Developing a Soldier’s Mind To Reach Your Highest Potential
Welcome back to our 7 part series on pursuing excellence. To recap, achieving greatness starts by developing the mind of a soldier. There are seven keys that unlock the soldier’s mind:
- Commit yourself to the mission
- Believe you will succeed
- Focus fully on the task
- Use positive imagery
- Prepare your mind for the battle
- Control the distractions and barriers that hinder results
- Continue to learn and grow
This article focuses on the fifth element:
Prepare Your Mind
“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.”–Steve Maraboli
Achieving greatness is difficult. Success isn’t earned overnight. There is no easy way about it. There’s not a magic pill you can take or a shortcut to get you there faster. You won’t earn that “beachbody” you’ve always wanted and keep it in 6 weeks. You’re not going to become a champion by your half-ass training session once a week in the gym.
If you want greatness, you have to mentally prepare yourself for the obstacles, difficulties, challenges, and sacrifices you’ll have to make to earn it. You have to have the mental capacity to pick yourself back up quickly when you inevitably fall down, to push through the barriers when life becomes difficult, to overcome your weaknesses, and to prioritize your goal above all else. Our greatest heroes understand this too well.
Train for the Fight
“Every time you train, train with the motivation and purpose that you will be the hardest person someone ever tries to kill.”–Tim Kennedy
I’ll never forget the day I asked one of my mentors in Afghanistan why he trains as hard as he does every single day. He told me, “Josey, I train this hard, so I will be able to pull my weight and the weight of my brothers if I’m ever in that situation.” He mentally prepared himself for the worst case every single time he stepped into the gym.
Two days later, his team was hit by a PBIED (person borne improvised explosive device…aka…a suicide bomber) on a “peace” mission handing soccer balls out to little kids. He experienced severe shrapnel to both legs and, because of his training and mental preparation, was able to calm his mind in chaos, apply a tourniquet to both of his legs and drag himself and another soldier to safety. This story will always stick in my mind.
Time to Get Real
For most of you reading this blog, surviving a suicide bomber may be difficult for you to relate to. Hopefully, you will never have to experience a situation where your life literally depends on being able to drag yourself to safety.
The quality of your long term health, however, does depend on your lifestyle choices today. As an American civilian reading this, statistics state you have a very high chance of succumbing to heart disease, or cancer–the top two causes of death in America–both of which are correlated to the lifestyle choices you make today. We live in a world with a longer life expectancy and lower quality of life.
If you want to live a long, healthy life, you have to mentally prepare and train for that now if you aren’t doing so already. Your actions today lead to your success tomorrow.
How do Prepare Your Mind
We live in a world of depression, anxiety, fear, and self-doubt. Our environment tells us we can’t do it and we’ll never be good enough. Our news is filled with pain and suffering. Social media has been used as a means of cyber bullying and cowardly criticisms. Mistakes have become failures. It’s never our fault, or it’s always our fault. Pain is covered with alcohol, drugs, overeating, and any other addiction. This is all around us, and we neve learn to deal with it.
How do we develop a strong mind given all this? How do we prepare our minds for greatness when our environment enables us to do the opposite?
Developing a strong mind takes honest, consistent effort. Start by going back and re-reading all the other blogs in this series. Start with the end in mind. Develop the belief that you can and will succeed. Focus every single day on achieving that goal. Imagine every possible outcome, and prepare your mind and body for that outcome. Do not give anyone the power to destroy your mind–including yourself. Do this consistently.
You are stronger than you think. You are braver than you know. It’s not easy, but it is worth it.
What to do Today:
- Train for the fight
- Work on developing a strong mindset
- Stay focused on the task at hand.
- Keep your belief that you will succeed in this goal.
- Stay committed to your mission.
Stay tuned in to our next segment on: Pursuing Excellence: Control the Distractions and Barriers
Ready to pursue excellence today?
If you are interested in becoming your best soldier:
- Click the “contact me ” link in the menu at the top of this page
- Send me a message letting me know what you are looking for.
I cannot wait to help you out.