Have you ever heard or read a story of someone that spoke to your core and inspired you to be a better person? I recently finished one of the most moving books I’ve ever read, and I had to share.
Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm is the story of a man who lived with incredible purpose. Adam Brown died a hero on March 17, 2010 while serving his country, but his story is so much more than that fateful day. Who he was and how he lived his life is what makes him so special.
He was from Hot Springs, Arkansas, and even in his early childhood, it was clear to see his character. In school, he was loved by everyone, but never let that go to his head. He was the one who stood up for the kids that were bullied, made choices with integrity, and was a role model for his peers. He also had a wild side and would never back down from a dare.
When he graduated high school, he fell in with the wrong crowd and became addicted to crack cocaine. His struggles with his addiction are heart wrenching and eventually land him in prison with multiple felony charges. In his darkest hours he dedicates himself to God, realizing quickly that his life was much bigger than himself.
In what he viewed as his last chance to overcome his demons, he joined the Navy with the goal of becoming a SEAL. Despite all odds, not only did he become a SEAL, but he managed to become a member of the most elite, and a part of the now famous SEAL Team SIX. The story of how he overcame his addiction, the challenges of his training, the unfortunate circumstances he faced in his life, his palpable love of country, his sense of family, and his amazing faith is in a word…amazing.
This man led a life with purpose, knowing he was here on this Earth to serve others. There was no limit to what he gave. He was the ultimate team player with his fellow SEALS, and taught Sunday school with his wife. He was actively engaged with his own children, and went out of his way to show kindness to anyone he could. On one deployment he delivered over 500 pairs of shoes to the children of Afghanistan.
After reading his story, I felt such a sadness for his death, but more importantly, I was incredibly inspired. His journey touched my heart and made me want to be a better person.
Reading Adam Brown’s story was an excellent example of something I’ve believed to be true for quite some time. Our experiences, our stories, are so important to share. By sharing them, we serve. Before his death, he made it very clear that he wanted his raw story of his dark times with his drug addiction shared with everyone. He wanted his failures and weaknesses to help others.
So, today, I have two challenges for you. First, go read this incredible book. Second, take a look at your own life, and see where your failures, mistakes, successes, and victories can help others. Find a way to use your story to serve.
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