The Way of the SEAL : Think Like an Elite Warrior to Lead and Succeed by Mark Divine

How to think and act like a SEAL ? (without doing 1000 push up)

The author is a ex-member and trainer for SEAL team and in this book he is going to explore how we can apply the mentality and some training method in day to day life.

To begin with , he point out leadership is not a skill but a collection of behavior like Kokoro, the Japanese way of merge heart and mind in action. There are few principles we need to achieve in order to get seal-worthy success

  1. Establish your set point, turn a sense of purposes/ core values into a touch stone that keep our feet in the sands
  2. Develop front-sight focus
  3. Do today what orders wont, so we can achieve tomorrow others cant
  4. Get mentally / emotionally rough, eliminate “quit” option
  5. Break things and remake them, improve thru innovation and adaption
  6. Thank offense ALL the time, to surprise competition and dominate
  7. Train for life in terms of physical / emotional / mental /Intuition/ spiritual


Principle 1: Establish your set point

One way to practice visualization :

1. Sit with your journal, close your eye and breathe for 5 minutes

2. Conjure up image of you in your ideal state, 3 months from now, see yourself already achieved your goal, in prefect health and fully be the person you want to be, add color, sound, emotion and movement to it

3. Fast Forward , 3 years from now and repeat

4. Back to present moment, act as if that person, own and breathe that vision.

Principle 2: Develop front-sight focus

Keep your eyes trained on the front sight and your front sight trained on target.

Front sight focus, combined with unconscious competence, develop by relentless and realistic training can save life. It also refer to a intense gaze from the front sigh after our weapon lining up with the target. We still remain super aware of the surrounding and have your objective in mind, but your attention narrow down. A seal know he must engage one target at a time and not shift focus until he dispatched the target. In terms of multiple goal, it could applied in we can achieve it by knowing one after another, we just need to focus on hit by right target for that shot.

There are 4 approach for front sight focus

1. Prepare your mind

2. Envision your goal

3. Define the mission

4. Simplify the battlefield

In general, by shutting down the “thinking” mind, while will slow us down, we radically focus on your being in victory. The fastest way to claim your mind is through deep breathing. Also, the power of silence can set the conditions to win in the mind. Visualization is a form of mental projection, when it combined with real action form a process of seeing, believing and making it happen. “Simplify the battlefield” is a seal way of saying to eliminate distracting. First we have to determine our unique offer, by knowing our strength, what we benefit others and what action to take to eliminate distraction. In addition, we also try to De-clutter the environment, by De-clutter our physical surrounding, our commitment and internal state.

Principle 3: Buffet proof your mission

We can achieve that select only high value targets, explore our options, and we cab also communicate our vision to others by communication to the sub-conscious mind through image or any kind of sensory impression. We could also do dirt-diving the mission, by rehearsal in mind, rehearsed in a mock compound.

Principle 4: Do today what others wont

Find our 20X factor, find out and embrace our personal culture of mighty effort. Embrace the suck, we need to endure pain better than the average man and face the fear of suffering. in additional to that, focus on positive, train our-self immediately focus on something positive then laugh at it. At last, go the the challenge, if you avoid challenge, if come anyway with more severe / painful lesson. Beware our self talk, every time we say along “Yeah…but” / “what if…..”. We can face different type of challenge like sustained long term effort type ( a black belt in Martial art) , a benchmark performance ( standardized sporting event ) or incurable experience. In the process, build discipline / drive and determination.

Principle 5: Forge mental toughness

How can we just “not quit” ?. We can only earn it by trial by fire manner thru challenge/ training.

Way 1: Control your response / arousal control : by breathing exercise

Way 2: Control our attention  : Positive self talk, direct inner voice to positive performance base

Way 3: Develop emotion resilience : Power to bounce back quickly.

We can also develop our mental through visualization, which mainly did 3 3 form : Guided meditation / mental projection ( visualize ours-elf achieve the goal ) / mental rehearsal – mental rehearse a skill / action in our mind.

Principle 6: Break things

by applying total commitment, we burn our boat. Certainty is a powerful energetic force essential for breaking into / develop momentum. We will always find a way or MAKE a way. Also, we try to fail forward fast, when you start breaking thing, expect and welcome failure. by systematize trial and error. also, eliminate risk aversion, thing fail ? NEXT. Navigate gaps for opportunity, in order to do this, we must live in present (more on HERE )and constantly identify and destroy our blind spot. In the process, we also want to innocence and adapt quickly, we break it with decisive action, get comfy with a “good enough plan” and be excel in chaos.

We always here people say “break the routine”, however we should think about although some routine is enemy which stifle and prevent our creativity, however some routine is good and we can apply our attention to focus on innovation.

Principle 7 : Build your intuition

Always expand our awareness, the ability to pay attention to the whole and detail in a situation in the same time, always use our breathing shift from focus awareness and relax awareness. When we want to be focus, breathe with powerful inhale from nose, when we try to go to relax mode, take slow and deep breathe. Find way to strengthen our sensory perception, uncover the background of obviousness and open up to our inner wisdom.

Principle 8 : Think offense ALL THE TIME

We need to develop unwavering confidence, when we use word defense / block / deflect, our body will automatically retreat / project and sow down. Tap in our mental roughness, offensive mindset is to focus the emotional energy in a control manner , towards the target. Avoid some of the common mental traps

  • Avoid things you doubt rather than investigate
  • Feel you owe people something when people give you something
  • If something is good for someone you know, must be good for you too
  • Wait for social proof before acting
  • Cling to things once you have them
  • inflate the value of authority

Sometimes we need to do the unexpected, as we need to get unconventional result, some rules we can break NOW

  • Become the great multi-tasker
  • nice guy finish last, ( nice is not equal to give in or mediocrity)
  • More is better
  • Fight fair ONLY
  • always tell the truth
  • eat 3 meal  a day
  • be real , all the time
  • nothing good come free

Equip with the mentality of Seal, we can execute with velocity and agility, trust our guts in field, we apply under standard operating procedure so we wont be blinded by our emotions, always in motion, shoot , move , communicate.

Better interesting book to apply some real life military knowledge into day to day life, esp SEAL is famous on testing how tough is man and equip them with some of the best tactic and mindset in the battlefield. Hope we can attack like a SEAL in our day to day life situation, until next time !


Check out the book yourself >>>> The way to Seal




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