Alright. Hey, everybody. Welcome back to another YouSchool podcast. I'm Scott Schimmel. And we are working through what we call the critical questions about life, the 30 most important questions that everyone has to answer in order to put together a life that's well lived. And part of the challenge and all this, I challenge you to look at these lists of questions which you can download easily in the show notes, and try to pull one off and say, You know what, I don't think that question is important that today, we're going to talk about everyone's favorite topic, failure. I'm totally kidding. Because most people don't like talking about failure. That's not something you typically bring up in a normal conversation. Tell me about the times that you failed. But when I thought of all the people I know, who have failed miserably. I couldn't think of anybody. But I thought of Diego, as a friend of mine, who has a unique perspective on failure. I'm not saying you've failed Diego, but I'm sure you have like I have, right. Oh. So what I what I want to do is, is really share some thoughts with you, Diego, some common ideas about failure, get your reactions. But before we do that, would you just introduce yourself to the folks who are listening?
Yeah, thank you, Scott. So you're right. We are buddies. We've been buddies since the Honor Foundation back in when I went through in 2017. And man, your personal story about your just your interaction with your family and colorblind in the class. I mean, that literally shifted my life. I think I told you, I wanted to start a company just called glowing planet from you, just from your story. I mean, you just you've always had such a huge impact on me. And I mean, I love you do. So man. Thank you for this. So yeah, I returned out of the SEAL teams back in 2018, after 20 years in one day. And then yeah, made it just just crossed the finish line. Yeah. And then. Yeah, through the Honor Foundation, which for those that don't know, it's a nonprofit organization that helps special operations folks transition from the military to the civilian world. And the question was posed, and if you do anything in the world, what would it be? And so what we decided was to start the Trident approach, which is our answer to the most common question we got, while we're active duty in the SEAL teams, which is how is it that you communicate and work so well together? So we built a curriculum off of that. And since 2018, we've been mentoring people, teams, organizations, and even athletic teams, on just a different way to look at culture teams leadership trust, and you really digging into the deepest parts of the self. So that's what we do now. We love what we do. And yeah, that's
awesome. So let me share with you some common thoughts about failure, and almost like rapid fire, whatever comes to mind, I'm interested in because this first one is, is really broad, we're gonna go really broad and get specific. But I'm going to share something that's that's probably not a conscious thought that most people have. But it's a subconscious thought. And that is this, that failure is bad. So how, how do you think about failure? If I say, failures, bad?
That's okay. If I understand fully why people think that failure is bad. But there is another way to look at it. In almost Well, every time I've ever failed when I look back at it, I mean, sometimes it takes years, sometimes it only takes a couple of minutes. It's like, whoa, thank God for that failure. Because things just would not have turned out the way they otherwise would have. You know, if you didn't fail, I mean, that's where Lessons Learned come from. That's where, you know, scars come from. That's where all of this life experience comes from. I don't see failures, as bad at all anymore. In fact, it's something that I look to like, wow, this is opportunity, like this could be the path. You know,
that's where I see when, when people experience failure, and so much of our focus is on young people, kids students. One lesson I think that people often get after they've failed, and maybe that failure is in sports or in school or you got fired those kinds of failures. What I've seen, and I've been tempted to do this as well, failure often lead someone to give up. And I'm curious how you think about failure in that way, like, do you think of it as time to stop moving towards that? How do you how do you think about it?
Maybe. So it takes people, most people about six months to make it through SEAL training, it took me 10 years to make it through. And it took me twice, wow. I went through when I was 20. And I mean, even just getting to SEAL training, like I failed everything on the way up, even the entrance testing to even to get in the military, to the physical screening test to all these, like all these checks and balances, I failed everything. And, but it was just something I wanted. And so I continued to go and I finally made it. And I made it there for months of boats and running and soft sand and freezing and all that stuff. And I couldn't run fast enough. And so they say you're not welcome here anymore. So they threw me out. And so for the next eight years, I had like these really terrible dreams, eight, minimum three times a month about not making it through. So finally, I was like, I gotta go back. And so, you know, I lost 70 pounds, I got my self back into shape. I knew what I was getting into this time, and I went back. And even though I separated my shoulder halfway through training, I was able to finally, finally finally make it. But I can just, I can just say that if it wasn't for that, because it would have just been given to me in a way, even though I would have been going through all the process. But no one could, in this and most importantly, myself couldn't ever turn around and say, you know, you didn't learn this. I have done things in the past where I just somehow made it through the other side. And like, whoa, isn't that bad. And I don't even remember what those things are, they kind of don't matter. But I remember the ones that I had to fight for and claw for because it it taught me all kinds of things, but mostly about myself and things that I didn't understand about myself. So when people think about when they fail about quitting, I mean, fair enough. I mean, who, you know, that maybe aside from God saying, Hey, man, this isn't the way for you. But maybe it's like, hey, you know, you need to learn a little bit. You need to grow a little bit more before this actually is something that is for you. I mean, who knows? The question, I think that I would ask myself is not so much of, you know, especially in the moment of failing is, you know, what does this mean? is just being curious, what is this? You know, what is this about? Because it's, you know, there are things that Thank God, I didn't actually continue pursuing. Even though you know what I mean, I'm it could be anything. So, it's just being curious and not tricking yourself into thinking that you actually know anything. And that was a hard lesson for me as well, the day that I or the moment that I really learned, like, crap, I don't know anything. So now that I understand that, I don't know anything. I don't have to worry about it.
Reminds me of right now, there's a lot of college, college applications coming out. And admissions and students are finding out high school seniors are finding out you didn't get in, you didn't get into the school. And it's this really bizarre experience that a lot of students have read they didn't get in, but someone else did. And then you start seeing these things on social media and it feels like failure and it feels humiliating. I think what you were sharing reminds me of that you I'm sure people in your life knew you're going to buds and you didn't make it. I'm just curious about those eight years, how did you handle the associated feelings of humiliation that come from failure?
I got really close and personal and intimate with shame. It became part of who I thought that I was in this world. Somehow always, you know, especially with family or friends at a party would somehow get out like oh, yeah, Diego was at SEAL training and oh, well yeah. And then I looked at then making and but that was all valuable because after this because it went well past the eight years even if I had become so aligned and integrated with with shame, that even when I made it through SEAL training, it was like wow, didn't do as good as some guys. And and it just went on and on and on and on until I'm not kidding about five years ago. I'm like, What is this? So I had this whole A huge successful career being in combat save lives. I did all the stuff that people think about with Navy SEALs, and I was still completely just Yeah, but it was. So when I learned what that actually was, what it was within me, and that it was just trying to teach me to no longer be ashamed. That was a really special moment, where I could just drop shame off, like a backpack after a long hike, you know, just like, I'm all good. I'm just being human. And I'm experiencing this life like I'm supposed to, and everything is okay. Not like what I think is
this huge, horrible
thing. A lot of just to add on to that, especially about the rejection, because my daughter just went through that whole process herself. is when people my whole story about you know, becoming a seal probably takes about two hours to tell. It's this whole thing. And one of the coolest moments is I was talking to a kid, some kids at a it's at a cancer recovery camp was they asked me how old I was when I finally made it. And I was like, I was 30 years old. And they were like, what? And in that moment, I could see in their faces. Because they were 14. I could see in their faces, like, oh, like, I got all kinds of time to screw this. I'm like, Yeah, you do. And not only that, I hardly I mean, there's parts about being a seal that I hardly remember those. And now it's on to the Triton approach, and how do I you know, how do I help other people like, it just these things that become so important? Because they are in the moment they are. But even over time, you know, you're gonna grow and learn as a person and develop and everything and whatever you college you did or didn't get accepted to? You may not even remember that. And so yeah,
I think it's interesting how oftentimes we, we categorize failure, in comparison to other people, and you being a Navy SEAL. And just as you share, like, you didn't feel like you were that good, or, you know, in comparison to the other navy seals around you, where the rest of the world like me, you and think, oh my gosh, what have I done? I don't know how you necessarily think that through. Because we have these, you know, categories of how we're doing or not doing or what success means. And doesn't mean, I just maybe maybe speak to that a little bit.
This is a very, very hard concept. And I fully understand that all I'm going to be doing right now is just planting seeds. But the key is not to think what what most of us are doing is thinking with our ego mind, or the almost the smallest part of us were like this divine connection to who we actually are, you know, who we are after, before and after we die. And the best way I get I guess I can explain that as if you've ever been in an open casket funeral, you're looking I don't know who or what that is in the casket. But that's not changing. Whatever is missing is what makes us who we are, when you learn to communicate and be in the space with whatever that is. Some people call it God. Some people call it your soul. Some people call your spirit, whatever you want to call it. That's what you listen to. But when you're specifically sitting down and deliberately trying to problem solve, from this state of awareness, that's what I meant earlier, like, we don't know anything, what my thinking mind is completely interact with prejudice, bias, misinformation, like, I don't want to look at these things. So this is going to be my new reality kind of stuff. Like that's what the thinking mind goes through. So when you try to problem solve, and peel away these, these layers of what truth can actually be from a place that maybe is not even possible to actually see truth for what it is. I mean, that just sends you down this crazy rabbit hole and and you can be completely fixated on something that isn't even sitting, for example, comparing yourself to somebody who made it in and you're like, but I got better grades, and I had more community service and all that kind of stuff. I mean, you're just going down this thing that doesn't even exist. So it's, I fully understand that, you know, some of the people were like, What are you talking about? Talking about just planted a little seed, just put some water in there and maybe in your time that flower will bloom and you'll be like, Why am I thinking about this? This is it It's almost crazy. Just let it be. Yeah. It's not really Yeah, it is. And it feels like there's nothing more real than that. It's not
real. As, as a dad, how have you helped your kid? Process failure? How do you what kinds of things have you said? Or how do you navigate through that? Because I think a real temptation of parents is to, of course, protect your kids from failure. That's awful. You don't want them to feel like that. You don't want them to feel the shame that you felt like So how have you handled it?
I want, I wanted her to feel shame. I wanted her to feel failure, because the only way that I could get out of it was by knowing for myself what that was. If my dad told me not to be ashamed, am I okay? I'm not going to be ashamed of myself. And then there goes the narrative of something that's not real. I'm trying to lie to myself, like I don't feel ashamed. I'm not ashamed of myself. This doesn't bother me. Like it, there's, that's where we start to learn how to compartmentalize and shove down deep these things that we need to be vulnerable to, and accept and face. So one of my favorite stories is a dad was I was back in like, 2006 or so I was digging through my attic. And I happen to find my second grade workbook. And I opened it up, and I was flipping through the pages. And there were just all these red marks everywhere. And I remember reading this sentences of what color was selling shoes, and I wrote for, and I was like, Oh, my God, how did you make it at a second grade? Like, because I struggled greatly in school, school was not a good time, or a good place. For me, it was not good. And it just so happened, that my daughter was at the time in second grade as well. And she came home from school and I kind of opened up her book bag, and I looked at her workbook, and there was no red marks anywhere. And if it asked her what color Sally shoes were Is it blue, and I was like, and she walked in the room. And I was like, I'm so grateful, you're not going to have to struggle the way that I did in school. And I kissed her on the forehead, and I walked out of the room thinking that I did a good job as a dad. Well, when 2022 All those years later, we're driving down the road and my daughter looks at me said, Hey, Dad, remember that conversation we had when I was a second grade? I was like, Yeah. And she said, Well, you didn't say this. But what I heard was, I didn't have an excuse not to do well in school. And so she commenced from that day on to absolutely crush herself to get straight A's. And she did, since she was a junior in high school, she was taking college courses and all this stuff. And there were two really profound things like, like, literally overcame me in that moment. One was, I recognize that she learned for herself at a very early age, that she's not her thoughts that her thoughts can take her all kinds of places that don't even exist. I I never said that. I don't mean that I don't even care about that. But that's where she took herself. But the other thing that was really overwhelming to me in that moment was Don't worry about getting it right, because she can't go wrong. And, and where that comes from was, you know, I had this specific intention of communicating this message to her that she wasn't it was a whole another planet of what she got. But with her taking it in the way that she did, she learned a lesson that I could never have told her, just by my words she you know, she learned like I said for herself, something that some people go their entire lives without learning that she's not her thoughts. And so what might have on the surface looked like this terrible incident of you know, this 12 years of just straight self torture and anguish and pain was really like her stepping her path towards liberation from her mind. Which is huge. So, yeah, don't worry about getting it right. Because you can't go wrong. I could never have strategized to be like okay, how do I get her to understand that she's not? I mean, I would have failed miserably of course don't worry nature's got it God's got it, nature's got it. It will take care of itself you don't have to worry about it to do just roll down the windows kick back the chair and see what happens you know,
at your point in life now, this is kind of the final question. What What would you consider failure what is what is failure to you now?
To me, I see it as like a trailhead towards where I can go. It doesn't slow me Down is, because I've shifted my thinking from expectation to curiosity. Like, if I expect that, you know, I'm gonna apply to USC, and I'm gonna get it into USC and USC rejects me, it's just like, but if I apply to USC and say, Hey, I'm wonderful, I'll get in, and I don't get in like, not didn't get in there. But if I get into, like, Oh, my God, and you know, so I really shifting from expectation to curiosity has really, really helped. But also where I do fail is not a place that I run from, or if I can, you know, kind of intermingle fear and failure in the same way, it's like, that's where I need to go. Just continuing to pursue again, without expectation, but more with a curious mind, will, it just, the mileage is a lot less harsh. And things become a lot more gentler. And like these huge crashing, you know, letters of defeat can literally turn into just points of information that you either take, or you don't, and you just move on.
I love that that's such a gift to me that perspective. And hopefully for you listening to you that idea of being curious about failure, if that's you, and you're listening, you're you're an adult, you're not done yet reflecting on your past failures, let's be curious about them. And what a gift that would be to the kids in your life, the students in your life, for them to see you do that, to see you have that mindset. And then to have that same approach with them, when you ask them about things that they expect, and that you would have a posture of curiosity with them, too. So anyways, take a thanks. Thanks for being a part of this. Thanks for your friendship. And this is I mean, this level of conversation, like you said, may it plant seeds, as people listen. So thank you for that. Give. Thanks for your friendship. And we'll be back next week with another episode of The YouSchool podcast.
We're taking the mystery out of building a meaningful life with a step by step roadmap. In school, you're taught everything under the sun, and algebra, it's our history to aerodynamics, but you're not taught how to understand yourself. Or given the tools to make sense of all the questions life throws your way. Without it, most people will take the path of least resistance, hoping it all just works out Sunday. That's why the YouSchool is here. for over 10 years, we've been specializing in designing transformative curriculum and learning environments to guide people through life's transitions to find, define and unleash great stories with their lives. You only get one life. You only get one story. Make sure it's the right one.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai