The Secret Sauce of Life

I’ve often thought about the problem of getting on in business and life, and asked myself what the secret sauce really is. I think I might know the secret.

Sean P. Durham
6 min readSep 23, 2021


When I was younger I wanted adventure. I was straining at the bit.

I had an enormous thirst for something extremely challenging. Money didn’t turn me on. So, I joined the army and got through the training into a crack regiment. I’m proud of that one. 65 young men on a training course, and 16 of us passed through at the end of a couple of months of hard physical training.

I then headed off to join my Regiment, “The Tigers”.

I liked the hardship, the tough challenges, and I thrived on dangerous situations during training. The “trimnasium”, a thirty-foot-high scaffolding of putlocks and bars, a few short wobbly planks, and about six seconds to run, jump, bounce and skip across the top, enormous gaps with a fall to the hard earth below. Then slide down a rope on the other side — if you made it. Better to get rope burns and pass this little test, than to worry about protecting your hands. Personal pride.

Difficult to describe is the fear that goes through you when you first step out into nothingness on a dull and rainy day, and hope your boot finds the slippery metal bars that should sustain you.

I saw a “Crow” fall, that’s what we called recruits back then, “Crows”.

He was nervous from the start, he kept looking down, he worried about everything bad that might happen. He created his own demise the whole time, and the sadistic trainers picked up on it, so they, like a pack of lions began to circle him.

He slipped at the first leap towards the metal bar, fell through a gap, and then bounced off each corner of the putlocks on the way down. He stood up, bloody face and hands, and his uniform ripped to shreds. He was tough. He worried constantly, and believed that it would all go wrong, and so it did.

After he showed them that he couldn’t hack the training, he was out. He didn’t get kicked out of training because he wasn’t a fine enough young man, he was told to leave because he didn’t fit the bill. He was in the wrong place.



Sean P. Durham

Berlin Notes — Writing about the Creative Art of Street Photography. Fine Art Photography, writing, art, cats.