Marc's Mission
Marc's Mission

Marc's Mission

You can’t blame other people for the things that you do. You are the reason. You lost your temper. You lost control. Because of that, you made a bad decision. (Location 150)

“So that’s it? The camp and a bike and that’s why you think this summer will be awful? Because you have to go to camp and your mom won’t buy you a new bike?” (Location 243)

“So. You have to go to camp. You don’t like Nathan. You want a new bike. And you need to compete in jiu-jitsu. Those are the problems that you think will ruin your summer? (Location 256)

If you think that every problem you have is someone else’s, then how can you ever get them fixed? By sitting around and waiting for other people to change or waiting for other people to act? You might be waiting for a really long time. (Location 311)

But if you look at a problem from a different perspective—a perspective where the problem is actually your fault—then you can do something to fix it. (Location 313)

If you take care of a bike properly, it can last forever. But if you don’t take care of it … well, this is what you get,” Uncle Jake said as he pointed at my old, rusty bike. Then he looked back at me, got very serious, and said, “In the SEAL Teams, we have a saying: ‘Take care of your gear and your gear will take care of you.’ We applied that to every piece of gear we used. Our parachutes. Our scuba equipment. Our weapons. Our radios. Not just our personal gear, either. Our boats and motors. Our vehicles. Everything. (Location 382)

“One hundred eighty-nine dollars is definitely a lot of money. Ten dollars is a lot of money. In fact, one dollar is a lot of money when you actually have to earn it, like your mom does. You don’t work for your money, so maybe it doesn’t seem like much to you. (Location 408)

As a kid, your parents pretty much give you everything. Your food. Your clothes. Your bed. The roof over your head. Even this rusty bike right here. And when you are given things for free, you don’t appreciate their value—what they’re worth. You don’t appreciate that someone worked hard to get the money to buy you that bike. When you don’t appreciate something, you don’t take care of it. That’s what happened with this bike here. Right?” (Location 420)

You have to detach from those emotions—step back from them a little so they don’t control you. You can do that by taking a deep breath and telling yourself to calm down. Or try thinking about something else, something that doesn’t make you feel frustrated. If none of that works and you simply cannot calm yourself down, then just walk away. (Location 561)

You just say ‘Excuse me,’ and walk away. Get yourself away from the situation that is making you lose control. That will hopefully calm you down by actually detaching you from what is happening. And even if it doesn’t calm you down, at least you got away from the place where losing your temper might get you into some kind of trouble. (Location 565)

The discipline is the hard work. The freedom is the freedom to buy what you want because you have worked for the money. It is the freedom to ride a bike instead of walking. (Location 888)

Consistency. You see, instead of trying to do this whole big project at one time, you just put in a little work here and there, chipping away at it each day. That way it didn’t feel like a ton of work. And yet you look up now and can see all the progress you have made. (Location 1028)

When I would get a big assignment, I would work on it a little bit each day. Just for an hour or so. In a week, I had done seven hours. In two weeks, I was about done and had time to review and revise my work. Some of the other students wouldn’t start their assignments until a couple of days before they were due. Then they would be scrambling to get them done and wouldn’t be able to turn in their best work. And they would have to work fifteen hours straight on one thing—which can get boring. So that is what you do whenever you can: You break down big projects into small chunks and work on them a little bit every day.” “It’s like cleaning my room, too.” “Really?” “Yes. If I clean my room every day, it only takes a few minutes each time. But when I don’t clean it for a week, all of a sudden it takes an hour to clean!” (Location 1034)

Sometimes you just have to focus and work on something for a long time. Like if you get a project late or something unexpected happens. One time when I was on a trip, my water heater broke, flooded my apartment, and ruined the floor. When I got home, I had to pull out the old floor and put a new one in, all before my next trip. I worked thirty-six straight hours to get that done. So even though a warrior likes to plan things out and break them down into small pieces, you don’t always get that option.” “But if I have the option, I should plan, break it down into pieces, and do it in small chunks, right?” “Exactly. Now, let’s go get some dinner,” Uncle Jake said. (Location 1043)

“You’re right, Marc. You can’t. You can’t force people to change. You can’t force people to be different. That doesn’t work.” “So what am I supposed to do?” I asked Uncle Jake. “There is only one way: You have to lead. (Location 1268)

How do I ‘just deal with it’?” “That’s the easy part. You just laugh. Laugh! Laugh along with the joke. Instead of getting mad, just think of it from a different perspective and LAUGH. And here is another secret: Not only will laughing make you feel better, it will also take away the power of the insult. People make fun of other people to feel powerful. As soon as you laugh at yourself, you take that power away from them. Try it. You will see.” “Okay, Uncle Jake, I’ll try it. (Location 1303)

“Here’s the thing, Marc. One of the best ways for people to learn is by doing. If I were to jump in and put the bike back together myself, you wouldn’t learn anything. If you don’t learn, what is the point? That’s why I always want you to do things yourself—so you can learn to be self-sufficient. (Location 1348)

I got on the other side of the bike, drew a line, and put the stickers on that side, too. DOUBLE AWESOME!! “Well,” Uncle Jake said, “hopefully you can sell it for enough money to get The Bentlee.” “What?!?!” I shouted. “The Bentlee? Why would I want The Bentlee now?!” Uncle Jake had a big smile on his face. “Well, I haven’t even seen The Bentlee, but I don’t think it can be any better than The Bruiser!” “NO WAY!” I shouted. “NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!” “‘Not even close,’” Uncle Jake said. “That’s what happens when you do the work—when you build something yourself with your own hands. It is really YOURS. Good job, Marc. (Location 1392)

“Good?” I asked. “How is that good?” “Well, first of all, being bored means you’re comfortable with what you have going on in your life. It is good for a few reasons. Number one, it means you have accomplished your goals. That means you have achieved what you wanted to achieve. You have a bike. You have made some money. You are making steady gains in your workouts and getting stronger. So that means you can set some new goals, like you have for jiu-jitsu. Now that you have the tournament coming up, you can focus on that. It makes it exciting. And you can do that for the rest of the things you are doing—find new goals. But the most important thing about being bored is that you have the capacity—and by that I mean the time, the money, the knowledge, and the willingness—to help other people. (Location 1488)

“Detach,” he said from the side of the mat. “Don’t get emotional. Do your job. Do what you know how to do. (Location 1792)

If a warrior is in the field, he might not have extra stuff. Not extra food, not extra gear, not extra time. So warriors try not to waste anything. I learned that by fixing my bike this summer. It seemed like junk, but it wasn’t junk at all. It just needed to be taken care of. Warriors take care of their gear. They don’t waste it. And saving money gives you freedom. It might not feel like it at first, because you want to buy a treat at the candy store or some little toy from the shop. But those are just a waste of money, and if you spend your money on those things, then you won’t be able to buy anything that will really help you. (Location 1883)

“It feels good to lead people down the path. I led you down the path last year. Now you led Nathan. And you will lead others, Marc. That is your new mission: You will lead others. (Location 1970)