Wednesday, October 12, 2016

controlling your emotions

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 check.

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.

My Take-Away:
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.

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