As a physician, I treat life stresses as often as I treat most other diseases. I feel qualified to comment on the learning gleaned from decades serving patients dealing with stress and apply that experience to this story.
There is not an uncomplicated way to tell you what it takes to be a winner. In my opinion, every man who completes training, graduates, and is accepted into the special operations community will be a better person for the experience.
Clearly, as Mike S. and Frank W. demonstrated, having tried and failed the first time is a great motivator for sucess a second time, but in both cases, there were previous life challenging experiences that added greatly to their chances of success.
Every man that goes to BUD/S swears to himself, and to others, that he will never quit. Each event in every day is to challenge that promise. FAITH in one’s self cannot be allowed to waiver. The end of Hell Week is a defined point, but each challenge offered and met must be viewed as just one step towards the end.
To allow one’s self to measure the time until it ends is to invite doubt. When you doubt if you can stay in the frigid water for one more second, or doubt your ability to run one more step, you must reach inside and pull the faith in yourself back to the present. Faith in one more step, faith in one more minute of cold endurance, and faith that the end will come when it comes. This will permit you to be there with the others. If the man next to you can endure, so can you.