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The Marine Mindset and How to Make a Decision—OFF THE CUFF with Larry Sharpe

Larry Sharpe

09/24/2020
By Larry Sharpe

Tough times demand tough people. So, how can we develop the mental strength to cope with the unpredictability facing us every day? In this interview, entrepreneur, business consultant, and broadcaster Larry Sharpe brings his wealth of knowledge and experience to provide practical advice to help enhance mental toughness. For example, he draws on his experience as a marine to show us how to make a decision.

This week we go Off the Cuff with business consultant, entrepreneur, and master motivator Larry Sharpe.

Watch The Full Interview on YouTube

Larry Sharpe Interview Key Points

In this interview, Larry  discusses the following topics:

  • The importance of legacy
  • Life lessons from the Marine Corps and takeaways from a Marine Mindset
  • The importance of developing a ‘take the hill’ growth mindset
  • The value of cooperative guidance and direction when figuring out how to make a decision
  • The danger of becoming overwhelmed with too many choices
  • The need to eliminate options
  • The value of mentally walking down a bad road
  • Creativity comes from limitations
  • Some background on his upcoming book on happiness

About Larry Sharpe

Larry Sharpe is a business consultant, entrepreneur, political activist, and broadcaster. Born in New York in 1968, Larry joined the Marine Corps at the age of 17. After 8 years of service, he was honorably discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant. He went on to gain a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Maryland University College and subsequently worked as an English teacher.

Larry Sharpe in the park wearing a checkered navy blue coat with blue shirt underneath.
Larry Sharpe Joined the Marine Corps at the Age of 17

Larry’s first business startup was the trucking company Prime Distribution. Then, in 2004 he founded Neo Sage Group, Inc., an online business training company. Over the last 16 years, he has mentored international executives, entrepreneurs, and salespeople in soft skills like how to make a decision.

Larry served on the Libertarian National Committee and ran for governor of New York in 2018. In 2019, Larry launched the online talk show ‘The Sharpe Way.’ He is currently working on a book on the subject of happiness.

How to Make a Decision

Did you learn how to make a decision after watching this video? Let us know if Larry’s method will help you in narrowing your choices. Use this guidance in everyday life, and you too will become a master decision-maker.

Find Larry Sharpe online:

Watch The Full Interview on YouTube

  • (electric music)
  • And the last piece is
    your legacy is one of the most important things.
    And I mean that by in the. Marine Corps I was taught
    that every Marine has to learn the job
    of the person ahead of you,
    preferably two ahead of you, why?
    Because the hill has to be taken.
    The captain is shot, that’s horrible, take the hill.
    The machine gun’s broken,. I got it, take the hill.
    We just lost three men,. I got it, take the hill.
    The mission doesn’t end because bad things happen.
    So that, in the Marine Corps,
    some of you who are listening and watching may notice
    that the Marine Corps dressed blues
    has a red stripe on the pants.
    They have the pant is the trousers are blue
    with a red stripe,
    it’s called the blood stripe.
    Only corporals and above get that red stripe.
    Under corporals don’t get that.
    You get that stripe once you’re at E-4 or above.
    That comes from Marines fighting
    in the Mexican War, in the Battle of Chapultepec.
    Maybe you’ve heard the song,
    From the Halls of Montezuma, “To the shores of Tripoli,”
    the Marines hymn? – Yep.
  • In that, that talks about that battle.
    In that battle, 90% of our officer Corps
    was killed or wounded.
    So the noncommissioned officers took charge
    and captured the city anyway.
    Then that mindset is no matter what happens,
    the hill has to be taken.
    If we have problems or issues, we don’t ignore them,
    we work through them and we take the hill anyway.
    I’m excited for people to hear that and hear that concept
    because I think it easily applies to life, right?
  • Sure.
  • No matter what, take the hill like.
  • Yeah, and the advantage that we have
    not being Marines in this case,
    if I’m a Marine troop,
    I’d get told what hill to take.
    But now I’m not a Marine anymore.
    So now I have to pick my own hill
    and that could be tougher.
    That’s a harder thing to do.
    It’s actually easier when someone says,
    “Corey, take that hill.”
    Oh, good, yeah, that’s the hill, got it.
    Now I can plan, figure things out,
    go take that hill, I got it
    ’cause someone told me, “Corey, take the hill.”
    What happens when there’s no one to tell you,
    Corey, take the hill?
    Well, Corey’s gotta figure out what hill to take.
  • Right, right.
  • That can be a whole lot harder.
    That’s actually where most people get frozen.
    “What hill do I take?
    “I wanna take a hill, but I don’t know which one to take.”
    If we get that guidance somehow,
    often through each other, talking back and forth,
    figuring out what is the right hill to take,
    now we can move towards the hill.
    Otherwise we often just freeze.
  • Yeah, no, yeah, that’s so true.
    Guidance and direction, just in any portions of our lives,
    being overwhelmed is a very easy thing
    to happen for anybody,
    especially when going through something new and different.
    So, anytime you can create structure,
    guidance, direction for yourself,
    especially applying it to a variety of circumstances
    and situations that may come about,
    so then it’s second nature for you
    to automatically know what to do, even if it’s newer.
  • Yeah, yeah, yeah.
  • Just having certain principles to fall back on.
  • I would even go to something different,
    which is the idea of even just eliminating options.
    The word decision, or decide,
    actually comes from the word, cide, which means to kill.
    Insecticide, to kill an insect.
    Homicide, to kill a person.
    Herbicide to kill vegetation.
    Decide is to kill all the ways.
    So there’s only one way left.
    That’s the idea of decide.
    So one way of finding what hill to take
    is to find what hills not to take.
    And most people don’t wanna go through the exercise.
    They think it’s useless, but as I’m talking with people,
    and often as I would coach executives,
    one of the things I’ll say is let’s walk down this road.
    That’s a saying I’ll use,
    “Can we walk down this road real fast?”
    And they go, “Fine, okay.”
    And then I walk down roads
    that I already believe are probably bad roads.
    But sometimes I’m wrong,
    but I often believe they’re bad roads,
    and we walked down them anyway.
    What winds up happening is
    as we begin to get rid of the ways,
    the idea of being so overwhelmed actually begins
    to come down to, “Oh, so I don’t have 4,000 choices.
    “I actually have three.”
    That’s manageable, the human mind can grasp that.
    If I said, “Corey, do whatever you want.”
    You’d be like, “Whatever. I want, what do I do?
    “That’s 80,000 choices.”
    But if I said, “Corey, we kinda only have these three.”
    Now you go, “All right, let’s walk down these three
    “and see which one makes the most sense.”
    The next thing to remember is creativity comes
    from limitations.
    If I said, “Corey, make me a piece of art.”
    You’d be like, “What?”
    You can’t be creative on that.
    But if I said, “Corey you need to make me a piece of art
    “and it’s got to be this big,
    “it’s gotta be only with paint, and it’s gotta be this.”
    Then you go, “Okay, this is what I got.”
    And you can start to become creative
    on what you’re gonna give me.
    Creativity comes from limitations.
    So sometimes having too much choice freezes us,
    as you said, that we become frozen.
    So sometimes as an advisor,
    you’ve got to begin to limit the choices.
    But you don’t do it, you have to do it with the person
    because, Corey, if you choose a hill
    that you don’t really wanna take, and you’re taking it
    because you think I want you to take it,
    you’re not taking that hill.
  • No, 100%, it’s almost like in business,
    or as you, I’m sure you know,
    in anything like that, like you said,
    a painting, for example, a creative brief.
    So it’s almost like it’s necessary
    in order to usually execute that job
    for the person you want to execute that job.
  • Yes.
    If somebody’s gonna do a painting for you,
    or come in to design your home,
    you gotta give ’em a brief of what you want, typically.
    So this is almost like creating a brief for life
  • Correct.
  • In terms of how you want things to go.
    So I think that’s pretty awesome.
    So that’s great, and then so just moving along,
    I’ve heard through the grapevine that you’re writing a book.
  • I am.
  • What’s that about?
  • I’m writing a book on happiness
    because I think the number one thing in everyone’s life is
    what America was built on,
    was the idea of the pursuit of happiness.
    And I think we want to, not everybody wants money.
    Not everybody wants fame, not everybody wants family.
    But everybody wants happiness.
    And for some people, fame is happiness,
    or money is happiness, or family is happiness.
    Or some combination is happy, that’s fine.
    But I don’t, there’s no way I can tell somebody
    what’s happiness to them.
    Only they can figure it out.
    And sadly, most people don’t know where to go.
    This goes back to the idea of
    they don’t know what hill to take,
    so they don’t know how to find their own happiness.
    So often we’re just kinda flopping around the world,
    trying to figure out where the hell’s our happiness
    and hoping that we somehow stumble upon it.
    I say that people often will allow their lives
    to be run by inertia.
    Whatever is in front of you,
    whatever is pulling me, I just go towards.
  • Right.
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