In life, we often encounter challenges that test our physical and mental limits, whether we are facing difficulties, embarking on daring expeditions, pursuing academic achievements, or striving for personal goals. When I attempted Special Forces selection, I had prepared for a year both physically and mentally as best as possible, for what is arguably one of the toughest selection processes in the world. When I was on the start line of selection, I could put my hand on my heart to say that I had prepared the best as possible. I was hoping this was enough. But actually I had a hidden ‘joker’ up my sleeve, something I didn’t realise, I had the HUNGER. Hunger is a strong desire, a burning motivation that propels us forward, pushing us beyond our limits to achieve greatness.
This turbo charged me with super motivation and desire. I knew where I wanted to be, for me it was all or nothing really. This drove me through everything that was thrown at me and believe me they throw everything at you! Don’t get me wrong, I still had my down days and I had to fight the ‘demons’ that attacked me with my negative thoughts; these can spiral out of control if you’re not careful.
Fast forward 10 years later and the roles were reversed. I was now the Instructor preparing those who wanted to attempt selection. My role was to help prepare volunteers physically and mentally, providing relevant advice and support, identifying their strengths and weaknesses, where they were empowered to go away and work on them. Ultimately they had to do it themselves, this is what it’s all about volunteering to become an SF Soldier.
What I saw out of the many hundreds of guys I had helped train was those who had prepared well (physically and mentally), who were resilient (had pushed themselves through their training in all weathers, being uncomfortable), and most importantly they had the HUNGER, had better chances of success. Among them, I noticed a pattern—the ones who have prepared diligently, demonstrated resilience by pushing themselves in adverse conditions, and possess the HUNGER have a distinct advantage. These individuals stand a better chance of success because they understand the true essence of HUNGER and they also know why and understand what HUNGER is all about.
It was the same for my polar expeditions, reaching the North and South Poles, I had the HUNGER. It was the same for my academic challenge in attaining my Masters’ degree, becoming a state registered paramedic, and again everything else I have decided to undertake.
I had the HUNGER to do it.
The power of HUNGER extends beyond military endeavors. It permeates all aspects of life. You hear this from sports professionals, film stars, Olympians in them achieving their goals, whether winning that medal, starring in that film etc. In fact, you just have to watch the recent NETFLIX series from Arnold Schwarzenegger where he actually mentions ‘HUNGER’! It works! But you don’t have to be a film star or elite professional this can be YOU!
When the chips are down and your mind is saying why? No need? The difference between success and failure or even SURVIVAL could be having the HUNGER that drives you and keeps YOU alive!
Without HUNGER, physical fitness and mental fortitude alone may not be enough to ensure success or guarantee your survival in challenging circumstances.
HUNGER is your vision, it picks you up and drives you through those physical and mental challenges regardless of how long the journey is…
But, where does that HUNGER come from?
This is something you need to find out for yourself, but it comes from within; it comes from your own values and beliefs. Ask yourself what is motivating you to do what you are doing? Where do you see or visualise yourself?
- YOU will not give in.
- YOU will do your BEST.
- How much do you want this?
- YOU need to train, prepare well for that arena.
- YOU need that recipe for success, that ‘P.E.S.T.O.’ This will give you confidence and that belief, a belief that YOU CAN REALLY DO THIS!
With all of this combined, it will provide you with the HUNGER!
HUNGER makes you different from those who don’t have hunger- It can lead to SUCCESS! That is not to say you won’t fail, but you need to learn from those failures, picking yourself back up, learning from this, and let the HUNGER drive you again and again to get back up, step by step, and reach your vision.
As you go on your own journey, I leave you with these words of encouragement: Embrace the HUNGER within you. Let it be the driving force that propels you to heights you never thought possible. Nurture it, feed it, and allow it to guide you through the toughest of challenges. And most importantly, never forget that you hold the power to turn your aspirations into reality.
So, as your life continues, you will face challenges and that’s normal. Arm these challenges with your HUNGER. May it be the reason that fuels your success and helps you overcome any struggles that come your way.
Embrace the power of HUNGER, and watch as it transforms your dreams into greatest achievements.
GOOD LUCK and don’t forget that HUNGER!