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Fearlessness: 3 Things You Can Learn From Special Ops And Navy SEALS

Stashed in: Leadership!, Courage, Fear, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, Stories, Military!, Leadership, Plan!, Life Hacks, Psychology

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Eric, I love this story:

On November 28, 1950 during the Korean war, the then 21-year-old took on an entire regiment of Chinese soldiers, defending his group of badly wounded friends.

He did it in 30 degrees-below-zero-weather while in his socks.

He had only his eight shot M1 Garand and when grenades were thrown at him he batted them away with a shovel.

I’m going to repeat that:


Via Nerve: Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool:

For the next seven hours, Cafferata became a one-man fighting force. With moonlight and flares providing illumination, he hustled up and down the wash, taking out advancing Chinese troops. In his left hand, Cafferata carried an entrenching tool, which he used to bat away any Chinese grenades that flew in. “I was the world’s worst baseball player, so I don’t know how I hit them,” he told me… Cafferata fired his rifle so much that night that the barrel began to blacken and catch fire; he had to cool it down with snow. Late in the battle, he tried to fling a grenade back manually but it blew too soon, badly damaging his nearly frozen left hand. He kept fighting. Sometime after dawn, marine reinforcements arrived to find a single man holding off an entire enemy unit, as if possessed by supernatural energy. It wasn’t until this point, when he could relax a little, that Cafferata discovered that he’d fought all night in his socks, and without his parka.

Read more:

The three key concepts of the article -- Preparation, Feeling in control, and Humor -- seem useful to many lines of work.

Follow-up reading:

  • Ways to make sure you don’t choke under pressure are here and here.

Eric's article on fearlessness is worth a second read, too:

I recall hearing of his heroism recently.  Wow-He  was gutsy!! But then, I guess he might have acted out of desperation.

We'll never completely know. But yes, he was gutsy!

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