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I first read of Capt Gerald Coffee, US Navy Retd, in Jack Cranfield’s book ” How To Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be”. This book, to me , is a wonderful compilation of inspirational stories and motivational tools.

Many years ago, in 1966, Capt. Coffee was shot down over North Viet Nam in the Viet Nam war and spent more than 7 years as a Prisoner of War. A richly decorated fighter pilot, Capt. Coffee has reached out to thousands with his inspirational story of how he survived all kinds of horrors in POW camps. He is considered one of America’s top inspirational speakers.

Beyond Survival is his story which brings out the depth of the human spirit. We have strengths that we cannot ordinarily imagine. When crisis comes, we have the means to fight and survive.

It is unlikely that most of us will ever experience the kind of hardships, Capt Coffee and his fellow POWs went through. Yet the foundations of his story strike a chord within us.

The next time you complain about life, ask yourself: Are things really that bad? Invariably, the answer you will get for yourself is that things could be far worse. It’s our spirit that keeps us going in times of adversity. Don’t ever lost that spirit.

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This is the 163 rd of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success