Recently a curious fellow asked me why I’ve begun to finish my rants with “Live hard. Love harder,” instead of my old favorite “Good.” Here’s the long way ‘round.

Friend, “distinct and deeply connected” is a catchy phrase. It’s meant to be. However, distinct and deeply connected is much more than words you mouth to sound cool or kinda all BTL, if you will. Distinct and deeply connected describes the kind of oneness we’re trying to build within ourselves, the individuals we build, and the teams we have the privilege of practicing with. You see, friend, we want you to become distinctly who God designed you to be and form deep connections with the teammates around you. The good life is found here – deep unity within and with others, a few others. Distinct and deeply connected describes real community, the kind you can’t imagine until you’re in it, the kind we’re building with each BTL client.

Distinct and deeply connected is never easy but it is worth the work.

So, friend, don’t get discouraged and tell yourself that you and your partner aren’t ever gonna get there. Instead, replace the childhood script with one from today. Remind yourself to keep working, keep putting forth a full effort, and that as long as you’re still breathing you’re good. That is why I used to end nearly every rant with the word “good.” You see, the SEAL’s use this word when they communicate with each other. When they ask another SEAL how he’s doing, the response is either good or silence. Their belief is that nothing is taking them out of the fight except death itself. So, in their mind, they’re always good. I use it as a reminder to me.

My personal mantra used to be two words – “keep working.” I whispered these to myself all the time and they kept me calm and kept me going. Since our little dog Teeks died I’ve changed my mantra for staying calm in the crucible. Instead of keep working, I tell myself to “Live hard. Love harder.” I thank little Teeks for modeling this way for me. He lived hard, in fact, he had a hard life from birth that scarred him for life. He got through it by learning to love harder and he loved hard. Once you registered in his directory, you became the object of his love. You couldn’t miss it. It softened and strengthened me (hard to believe, I know). So, my mantra has become the same. My aim is not to live any easier but instead to embrace living hard, going for it, and becoming who God intended me to be. So, my mantra has changed, it’s evolved. Good.

What’s your mantra, friend? The crucible comes whether we’re mentally, physically, or spiritually ready for it. Your mantra is meant to keep you steady when input from outside your control knocks you off your confident stride. Your mantra matters. Have you chosen what you tell yourself when overwhelmed in moments of truth? Have you become disciplined in beating back that little voice of negativity that’s so prominent in your head? Have you changed the way you talk to yourself so you live in more alignment with your deepest held beliefs? Are you doing the work ahead of time or just hoping to rise to the occasion instead? You choose. Your choices have consequences.

Live hard. Love harder, (Thanks, Teeks)…

2 thoughts on “Mantras…

  1. If I have a “mantra” while I’m praying, it’s probably “Full of Thee, freed of me.” (First verse on the inhale, second on the exhale). But what I say silently when the chips are down and times are tough and I need to summon some serious love and aid is this: “Holy Spirit, come inspire. Enlighten me with celestial fire.”

  2. Love your mantra Sully – sounds just like you. Thanks for sharing. Hope to share another slice of pie with you in Chicago soon…

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