I have a good friend named John Whittaker who is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps. He told me a story that illustrates the power of beliefs and how they dictate and drive our actions, and it is a story that I have never been able to forget.
“When I was in the Marines I decided to go to Jump School to learn how to parachute out of airplanes. Interestingly, the government sends Marines to Fort Benning, Georgia to an Army Jump School. One night everyone was out at the bar having a few drinks and one marine bumped into an army ranger and spilled his beer. Words were exchanged and they squared off and began to fight. The marine was a lot smaller than the ranger and for the first two rounds of the fight it looked like the marine had no chance. But then when it looked like it couldn’t get any worse for the young marine, he jumped up, kicked the ranger in the groin as hard as he could, grabbed him with both hands, bit the ranger’s nose off and spit it on the floor. (Yes, I said he bit his nose off) This ended the fight. Someone grabbed the nose, packed it in ice and took the ranger to the hospital to have his nose stitched back on.
Obviously the Army was upset and wanted to see this young man court marshaled, but when the prosecuting attorney interviewed the marine he asked, ‘Why in the world did you do that?’
The Marine simply replied ‘Marines do not lose fights to Rangers.’ ”
His belief level in the Marine Corps was so strong that it drove him to victory in that fight. The interesting thing about beliefs is that they can create and destroy. In the case of the young marine, (while graphic) his beliefs were strong and drove him to victory.
The same is true with our beliefs – they drive us forward or hold us back.
To get a free copy of The Audio Program – The Power of Belief – go to www.leadershipinc.com/gift