Jason Redman and Jason Schechterle Discuss How to Flip Pain into New Purpose

Former Navy SEAL Jason Redman and Retired, Line of Duty Injured Detective Jason Schechterle Discuss How to Flip Pain into New Purpose


Former Navy SEAL Jason Redman should have died from the bullet wounds he sustained. Retired Detective Jason Schechterle should have died from the flames that engulfed him. 

Both men survived what should have been unsurvivable and now they are drawing from their experiences to teach others how to overcome all challenges life holds.

Here is some of the advice the men offered to anyone struggling under the weight of challenges and setbacks, including those faced by all of us during the COVID-19 crisis:

You’ve got to meet yourself where you are.

Jason Schechterle was hovering near death after being trapped in his Crown Victoria police cruiser that burst into flames. He suffered major injuries, years of recovery, and significant disfigurement. He’s come out stronger for his struggles and he says the most important lesson he learned about adversity is focusing on yourself where you are at this moment. 

Let go of the pain and struggles you had in the past. For him, that means he isn’t stopping now, to dwell on his injuries or all he and his family went through 19 years ago. Instead, he is drawing upon his strength to address the challenges of COVID-19 life. 

“It’s tough and there’s no sense pretending it’s not, but we have a choice ; Are we going to get through this or not?”

Jason Schechterle says we are all at the mercy of the choices we make. That we are also at the mercy of choices other people make means our mindset is especially important. Stop worrying about last year, or next year, he says, because we can’t change one or foresee the other but we do have the power to meet ourselves right here and now, and go from there. 

“Everyone gets ambushed in life. In order to survive, you have to first get off the X.”

Jason Redman was shot 8 times in a firefight. He was helplessly pinned down by enemy fire as he felt his life slipping away. Ultimately, he survived, but with major injuries and lifelong impairments.

jason redman trident story
Jason Schechterle

He calls the moment of an accident or major life ambush the “X.” His first X was the ambush and firefight he walked into. His next was getting put back together. His initial joy at surviving was quickly replaced with pain and fear attached to his injuries – being disfigured, being physically inpared, being unable to return to service. It had the potential to overwhelm him. 

There’s no timeline to recovery, he says, and no perfect roadmap. There are just choices. 

All of the choices Jason had to make were hard. All carried different risks and rewards. 

It was like he stepped out of one ambush and into another. Much like what is happening in the world today. 

“Everybody in life is going to get ambushed and America is on the X right now.”

The longer you remain frozen on that point of ambush, says Jason, the more the fear, frustration and anxiety pile up. 

Understanding that life after a major ambush will never return to life as it was before that ambush is pivotal in moving forward. Less time clinging to the times that are behind us, and more focus on the times before us, is necessary to begin to move forward into that new life. 

“What you had in the past may or may not come back – but it probably won’t.”

The people that will succeed in rebuilding their lives after an ambush like COVID-19, says Redman, are the ones who are determined to swing with the momentum of the changes, and find ways to adapt. The people who spend their time basking in self-pity will not. 

“There is a grieving process,” says Schechterle, but there must also be a time to work on figuring out how to drive forward. 

How we move forward, both men agree, is key. 

Virtual life has its benefits, says Redman, but cannot replace the power of human interaction, Some businesses will likely not return from the virtual operating world. Though, so we must also be prepared to adapt to that new model. 

There will be two major models in operation, which doubles the opportunities for many people. 

What remains true, says both men, is that out of crisis or failure, something new and amazing is born. “There are no bad days – it may be a good day or a great day, but it’s not going to be a bad day.”

That’s the mindset of a warrior, and that is the mindset we all need to adopt in order to thrive after a life ambush.

Listen To Our Podcast Episodes with Jason Redman and Jason Schechterle

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