Archive for the ‘courage’ Tag

4 STEPS TO NAVY SEAL SUCCESS   Leave a comment

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Navy SEAL Larry Fowler recently authored an article at navyseal.com listing four steps to being successful in life, based upon his experience as a successful graduate of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training. The brief list is:

1. Have a plan. Be prepared.
2. Never panic, and never quit.
3. Accept “the only easy day was yesterday” attitude.
4. Be fiercely loyal — no excuses.

Fowler explains each of these steps and provides examples in the article. You can read the full article HERE.

7 SECRET HABITS OF NAVY SEALS (BRENT GLEESON)   Leave a comment

140121-N-KB563-148Navy SEAL Brent Gleeson recently authored an article published at Inc. on seven habits practiced by Navy SEALs. The brief list of these seven habits is:

1. Be loyal.
2. Put others before yourself.
3. Be reflective.
4. Be obsessively organized.
5. Assume you don’t know enough.
6. Be detail-oriented.
7. Never get comfortable.

Gleeson provides explanations of each of these habits. You can read the full article HERE.

MENTAL TOUGHNESS: HISTORY, ELEMENTS & DIMENSIONS   Leave a comment

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Scott Barry Kaufman authored an outstanding article on the topic of mental toughness for Scientific American. In the article, Kaufman examines the history of “mental toughness” in athletics as a field of inquiry. He also summarizes Graham Jones’ research findins that mental toughness has the following elements (ranked in order of importance):

1.Unshakeable self-belief in your ability to achieve competition goals.
2.Ability to bounce back from performance set-backs as a result of an increased determination to succeed.
3.Unshakeable self-belief that you possess unique qualities and abilities that make you better than your opponents.
4.Insatiable desire and internalized motives to succeed.
5.Remaining fully focused on the task at hand in the face of competition-specific distractions.
6.Regaining psychological control following unexpected, uncontrollable events.
7.Pushing back the boundaries of physical and emotional pain, while still maintaining technique and effort under distress during training and competition.
8.Accepting that competition anxiety is inevitable and knowing that you can cope with it.
9.Not being adversely affected by other’s good and bad performances.
10.Thriving on the pressure of competition.
11.Remaining fully focused in the face of personal life distractions.
12.Switching sport focus on and off as required

Kaufman also reviews research that suggests mental toughness has four dimensions:
1.Hope: The unshakeable self-belief in one’s ability to achieve competition goals.
2.Optimism: A general expectancy that good things will happen.
3.Perseverance: Consistency in achieving one’s goals and not giving up easily when facing adversity of difficulties.
4.Resilience: The ability to adapt to challenges in the environment.

This article is well worth your time to read! Check it out! Read the full article HERE.

MARK DIVINE (NAVY SEAL): 5 ATTRIBUTES OF UNCOMMON RESOLVE   Leave a comment

MarkDivine_b52301cbIn a two-part series of blog articles, Mark Divine (Navy SEAL) identifies and explains five attributes of uncommon resolve. The five attributes are:

1. Desire: you must desire the outcome as if your hair was on fire.
2. Belief: you must believe in your purpose, your mission, and yourself.
3. Attitude: you must have a positive attitude, drive and be able to mobilize a team with it.
4. Discipline: you must be willing to give up unnecessary attachments and commitments, and put in the right amount of daily effort toward your goal.
5. Determination: you must have an unwavering commitment to finish the job, stay the course, and never, ever quit.

You can read the first article in the series HERE and the second article HERE.

KEYS TO CONFIDENCE   Leave a comment

450x299_q75Tom Delaney: “Confidence starts with attitude but really gets instilled in someone through the effects of repetitive practice. I also just read some research demonstrating that watching someone else be successful at a task can increase confidence as well. So…there you go…three elements …attitude…. observation… and practice. Self-check today on the following points…”

1. Do I approach life and its challenges with a basic attitude of confidence?
2. Do I intentionally seek out and take time to observe pothers successfully performing tasks I find challenging?
3. Do I purposefully make time to break down and practice the skills for tasks I find challenging?

David Rutherford (Navy SEAL) produced an excellent video on the topic of confidence. He delivers info, breaks it down and explains it in a way that enables you to put it into action in your life immediately. Rutherford breaks down development of self-confidence into 8 missions:

1. Have a positive attitude.
2. Physically train and be healthy.
3. Motivate yourself and others.
4 Earn respect.
5. Set goals.
6. Integrity – live righteously.
7. Find a mentor and mentor others.
8. Have fun.

RANGER SCHOOL TEACHES RESILIENCE   Leave a comment

size0“Two of the things I learned [at Army Ranger School] is that you can always take another step … that’s more of a figurative idea for me than literal, but the concept still applies,” he said. “I can always push further than I am right now, regardless of how cold, wet, tired or hungry I am … more in this case, injured. The second takeaway I got from Ranger school was that most failure is between the ears, and that is to say, really the only thing that can stop me is me … from an internal perspective, that’s what has helped me keep the positive outlook and the forward momentum that I have at this point.” Learn something from the incredible story and indomitable spirit of CPT Edward “Flip” Klein. Read the full story HERE.

LEADERSHIP IN THE LEANING REST #9 – ROBERT NEEDHAM (NAVY SEAL) ON TEAM LEADERSHIP   Leave a comment

Today I would like to continue sharing with you more of my highlights and notes from Team Secrets of the Navy SEALs by Robert Needham (Navy SEAL).

Chapter 1 – Leading the Best (cont.)

1. “If an individual or a Team starts to lose focus, they must step back and review.” — Sometimes individuals or teams feel that they do not have time to step back and refocus. Of course, if you ask if they have more or less time to lose focus, go for a walk in the woods, fail and get miserable, re-focus time doesn’t look as costly as the alternative. That said, I’ve seen people and teams get into “locked up” mode and require a wake-up call to snap out of it.

2. “It is incumbent upon any group that desires true success to set an environment that allows and encourages communication.” I used to pride myself on being a submarine commander when it comes to communication: “If you don’t hear from me, everything is OK.” With time, I have really come to think that all things are possible with good communication. Just the social support provided in communicatin improves the resilience and chances of survival and success of people in tough situations. As I have heard so often said (to me) before: “Communicate, communicate, communicate.”

3. “You must honestly evaluate your own ability and communicate forthrightly about it — for your own good and for that of the Team. If everyone else is unaware of a weak link, they cannot repair it. Unnoticed, the weak link will break, costing money, time, and perhaps even lives.” — Thee’s a strategy called “Fake it ’til you make it!” for self-improvement, which involves acting like the person you want to be in order to become that person. It’s an effective approach. At the same time, trying to “fake out” others by posing or lying about knowledge or ability is misguided and a clear commitment to making disaster happen for self and others. The bigger person on a Team knows to be clear about limits, risks, and look for reality-checks and options from others.

4. “Wat’s important to the SEAL TEAm is important to any team of professionals inbusiness: Stay informed, stay alert, and stay alive.” — Yep!

5. “It is imperative that you stress [to your team] that no issue will be addressed unless the author also includes a viable solution.” — Major General Ronald Bailey (USMC) imposes the same requirement onhis team. You don’t get to complain or bring up a problem without a number of possible solutions. This makes sense if you want to see firsthand descriptions of problems always accompanied by firsthand proposals for solutions. If you’re not there, you really end up counting on the person who is closest to the problem to ascertain a best probable solution. Makes sense!

6. “Challenge yur team to think outside the box, brainstorm, and create. Give them the responsibility and the latitude to be creative.” — Innovation, adaptation and improvement require creativity. It is an invaluable resource asset for any team. Take care of it!

7. “If you can find humor in a bad situation and joke about it, you will have a better chance of salvaging your attitude and coming out on top.” — Humor puts things in perspective, and opens up space for creative thinking and problem-solving. In addition, laughter activates physiological processes that reduce stress and the distracting, demoralizing and fatiguing effects of stress. Use humor like a medicine and a weapon!

I am preparing engaging leadership development modules, including practical exercises, for individuals and teams. If you or your team is interested in engaging with leadership development in a practical and meaningful work session, let me – Tom Delaney – know via e-mail to greatriverfitness@gmail.com. We’ll put it together and make it happen!

LEADERSHIP IN THE LEANING REST #8: KNOW WHEN TO MOVE ON!   Leave a comment

The Marine Corps’ 237th Birthday is coming up. I am not a Marine, but I sure have learned a lot from being around Marines. A life experience I especially value was being at Marine Corps Recruit Depot – San Diego one day and hearing Major General Ronald Bailey (USMC) explain that in all matters brought to him, he allows a maximum of 30 seconds for complaining, or as he termed it “pissed-ness.” At the expiration of 30 seconds, it’s time to recommit and move on. No exceptions, and if that’s not possible for someone, they’re off the team. Honor, Courage, and Commitment are the core values, and fidelity to these values is not optional for anyone on the team.

For me, the self-check concerns whether or not I get hung up and linger on my anger over some frustration, or do I recognize that my core values are more important than my feelings, and compell me to recommit to my core values, recommit to my team (even if my problem is with one of my teammates), and move on with work and life. Am I helping get the work done and the values realized, or am I still “back there” not helping myself or anyone else, and more importantly, not living my core values? If I’m still “back there,” it’s time to look in the mirror, look at a bronze coin, look at the sky – whatever it takes – and get back up and running with the team and with my core values.

Train hard, never quit, live well!

Tom Delaney
Founder & Trainer
Great River Fitness

SPECIAL TACTICS TRAINING SQUADRON MEMORIALIZES WITH PUSH-UPS   Leave a comment

For me, physical training has a definite spiritual dimension. It is voluntary submission of myself to physical and mental mortification, with the conscious intention of transforming my mind and body into a more effective instrument of moral virtue. I don’t train to look good in a mirror. I train to practice dissolving the ego, to step out of self-concerned thinking and right into the opposite — “no self” warrior mindset. I train because I need to be a full-on father and capable member of my community. I seek responsibility in order to take it and be the better man for it.

Air Force Special Operations Command today released a short video documenting the Special Tactics Training Squadron completing push-ups to memorialize Mark Forester, a combat controller who was killed in Afghanistan. AFSOC states “We will never forget our fallen! Our Special Tactics Training Squadron here at Hurlburt Field, Fla., does Memorial push-ups for every fallen special tactics Airman on the anniversary of their death.” To me, this is a very honorable and moving tribute. Honor goes to these fallen warriors, and to those warriors who remember them!

LEADERSHIP IN THE LEANING REST #7: “HOW’D YOU DO IT?” – SIX THINGS THAT KEEP ME SUCCESSFUL   Leave a comment

This morning I was asked by a group how I accomplished the significant goals in my life – “How’d you do it?” I want to share my short list with you, so that you can look through it and see if any of my “operating principles” as I call them, might help you reach your personal goals and establish a more fulfilling and meaningful life for yourself. Here are six things that keep me successful:

1. 24-Hour Mindset: I view the world, plan and act with a 24-hour cycle in mind. This keeps me focused on what I need to prioritize for the next 24 hours, and helps me accomplish more difficult goals as I focus my energy. This doesn’t mean that I ignore the fact that the world’s statisticians are saying there’s a high probability that tomorrow will happen, I am conscious of the need to prepare for the future in the next 24 hours. By thinking and acting purposefully in 24 hour cycles, the days add up to weeks and months of success.

2. Self-Check: Rather than adopting a point of view, immediately acting on it and stubbornly expecting everyone and everything else around me to do so, I check out that point of view for misplaced motives, intentions, blind-spots and most of all – FEAR. I have very much benefitted from self-check, and reality checking with others to see if my point of view needs adjustment, or some additional information in order to be more realistic, and for it to be more to be more effective.

3. Warrior Ethos: Adopting and acting with the mindset of a warrior helps me be the true and best me. It is a place I can go to within me from which I can operate with profound commitment and focus. When I get out on the trail or in the woods to exercise, warrior ethos pushes me to train harder and to discover deeper places within myself. The same warrior ethos is the foundation of profound commitment to letting go of my own ego and striving for the safety and welfare of others. In this way, warrior ethos is about being a highly committed defender of peace and prosperity. A quote that has always been important to me in this regard is, “Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself” (Siddhartha Gauttama).

4. Resilient Humor: Humor, especially in tough and even the worst situations, helps me disrupt the reflexive arc that otherwise might lead to despair and surrender. Instead, humor always presents an option of hope. It introduces to the situation some new space for bigger context that lowers the ominous factor in a bad situation. It also opens up space for some alternative attitudes toward a tough situation besides attitudes of despair and self-pity.

5. Prioritized Needs: Being self-conscious in the right way keeps me mentally, physically and spiritually on track. What I am talking about is using Maslow’s “Pyramid of Needs” to prioritize first things first. For example, before anything else, my physical health comes first. If I am sick or injured, I need to attend to that because my physical body is my platform for my mental and spiritual life. I can be altruistic and self-sacrificing for a while, but it’s a house of cards and not a good long-term strategy. Right next to that priority are things like food, water and sleep. When I am irritable and having a hard time making calm decisions, a self-check on hunger, dehydration and sleep is often called for. Granted, sometimes you are in a situation which calls for you to delay food, water or sleep, but it is a mistake to ignore hunger, dehydration or sleep deprivation. It is much wiser to factor it in, recognize your limits, and do a self-check and reality check with others before taking decisive action. A good operating principle says “when I’m hungry, I eat, and when I’m tired, I sleep.” I picked that one up from the old Chinese Zen master Han Shan. It worked for him a long time ago, and works for me today.

6. Always challenge your mind!: Challenging and pushing my own thinking helps me to stay in motion and to stay in growth mode for my view of the world. I enjoy having my points of view challenged because it can be a valuable learning experience. I even purposefully seek out and consider conflicting information. I always want to see as many sides of a situation or question as possible, because this helps me work through those questions and situations in the ways that are most productive or beneficial to myself and others, or best fulfill an ethical or moral imperative. I am fully open to being dead wrong on something, and appreciate being informed when that is the case. I am a true lifelong learner and a perpetual student. I am always seeking and working with new knowledge that will open new more productive and beneficial ways of living and working for me, and that help me reach personal goals. I regularly review and happily throw away decisions, ideas and points of view that have outworn their usefulness, effectiveness or grounding in reality.

As I said, this is my list, and it doesn’t need to be your list. If you see something that might be useful, try it out. If it works, keep it! If it doesn’t, throw it away. If you or your team want to spend some dedicated time identifying or working through personal strategies for success contact me – Tom Delaney – at greatriverfitness@gmail.com and we will design a productive and sustainable experience.