How to Think & Win Like a Navy SEAL

You’ve probably heard of the Navy SEALs, an elite fighting force known for carrying out some of the most secretive and dangerous missions in the military.

You’ve probably also heard about the intense physical training they go through, on the beach and in the water.

But what’s more important than their physical conditioning is the mindset they adopt as they go through training, and eventually as they carry out real life missions.

We caught up with former SEAL Commander Mark Divine, author of The Way of the Seal, who shared how you can think like a Navy SEAL to succeed in any area of your life – whether you want to eat right, get in shape, or accomplish any goal you set for yourself.

navy seal - log training

How can regular people develop the Navy SEAL mindset to achieve their goals?

Navy SEALs train their minds as well as their bodies. So called “regular people” can train their minds to think like a SEAL as well with the right tools. These tools include concentration and mental control, emotional resiliency, visualization and proper breathing skills and learning how to set appropriate goals and knock them down with ease.

Related: 10 Winning Beliefs that can Change Your Life

Inspiyr: Are there any success secrets you can share with us?

Mark: Yes, here are 8 of my secrets!

  1. Live an examined life. What I mean by this is that the most important aspect of mental toughness is to know yourself, what drives you and motivates you deeply.
  2. Master your body, mind and emotions to excel at an elite level. To do this requires the knowledge, skills and commitment to a life of training and daily improvement.
  3. Take your eyes off yourself and put them on others, in service.
  4. Learn to win in your mind before you set foot in the arena.
  5. Learn to select the right targets, connected to your main purpose in life.
  6. Employ KISS (keep it simple, stupid) planning and be willing to execute with an imperfect plan.
  7. Take massive action using micro-goals, then fail forward fast.
  8. Never quit, period.
How do SEALS stay in such incredible shape? What can regular people do to get in shape using these tips?

SEALs train functionally, using tools and movements which mimic and support the job they need to do in the field. They also train with a plan and purpose…it is not random, but programmed and placed very high on the list of daily priorities.

Training is also done with a team, which increases motivation, accountability and intensity.

Related: The Power of Positive Thinking

What do you think about the word “quit”?

Bad word, but it is just a word. It is a quitting attitude that is worse. To forge an attitude of “I will” versus “I’ll try” one must totally commit to their actions and burn their proverbial boats once they embark on the task.

When I went through SEAL training I adopted the attitude that they (the SEAL instructors) would have to kill me to get me to leave. I didn’t even use the word quit. I felt that if others had accomplished the training before me, then it was within my human potential to also complete the task. Quitting was simply not an option.

Too many people take a half-hearted approach to the hard things in life, leaving a back door open that they run through when the going gets tough. By eliminating the quit option and connecting the task to the bigger sense of “why” it was important to do in the first place (which is connected to why you are here on this planet), then you can persevere.

Related: The Power of Expectations

When people want to achieve a goal, obstacles always come up; either mental or physical roadblocks, or other challenges. How do SEALS push through these obstacles to accomplish their mission?

SEALs do it in a few ways. First is the attitude that obstacles are to be expected, even welcomed, because that is where the opportunity for growth and new ways of doing things are found.

Next SEALs will always seek to mitigate risk and have contingency plans at the ready.

Finally, they learn to treat obstacles as just another ineffective method to do things. That way they learn from it so it can be done better next time. In this manner, failure truly is not an option because every setback is turned into a victory.

Related: How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs

How important is planning when it comes to achieving a goal?

A goal without a plan is a fantasy. Planning starts with selecting the right goals which are suitable for you, your team and your time. Taking on too many goals is a problem and taking on a goal that does not challenge you is a problem. Selecting a goal that doesn’t synchronize with your talents, or is not realistic in terms of your other commitments are also problems.

Next, it’s important to state the goal in a way that is powerfully positive, simple to communicate and very specific in terms of the outcomes desired and the time frame for it to be accomplished.

Finally the goal is put into a plan which defines HOW it is to be accomplished. That plan is then constantly evaluated with a feedback process to refine things during the execution phase.

When goal accomplishment looms on the horizon, it is a good idea to begin to format the next goal so that momentum is maintained on the road to victory.

Thanks for your service Mark, and best of luck with your new book…

Featured image by DVIDSHUB



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