You were born to excel. Permission granted.
Wow, what a statement! That’s from the official website of the Navy SEAL scout website.
The Navy SEALS the unsung heroes of the seal, air, and land combat have received media credit in recent years as a Navy SEAL took out Osama Bin Laden.
We get a glimpse into their remarkable lives in movies, but very few of us could ever walk a day in their shoes in the real world. That’s okay. Even though we may not make it through the physical training, we can learn from the mental toughness training used to perfect their skills.
It is the mental toughness training a SEAL goes through that makes them survive basic training and excel. Sure they can do more one armed pushups, run marathons, and hold their breath underwater longer, but what does it take to think through the pain and fear they face?
An interesting story on the History Channel provided the answers. Brain training is as much a part of their regimen to excel as is swimming in freezing water, being pushed into a pool with hands and feet tied, and being shot at.
According to the story, there are four phases to the mental training used by the Navy.
1.) Goal setting. One of the SEALS said he uses goal setting everyday in small chunks. When he wakes up, the first goal is to make it through breakfast, then lunch, then the afternoon run.
2.) Visualization or mental readiness. Rehearsing over and over each step of what to do in any given situation. Denis Waitley used this training with the Navy’s elite flight team The Blue Angels. He taught them to visualize each move. Over and over. In the safety of the classroom imagining how to break free from restraints under 20 feet of water, or flying 600 miles an hour with wing tips just inches away from another jet. Allowing the mind’s eye to go there first prepares the student for the real experience and makes the execution something that seems to be effortless.
3.) Self Talk. Each one of us are in a constant state of self talk. The average person thinks 300 to 1,000 words every minute. Our brains are clicking away thoughts involuntarily at an alarming rate. As a speaker, spitting our 120 words a minute is a fast paced 60 second commercial. And our brains are cranking at 1,000 words a minute. What words are you using? Are the words coming from guilt over past experiences? Why not force think positive outcomes, positive feelings, positive results for your life?
4.) Arousal control. This is a big deal if you’re looking down the barrel of a gun pointed at you the way the SEALS are asked to do. Control the arousal of fear. The SEALS are taught deep breathing exercises; especially long slow exhales that keep more oxygen supplied to the brain longer. That sharpens awareness, heightens the senses, and prepares them to perform as required.
It makes sense that our understanding of these four principles of brain training can assist us in every life function. It’s easy to relate this to sales or business skills. Set goals, Visualize the presentation, Self Talk positive outcomes, and Arousal Control to aid in fear of cold calling or speaking to a group of buyers. It can work in relationship building, raising children and all areas of your life where you want to win.
Skills necessary to control your thinking and excel that you can use immediately to gain an advantage will give you the life you deserve. Earl Nightingale spent his life researching these skills to produce the most effective core fundamentals to focus these energies that have proven time after time to energize powerful lives. Earl himself was a drill sergeant in the Marine Corp and was one of only fifteen Maries to survive on board the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor in 1941. Earl mastered mental toughness and his messages are loaded with hundreds of examples how we can use these principles every day. These core fundamentals work at any age. You do not have to be a twenty year old buffed Navy SEAL or Marine. You can do it. Whatever you want, your permission to excel has been granted.