On this new episode of Got Your 6, Tony Nash talks to Sebastian Paz, a US Air Force combat veteran, emergency department nurse, and co-founder of the non-profit VETWOD.
One mindset that he continues to practice even after leaving the military is being goal- or mission-oriented. Every day, he tries to maximize time and opportunity.
“I’m all about maximizing every single day, getting the most out of myself, out of people, out of situations. The military has shaped me in that facet where I have 24 hours a day, let’s put it to good use.”
Three books that have made an impact on his life are the Holy Bible, especially the parables as he says they are useful in everyday life, David Goggins’ Can’t Hurt Me, which reveals that most people only tap into 40% of their capabilities, and William P. Young’s The Shack, which Seb says spoke to him about forgiveness, unconditional love, and self-development.
Putting ‘fear of failure’ to good use
Seb talks about growing up without a father and how this drove him to become a better person and a present father to his two children. He also shares why he has a “respectful fear of failure,” in that he is scared not of failing but of making the same mistakes again.
He talks about one of his passions – parenting – and how his fear of failure drives him to be a better parent. He knows there are two lives in his hands and he wants his children to grow up to be good and respectful people.
“The biggest failure that has really made me who I am today is the failure of my father not being who he should’ve been and that is what drives me to be the father I wish I had – and not in a hateful or resentful way because we made amends. That part of my life is healed, there’s closure but that still drives me.”
While it’s healthy to fear failure, Seb says people should not be paralyzed by it.
“As long as I tried and learn from those failures, we turn them into success.”
Why he doesn’t consider himself a success
Seb shares actionable advice on fighting societal pressures to succeed. He believes that people should not put themselves in boxes. Contrary to society’s need for speed, he believes working towards a goal, even just a little bit every day, is more than not doing anything at all. It is all about maximizing your time.
He talks about the systemic pressure to go all out all the time – all or nothing. This isn’t right, as he says the trajectory isn’t always straight and it is ok for people to slow down, shift gears, focus on the little things, and change their mindsets.
“It’s almost like everything has to be overnight success.”
“Doing something, even if it’s a little bit, it’s more than doing nothing at all.”
Seb, a constant learner, says he does not – and will never – consider himself successful, as he believes there are always challenges to conquer and problems to solve.
On resilience and adaptability
Born and raised in Colombia by a single mother, Seb moved to the US a few months before 9/11, becoming a naturalized citizen in 2009.
Seb believes in the power of hard work in changing your life for the better, saying “the journey won’t unfold by luck.”
He also believes in the power of resilience in order to continuously grow in life – no matter the situation.
“You won’t get to where you want to go or where you’re supposed to go by sitting on a couch.”
A self-made man, Seb shares his “big dislike” for people attributing success to luck.
“I have a big dislike for people saying in various forms, something like ‘Oh, you’re so lucky,’ or ‘Oh, you’re living the life. Because I feel like disrespect not only to me, to everyone that works really hard and that maximizes their opportunities and knocks a thousand doors just so one door could be opened or get kicked out, slip and fail.”
Ultimately, Seb says that if he, who has no special opportunities or elite background, was able to make it, others can do it, too.
“I’m not the smartest, I’m not the strongest. I’m not the fastest but I think that one thing that I do have that maybe helps in every other area is I just don’t know how to quit.”
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