#1660 Wisdom from ANOTHER Bull Frog

Vice Admiral Szymanski on Resiliency

In our last +1, we took a quick look at the 18 military aphorisms that form the basis of Admiral William H. McRaven’s great book The Wisdom of the Bullfrog.

(Recall: The “Bull Frog” is the longest-serving Navy SEAL on active duty.)

We’ll talk about a few of my favorite Ideas from McRaven’s book in a moment.

Today I want to chat about wisdom I was blessed to receive from another one of the most recent Bull Frogs.


A little context…

Admiral McRaven retired as the four-star admiral commanding the U.S. Special Operations Forces.

The current four-star general commanding the U.S Special Operations Forces is another one of my heroes and favorite people on the planet: General Bryan P. Fenton.

I was deeply honored to receive an invitation from GEN Fenton and his team to present at a recent USSOCOM First SOF Truth event on Resiliency.

(Learn more on LinkedIn here and on Heroic here.)

(Note: The “First SOF Truth” is that PEOPLE are more important than hardware.)


I gave my presentation just a few days before creating my Note on McRaven’s The Wisdom of the Bullfrog.


As it turns out, while I had the privilege of spending time with USSOCOM’s commanding officers, I also had the opportunity to spend time with one of the most recent “Bull Frogs”: Vice Admiral Tim Szymanski who retired as the Deputy Commander of SOCOM.

Today I want to chat about some of the wisdom I learned from THAT wise Bull Frog.


I must say that being in the presence of these Heroic protectors was deeply humbling and equally inspiring.



Although it is very easy to take the freedoms we enjoy for granted, I do not. It is because of the sacrifices of these brave men and women (and their families!) that we have the opportunity to flourish.

Serving the Force and their Families to repay our debt to them is a sacred honor and one that I am fiercely committed to fulfilling at the highest possible level.


The First SOF Truth event I was honored to participate in was focused on optimizing the mental/brain health of these elite warriors.

Vice Admiral Tim Szymanski spoke on a range of issues.

One of his gems jumped out and tattooed itself on my consciousness and made its way onto one of my TEN pages of notes from the day.

VADM Szymanski said that “resiliency is being tough in the moment—every moment.”

I started my talk at the end of the day (on Resiliency!) by referencing his definition of resiliency.

Then I extended his definition to include our idea of ANTIFRAGILITY by saying that we need to be tough in the moment, every moment… ESPECIALLY when we don’t *feel* like it.

The worse we feel, the more committed we are to our protocol.


That’s Today’s +1.

Remember the wisdom from the Bull Frog.

Here’s to your antifragile resiliency.

Let’s practice our philosophy.

Let’s be tough in the moment.

Every moment.


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