Don Mann must be one of the most amazing of the already amazing Navy Seals. In the above video he talks about being inspired by a friend when running to view perseverance as the virtue which distinguishes the professional from the novice. (In using these terms he fundamentally fails to recognize that a “professional” is infact definitively a person who is paid to do their job. Such a position likely includes training, and therefore we often see such monetarily motivated, trained individuals as the best. This isn’t necessarily always the case. Likewise, a “novice” is definitively one who is new and inexperienced at their chosen task, not necessarily one who is low-level in skill. Therefore the novice is infact not the antithesis of the professional, e.g.: one may begin their task with immediate training and pay, and be a novice-professional. This failure to effectively wield language correctly is all too common in non-academic fields such as business and the military, and it does disorienting violence both to their immediate objectives, as well as to the culture at large. But I digress…) A better way to have articulated Mann’s point would have been to say that he learned by example that perseverance marks the difference between excellence and mediocrity. And indeed, it would appear by the testament of his life, that Mann took this lesson to heart. Navy Seals are already known for their phenomenal ability to persevere, and Don Mann has taken this virtue to a whole new level within the context of his life.