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It's a Good Life

Quick Cut: S2E177 Lessons From a War Hero

Season 2, Ep. 177

Listen to the full interview here

“I learned that the prison was not the eight feet between the walls. It was eight inches between my ears.” – Captain Charlie Plumb

It takes extraordinary resilience to survive the impossible. In this episode, Brian interviews former navy fighter pilot and Vietnam Prisoner of War, Captain Charlie Plumb. Captain Plumb explains how on his 75th combat mission over North Vietnam, five days before he was due to return home, he was shot down. Captured, tortured and imprisoned, he spent over 2,000 days as a POW in an 8ft x 8ft cell. Topics discussed include: Why his naval training was vital, how his parents’ philosophies of discipline and forgiveness helped him to survive and which daily routines kept him going.



  • What he learned about himself during his time in captivity.
  • Why he believes adversity can bring opportunity.
  • How strong leadership transformed his prison experience.



“I’m No Hero,” by Charlie Plumb


“The good news is, when you have that opportunity to sit still nearly six years, you go back through your mind, and you learn an awful lot about yourself.” – Captain Plumb

“I think the biggest thing I learned about myself was that regardless of what is around me, I still can make choices about my response to the things around me.” – Captain Plumb

“Lots of times the biggest opportunities in life are wrapped up in the package that looks like a big-time problem.” – Captain Plumb

“There's a lot of people in the marketplace today that are struggling there. They have total freedom and yet they're in a prison in their mind.” – Brian Buffini

“Acid does more harm in the vessel it's stored than on the subject it’s poured.” – Proverb

“I think the good life to me means a life of service. And I'm under the belief that if you help enough people get what they want, you can have a very, very successful life.” – Captain Plumb

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