Getting Inspired - It is Easy IF You Pay Attention
Often random words, phrases, pictures, people, and experiences can inspire a person so much that he/she will change focus and be redirected onto a new path. When you find that one thing that resonates deeply in your soul, you should take advantage of it to the best of your ability because not everyone finds the journey they are supposed to be on in life. If you can find it more than once in your life - even better. To do this you have to keep an open mind and learn about all the options you have in your life. My advice is to expose yourself to new ideas, people, and learning by doing, travel, and experience. Keep your eyes and ears open and you will find the thing that you are supposed to become if you listen.
I am pulling the Oprah card on this one - hear me out as this is good:
“The only time I’ve ever made mistakes is when I didn’t listen. So, what I know is, God whispers…. It’s subtle at first. If you don’t pay attention to the whispers, it gets louder and louder. It’s like getting thumped upside the head, like my grandmother used to do…. You don’t pay attention to that, it’s like getting a brick upside your head. You don’t pay attention to that,the whole brick wall falls down. That’s the pattern I’ve seen in my life, and it’s played out over and over again.
“Whispers are always messages, and if you don’t hear the message, the message turns into a problem. And if you don’t handle the problem, the problem turns into a crisis. And if you don’t handle the crisis, disaster. Your life is speaking to you. What is it saying?” — Oprah Winfrey, May 25, 2011
Obviously, this does not have to be directed toward the tactical professions. But many of my readers make a choice to serve even with a big goal they want to accomplish later in life. For instance, a young person decides to serve in the military, uses his GI Bill to attend college and becomes a doctor, then a surgeon, or maybe even an astronaut. (it has happened).
Your journey can take a different path in the fork in the road several times in your life. In fact, I told my 18 year old son that you do not have to know what you are going to do in your life at your current age. In fact, if you do not change your mind 3-4 times in the next few years, you are not trying in my opinion.
Here are some of my favorite pieces of inspiration over the years:
Older kids in my neighborhood, local and professional athletes - As I was growing up, I was fortunate to be able to learn how to start training from older high school kids in my neighborhood. Being 3-4 years younger when you are 12-13 years old has a humbling affect on a person when playing sports and lifting weights. They made me stronger than my classmates which helped me make sports teams, become team captain, and instill a work ethic in me at an early age. Of course, the athletes on TV were also inspirational whether in sports or in movies. There was always something about seeing them perform and train made me want to train harder. They helped me up my game at that early time in my life.
Who did not want to become a boxer after watching Rocky? His character exemplifies OLD SCHOOL hard work and desire no matter what the costs.
During high school summers, all the kids in my neighborhood took on manual labor jobs in tobacco fields, watermelon fields, and landscaping. Doing these jobs from 6am to 6pm each day made a man out of me for sure and taught the the value of a dollar earned. Learning How to Do a Hard Day's Work came with daily humor, bonding in the discomfort of North Florida Summers. I am not sure I was inspired to do these jobs, but doing them was a source of pride at a young age.
After high school, I was blessed with an opportunity to attend the Naval Academy. It was a driving force in all that I did early in my high school days. I did everything I could to get TO the Academy. There I learned that getting TO the Academy was not good enough. You had to up your game AGAIN if you wanted to get THROUGH the Academy. Once again, I found mentors in upper class Midshipmen, Officers, and Senior Enlisted who I found inspiration. Once I saw people actually preparing for SEAL Training and successfully graduating and becoming SEALs, I realized something I though was impossible was no longer. I guess sometimes you have to see it to believe it. I think was the first time I made SPECWAR as my goal and it drove me to train hard to become a better candidate. Fellow classmates helped tremendously because it is true, "Iron Sharpens Iron As One Man Sharpens Another." Proverbs 27:17.
It Pays To Be A Winner - These words are staged on the top of my list of things I have found to make a person (including myself) to dig a little deeper and find the fuel when you thought the tank was empty.
Train to Compete - Not Just Survive - Learning the reason you need to do this is just as important as finding inspiration. You will find people not matter what your journey is who struggle each day maintaining the minimum standards. This is survival mode and it makes every day 10x tougher than it should be and eventually wears on your confidence and ability to continue onward. However, training to win something and thinking about winning and exceeding the standard changes the mindset and focus of the candidate. In programs where there is a high attrition rate, not being in the top 20% of the class is a risk most people cannot afford especially if the attrition rate is greater than 80%. You never think about quitting - when you think about winning! Exceeding the standard - IS the standard.
Tactical Fitness Phase 1 - Getting TO the Training
Tactical Fitness Phase 2 - Getting THROUGH the Training
Exceeding the Standard is the Standard
You Never Think About Quitting - When you Think About Winning.
Advice to Get TO and THROUGH Selection
If you can't stop thinking about it - Don't stop working for it - This is primarily what happens when you are "listening" to yourself. Keep pushing and working to reach that goal by staying focused and go beyond just listening - start doing.
Keeping a Sense of Humor - You have to be able to laugh especially when things are getting painful. Many decisions to quit have occurred when the candidate took some things too seriously, losing confidence, and failed to meet the standards of the day. Remember - every evolution comes to an end eventually. You can get through it if you Laugh in the Face of the Quit Demon. This is just one of several mistakes you can make when you are on this journey - in fact, Have You Ever Seen a Spec Ops Candidate Cry?
As you grow, you are exposed to new forms of inspiration - maybe even poetry and literature. Consider this poem written by a son who wanted his father to fight a little harder toward the end of his life:
Do not go gentle into that good night
- Dylan Thomas
From The Poems of Dylan Thomas,
Copyright ©1953. New Directions Publishing Corp.
In a nutshell, inspiration comes in many forms. Keeping searching, listening, and experiencing new things and find a path that makes you happy. That is the most important part of this journey is that you feel happy with your choices and your efforts along this path as it is a life long journey - until the end. No one gets out of here alive so make it your best path forward.
EBOOKS and BOOKS
Navy SEAL / SWCC, EOD, Diver Program Series - Phase 1 is what I call a beginner guide, but it is still challenging. It is geared toward those who are scoring minimally or failing their Navy PST test - 500yd swim, pushups, situps, pullups, 1.5 mile run. It is easier than The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness and a good prep course before attempting it.
Phase 2 and 3 of the Navy SEAL / SWCC, EOD, Diver program is about the same level of intensity as Navy SEAL Fitness and is also a good follow-up plan after Phase 1.
Phase 4 ot the Navy SEAL Key to Mental Toughness is by far my toughest workout ever created. It resembles a day of BUDS, complete with "wet and sandy", runs after eating, high rep punishment push-ups, 4 mile timed runs, 2 mile swims with fins, log PT simulation, and even a HellWeek Simulator with 3 workouts a day.
It depends: The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness is a classic and focuses on high rep calisthenics and running and swimming base. You will build up your running over 12-18 weeks to 20 miles but very fast paced focus on both the 1.5 mile run for the PST and the 4 mile timed run for weekly run test at BUDS. If you are an athlete with a strong power / strength background in lifting and not running or swimming, Navy SEAL Fitness is ideal for you. IF you need some place to start Navy SEAL Fitness is ideal for you as well because a calisthenics base / running / swimming progression is a good place to build a foundation. Though you will likely need to spend some time in the Navy SEAL Weight Training Book OR if Navy SEAL FItness is too challenging, go with Navy SEAL SWCC, EOD, Diver, PST Phase 1 Workout. Phase 1 is a good starting point if Navy SEAL Fitness program is too tough.
Navy SEAL Weight Training - This is part two (winter lifting phase) of my SEAL Prep program. If you have done the Navy SEAL Fitness (12 weeks to BUDS) program a few times and need a break, this is the next program that integrates lifting with the Navy SEAL Prep training.
Special Ops – Most of my programs tend to focus on getting TO and THROUGH a specific tactical training program. So you may see a mix of all the seasons in some of these books, but if you are training long term, you can take advantage of Seasonal Periodization and save yourself some of the over-use, long term pains that tend to follow many of the tactical preparations - especially on the spec ops level of training.
Start training today with workouts that focus on the specifics of getting to and through tactical profession training from firefighter, police, swat, military to special ops. We have programs to help you get TO and THROUGH training.
Seasonal Tactical Fitness Programs
Especially These That Are Used For Local Spec Ops Candidates Last Year
Tactical Fitness Series - Tactical Fitness, Tactical Strength, and Tactical Mobility is an ALL-encompassing program that focuses on lifting, calisthenics, run, ruck, swim, speed, agility, and flexibility / mobility. Many people focusing on USMC (OCS, RECON, MarSOC) Army Ranger / SF, Air Force Special Warfare, SWAT / Federal Law Enforcement, and Navy Special Warfare have done very well focusing on the Tactical Fitness Series and developing themselves into an all-round Tactical Athlete.
The Warrior Workout Series - If you are solid with making your own workouts, but need some ideas. This three part series has 300 workouts (100 / book) to pick from focusing on all the elements of fitness and training programs. Each book is organized with periodization cycles in mind along with calisthenics only, weights / calisthenics mix, cardio options and more. Warrior Workout 1 - Warrior Workout 2 - Warrior Workout 3.
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