The Book in 1 Sentence
An honest self assessment of adversity and absolute dedication to craft.
Remy provides a well craft story of his growth as a person that makes you reconsider your own history. I was really surprised by the way his story shifted and his ability to motivate himself. He made some bad choices as a kid and even a young adult that are crazy to think about, but I believe that his choices afterward have balanced the scales of his life.
Why I Read this book
I didn't realize this, but I had seen Remy in movies before and never realized he was a true seal until I saw him on the show "American Special Forces: World's Toughest Test." This show is about celebrities that try to do special forces admission test. If you have any concept of what even basic training is for the military, it is a fun watch to see people struggle and the obvious "I was/would have joined except..."
In-Depth Review (Favorite Quotes)
Remy is a masterful story teller and I highly recommend listening to this book on Audible as you can hear the rhythm of his words no only throughout, but especially during when he is talking about the music that inspired him and transformed him as an early kid.
He was a small child when he left Africa because of political corruption and selfishness to move to The Bronx. While in the Bronx, Remy learned to survive in that area like the rest of us do during our formative years whether you live in the suburbs or the inner city. His survival was crafted by Hip-hop, gangs, and drugs which lead him to make bad decisions later. He then sees the ripple effect his choices have made and wants to get ahead of the issue so he listens to the still small voice and finds a way forward that resets his life.
Before I joined the Marines, one of my brothers friends told me: the military doesn't create morals and ethics, it reinforces those you already have. My life in the Marines and this book really point that out. If you have read this book you will probably ask "How can you say the military reinforced his morals and ethics when before the military he was stealing and selling drugs" and my response to that is to read the rest of the book. Those choice out of survival created a man who wanted to do the right thing, but his "Father" from that time didn't point the right aspects out. Remy openly admits that he made mistakes and taking ownership is 100% something he learned from his mother and the military. That is a hard thing to do in the best of circumstances, but when you have done great wrongs, it is even harder to look someone in the eye and tell them that.
I am not sure I have any favorite quotes from this, but I will constantly think about the hard work he put in to becoming a seal. Having no idea how to swim and a slow run time, he worked to correct those items. In a time in my life where I have similar short comings for similar goals (I have no desire to join the SOF, but I have goals that are lofty from where I am) it is something I think about every time I tell myself "I can skip today".
How my life / behavior / thoughts / ideas have changed as a result of reading the book.
I kind of just mentioned that above. I have made significant strides this year to better myself out of just a desire to do it. Then about half way through I started thinking about a new path and those strides became more of earnest. This book helped reshape my thoughts about why I am doing those things and I am much more comfortable to putting myself in situations that are uncomfortable because I can "see" the end.
I really enjoyed this book. Was transfixed by the story until the end. I feel it is unfair to judge the end of the book like it should culminate like a fiction book, I just feel like the end got repetitive and almost feels like a second short story. It is a great story and worth the read and I am specifically choosing words that don't point to the issue or discuss it because I think it is a must read. All that weirdness aside, this is a fantastic story by a master story teller who is frank and direct in his short comings and abilities. Read it and hear the lessons for yourself. 8/10