I had the honor and privilege of introducing this year’s luncheon keynote speaker, Rob O’Neill. He was a SEAL Team Six leader and is one of the most highly decorated combat veterans of our time--a true American hero. O’Neill’s mantra is “never quit.”
For an hour and 15
minutes, O’Neill held our attention (not a fork dropped, not an email
checked) with his stories from SEAL training and special operations.
The key lessons O’Neill shared during his talk were the importance of
preparation, of controlling your emotions, and of never giving up.
According to O’Neill, the best plan ceases to be the best plan as soon
as it leaves the planning room. Faced with uncertainty, chaos, and
extreme emotional stress, it is critical to keep one’s emotions in
O’Neill said that our first instincts are typically our worst.
Only countless hours of training and emotional discipline can help us
overcome these instincts. Per O’Neill, panic breeds panic and calm
breeds calm. The former is unproductive, and the latter will keep you on
track. Above all else, O’Neill urged his audience to never quit.
O’Neill learned these lessons in the highest-stakes scenarios
imaginable. However, they’re every bit as relevant in the much
lower-stakes setting of investing to reach your financial goals.
Particularly relevant is the importance of controlling your emotions and
remembering that your first instinct is typically your worst.