With the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic I am seeing many people affected people physically and also psychologically, many people are claim to be experiencing lots of stress, anxiety and depression reactions. There are so many people feeling the breaking of relationships, losing jobs, some are going through regrets that overwhelms their life, and many of us a going through a journey of mindset which somehow destroy purpose and hope, and creating homage to apathy which prohibits a future. And at times Like , I think we, need to hear stories of hope, a story that can help us understand how we can remain remain unbroken. L
Today I am in to share such a story. Are you ready to listen to the story? On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and hum∨ brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
As I reflect on this story of Louis Zamperini, a man I would’ve have loved to learn from and talk to, I wonder what it means to be unbroken. Louis was mentally torn, physically damaged, an so much more, but ultimately, he didn’t break.Hopefully, we don’t have to experience the darkest parts of humanity that Louis faced, though some might, but all of us can choose to be unbroken.
What does it mean to us to be unbroken?
HOW SMALL VICTORIES LEAD TO WINNING THE BIG ONE.
Throughout the his story as shared in the movie Unbroken, Zamperini found small victories that helped him to get through the day and through the journey. Louis learns to focus not on getting home for the holidays or making it out alive, but taking it hour by hour and focusing on staying in and surviving the moment. This teaches readers to focus on the present instead of worrying about a future they can’t control. – on staying in the moment and surviving that moment. Small victories lead up to the big ones in ALL situations. What are the small victories you must have to get where you want to go?
Nothing is impossible
Throughout the story, Louis is frequently put in incredibly difficult and dangerous situations. His buoyant anticipation is what keeps him alive on the raft for 47 days and two years in Japanese prisoner of war camps. We can use Zamperini’s attitude as a guide for how to be confident in challenging situations. Never give up, no matter what.
One moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory.
Whether training for a race or enduring his mistreatment as a POW, Zamperini knew that one key to overcoming short-term hardship is to focus on the big picture and keep the finish line in mind. Too often these days, we give in to the temptation to settle for a short-term benefit—but the best decisions come from remembering what you’re working to accomplish.
When you forgive, healing takes place.
As part of his recovery, Zamperini returned to Japan and met with many of his captors from the POW camp—some who were now themselves in prison as war criminals—and embraced them to express the forgiveness that had saved him from his own bitterness and anger. At some point, we all encounter bad behavior—whether it’s deliberate cruelty, the betrayal of a trusted partner, or just an everyday slight in the workplace. Forgiveness is never easy, but it’s necessesary to begin healing and overcoming.
Refuse to let others steal your joy.
The guards at the Japanese concentration camps tried to break Louis. After all, as an internationally known and respected Olympic athlete, they figured if they could break him that would demoralize thousands of other soldiers. No matter what the guards did, however, they could not and did not break Louis. He had tapped into the power of persistence.And you can too. You can have a persistence that never ever gives up. You can keep on keeping on, achieving every one of your goals. That’s one reason I wrote my new book, The Payoff Principle. There are specific steps you can take to fire up your persistence that will absolutely transform your life and success on and off the job.Louis refused to let others steal his joy. Just like Rubin “Hurricane” Carter.In June 1966, the celebrated boxer, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, was convicted of murder in a highly publicized and racially charged trial. The boxer maintained his innocence and became his own jailhouse lawyer. After serving 19 years, Carter was released when the verdict was overturned.As a free man, people noticed his lack of bitterness, and someone asked him, “Wouldn’t anyone under those circumstances have a right to be bitter?” Carter responded, “I’ve learned that bitterness only consumes the vessel that contains it. And for me to permit bitterness to control or infect my life in any way whatsoever would be to allow those who imprisoned me to take even more than … they’ve already taken.”
Develop a fluid spirit.
When tough times come, you can get angry. You can wail on and on about how unfairly life is treating you. But that doesn’t work. Louis proved that.
You can also get bitter. But that doesn’t work either.By contrast, you can develop a fluid spirit that changes the world around you. That’s what Louis did. After his horrific World War II experiences, he spent the next 70 years working with young people, helping them get their lives together. He became, as some would say, like the Oolong tea. Perhaps you know the story of the tea.A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first she placed carrots; in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed Oolong tea. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. The she ladled the Oolong out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she said, “Tell me what you see.”“Carrots, eggs, and Oolong tea,” she replied.Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She noted they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the Oolong. The daughter smiled as she smelled its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its insides became hardened. The Oolong tea was unique, however. After it was in the boiling water, it had changed the water color and taste.“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or Oolong tea?”Think about it. Which one are you? Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength?Are you the egg that starts with a malleable heat, but change with the heat? Do you have a spirit that becomes hard and stiff after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship, or some other trial? Does your shell look the same, but on the inside you’re bitter and hardened?Or are you like the Oolong tea? The tea actually changes the hot water or the very circumstances that bring the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases fragrance and flavor. If you’re like the tea, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.Louis taught me that we all need to be like the Oolong tea. We need a fluid spirit that succeeds despite the problems, challenges, and unfairness of life.
Leaders show appreciation
As Louis is leaving for the Olympics, Pete is with him. Louis goes up to his brother and thanks him for all he’s done to help him get on the right track.
Great leaders know they must appreciate those that have helped them get to where they’re at. Whether that’s a mentor or their current team, showing appreciation is a key component of great leadership.
Rough endings are better than fatal endings.
Before the fateful crash that lands Zamperini in the ocean for 47 days, he faced another rough landing. The plane he was in had a mechanical failure and they couldn’t use the brakes to stop the plane. They needed a runway long enough to stop but there wasn’t one.
They had to land the plane anyways. So, they found a place that could possibly work and succeeded.
The landing wasn’t pretty. It was rough and left those in the plane pretty shook up.
The projects we take on won’t always have a perfect outcome. The endings to a project may be messy or sloppy but completing a project is better than not finishing.
You can come from behind.
During the Olympics, Zamperini fell to the back of the pack of runners. He was in last place. No one thought he could come back. Yet he gave it all he had and passed many of the runners to become the lead American in the race.
Just because you’re not in the lead at this time doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance. Being in the back sets you up for an amazing comeback story.
Greed hurts others.
While stranded on the lifeboat, Zamperini creates rules for how much the survivors will eat or drink. The rations were minimal but they would help them survive.
One morning they wake up to find that Mac had eaten all of the chocolate that was left.
This hurt Zamperini and Phil. They were counting on the chocolate to last longer than it did. Mac’s greed caused them untold pain.
The allure of fame and money can easily cause us to do things that we wouldn’t normally do. That’s why we’ve got to be aware of what’s in our hearts and keep the greed monster at bay.
We have to face our mortality
Zamperini, Phil, and Mac were all getting weaker and weaker the longer they were in the lifeboat. They never knew if today would be their last day.
Then Mac begins to face his mortality.He realizes death is closing in. He asks if they think he’ll make it through the night.
We all have a limited time on this earth.Make the best you can with the opportunities and resources you have. Always remember Creator has given you this time for a reason, to bring glory to Him for your actions.
I hope you enjoyed these leadership lessons from Unbroken. It’s a great movie.
Unbroken has climbed to the top of my list of favorite war movies. The story was inspiring and we got an accurate portrayal of what happened in some of the prisoner of war camps.
After the war, Louis struggled with the memories of his ordeal and turned to drinking as a remedy. In 1949 at the urging of his wife, he attends a Billy Graham crusade. This would ultimately lead to Louie recommitting himself to Christianity and he forgave his captors. He actually returned to Japan in 1950 and met some of his captors and personally forgave them. He was not able to locate the “Bird” however.
An excerpt from the book puts it this way:
“The paradox of vengefulness is that it makes men dependent upon those who have harmed them, believing that their release from pain will come only when they make their tormentors suffer. In seeking the Bird’s death to free himself, Louie had chained himself, once again, to his tyrant. During the war, the Bird had been unwilling to let go of Louie; after the war, Louie was unable to let go of the Bird.”
Forgiveness is not always an easy thing to do and for many people is a struggle. I am amazed after the treatment that Louie received at the hands of his captors that he was able to find a way to forgive.
You might look at 10 things you did today and focus on the one wrong thing that happened. Instead of focusing on what went wrong, how about celebrating the nine things that went right. You worked out for only 30 minutes? You worked out. Wrote for only a half hour? You put something down on paper. Remember the Toughness Groove in our mind? It works the same with how we look at things. Focus on the negative all the time and guess what you’re going to see all the time? By focusing on what’s right, opportunities and joy are allowed to shine through.
Scientific research shows that our mind is malleable, meaning we can form patterns or “grooves” in how we act or respond. Nietzsche’s famous quote – “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” – accurately describes this phenomenon. We face a fear, conquer a challenge, or fail and get back up. All of these things help us improve; but more importantly, strengthen our mind for the next time. So the next time you successfully come away from adversity or a setback, take heart in knowing your confidence and mental toughness will only be stronger when faced with challenges in the future.