It is true, not everyone can be a SEAL, but everyone most certainly CAN adopt the SEAL mindset to problem solving and acquisition of goals. The real key is to NEVER QUIT, NEVER GIVE UP. Whatever it is that you finally set into your sights as a goal… give it your absolute best, every day, with absolutely nothing held back. Whatever you gave yesterday was good enough for yesterday… but not good enough for today. Today calls for MORE. That’s the real meaning behind the saying “The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday”.
In SEAL Training you are asked to put everything you’ve got into achieving the day’s requirements. If you hold back anything at all, you won’t make the grade and you’ll be cut. But the next day, and EVERY “NEXT DAY”, you will be required to exceed your performances the day before. That… THAT is the mental aspect of SEAL Training that brings so many to their knees and follows them out the door to the Fleet when they’ve rung the bell. That requirement to put out your absolute best, over the top, “can’t possibly do any better” effort, knowing full well that it might be sufficient for today, but that tomorrow you will be called upon and required to do ever more, even better.
It teaches men that their minds set limits that are not necessarily factual or actual. If you believe that you cannot run the O-Course in less than 10 minutes, then you never will. Never mind that the first time you run it, you are given something like 45 mins to accomplish it… and you feel like you are going to die while attempting that first run. If you believe that you cannot maintain a 5-min mile pace over a 10 mile run, then you never will… especially when they add a full gear loadout and weaponry to your body weight. If you don’t firmly believe that you can beat 50 other world class runners in a 1-mile windsprint… for the third time… before lunch, then you never will. The mindset is the real key. There were physically monstrous guys who started with our class, but weren’t there at the end of the program. There were marathon runners and Olympic class swimmers who were there at the start but not at the end. There were football stars, and hockey stars, and unbelievably fit men from every walk of life who didn’t make it to the end. They weren’t standing beside us at graduation because they let their minds set limits, and believed that those limitations were real.
Think like a SEAL… and succeed like a SEAL. You don’t have to wear the uniform to use the mindset. If you cannot imagine limits, if you do not even acknowledge that limits exist, then you are well on your way to success… no matter what your goals in life.
RM2 (SEAL) SEAL Team One (ret.)
Photos in this article were taken during our groups’ hosting of the Murph Challenge (formally known as the Memorial Day Murph), an annual ‘Hero WOD’ honoring fallen SEAL, Lt. Michael P. Murphy. It is a WOD based on a workout Michael used to do which he called the ‘Body Armor’ as he would do the whole thing while wearing his plate carrier. It has since been re-named the “Murph” and consists of a 1 mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups and 300 situps and another 1 mile run for time.