and we win that war by learning how to flourish by putting our virtues in action,’ said Johnson. ‘Then we must train and measure that.’”

That’s Today’s +1.

Know this…

YOU (and your family and friends and colleagues and clients and…) are the most important part of our Mission to help create a world in which 51% of humanity is flourishing by the year 2051.

If we’re going to have a shot at fulfilling our Mission, we need YOU to close the gap and be your best self.