Hi, this week TURBOMIND´s book eassy is “SEAL SURVIVAL GUIDE, A Navy Seal´s secret to surviving Any Disaster”, by Cade Courtley. This is a fascinating book written by a top navy seal about how to survive under any condition.
Tylor Jones, Master Coach at turbomind.com.
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I recommend this book to every one, from friends, to clients, to partners. This is a must read book not only to survive but to thrive. Exceptional book. I talk here about Cade´s main points as well as my own personal addition to the discussion.
Here are some ideas from the book:
What enables a person to carry a 250-pound man up three flights of stairs while the enemy is shooting at them, or spend 6-sleepless days and nights running around with a fracture leg?
How is possible to endure continuous physical and mental abuse while being confined in a 3X3 foot concrete box without food for more than a week and finish smiling?
How does some people endure the most challenging, difficult physical as well as mental situations and feel great in the process? How do you train yourself to be at your absolutely best when everything is against you? I believe the lessons in this book will help anyone in any field, from a house mom to a world CEO. These are some great lessons to be more resilient in life, survive in any situation and grow and prosper through them.
In essence, this book by Cade is about how not only survive the most adverse situations but THRIVE during those moments, becoming stronger, better and more powerful BECAUSE of them.
How does someone swim 7-miles, at night, in open water, with freezing temperatures, surrounded by white sharks, and finish victorious? This is the question, what makes a Navy Seal? In Vietnam, SEAL teams One and Two accomplish the amazing feat of a kill ratio of 200:1. SEALs were so feared by enemy forces that they were known as “the men with green faces”. No one wanted to confront these green faces soldiers. They were tougher, better trained and more dangerous than the rest.
In 1962 John F. Kennedy created the SEALs as a plan to create highly specialized Units, extremely dangerous, exceptional in covert operations, to become the elite force for unconventional warfare techniques. SEAL is an acronym for “Sea, Air, Land”.
To be a SEAL you must, at minimum swim 500 hundred yards in under 12.5 minutes, do 42 push-ups in 2 minutes and 50 sit-ups in two minutes, and run 1.5 miles in under 11.5 minutes (although much higher scores are required for serious consideration). If you do these, you might get a chance to attend training.
Only 1 out of 1000 who want to become a SEAL gets the opportunity to attend BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training), the 26-week training process of becoming a SEAL, and of those, less than 15% will make it into graduation. After this the training continues for several years of advance training.
When Cade entered BUD/S, he was determined not to quit. He convinced himself there was no backup plan.
Achieving Maximum Physical Fitness and Mental Toughness
For a Navy SEAL, achieving and maintaining maximum physical fitness and mental toughness is a basic job requirement.
Training and conditioning their minds is actually what sets them apart. Training your mind will help you survive almost any situation and avoid just being a statistic when adversity strikes, and instead become one of the few who survives.
Many people develop lifestyles of least resistance without any discipline. People are centered about comfort and convenience. Obesity is a world epidemic. People spend entire lives watching movies, playing video games and watching trash TV. We have become weaker and unprepared. No matter how you feel, this is the time to get better and stronger.
The world can be a dangerous place and it´s a necessity for survival to be in your best shape possible. The reality is that most people are not equipped to successfully deal with impeding catastrophes. Additionally, you need to be prepared to face personal dangers from crimes, accidents and other dangers. BE A SURVIVOR, NOT A STATISTIC.
EXPANDING YOUR COMFORT ZONE:
Your comfort zone, defined as your daily routine, the routine you do and the things that make you feel secure, content and in control. However, most our daily comfort-zone rituals will leave us unprepared to deal with even the smallest discomfort and mentally weak.
Challenge your Limits and the Daily Routines! This is the best advice to get new levels of success in your life.
Push the boundaries of your comfort zone at least once a day. Challenge yourself. There are so many opportunities during the day to do this. This will prepare your mind to do things that previously you thought were impossible or very unlikely. BY expanding your comfort zone YOU WILL INCREASE BOTH YOUR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL TOUGHNESS, which are the keys to survival.
You will realize that doing things a little differently makes them a little harder but also makes you think differently. Observe your routine and start doing things simply in another way.
For example, FORCE YOURSELF TO MEET AT LEAST 3-NEW PEOPLE every single day and learn three things about them. You can also make an effort to remember three phone numbers every day, or memorize something that might be important to you.
“By Pushing your physical limits, you are also forcing your brain to expand its comfort boundaries, thus gradually making yourself physically and mentally tougher“.
Imagine that pushing your comfort zone is like rolling a boulder up a hill. If you let it, the ball will always tumble back down. Expanding your comfort zone on a daily basis make it easier to get that boulder closer to the summit. Imagine your success depends on pushing your comfort zone daily.
IMPROVE YOUR PHYSICAL TOUGHNESS:
No matter what your physical condition is, it can be improve. Running and swimming are great cardiovascular exercises. Pull-ups and pushups and weight training will improve your strength and power. Use every opportunity during the day to do some physical exercise and training. You go to the bedroom? Do 25-pushups every time you go there, as Cade would do when he was training for BUD/S. You enter your room? do 10-Pull ups every time you do so.
SEALs stress great physical fitness because it is an absolute necessity for surviving and succeeding in whatever you might be doing.
“It´s Hard to stay hard-dying is easy”. SEALs Say
INCREASE YOUR MENTAL TOUGHNESS:
Physical toughness and Mental toughness are branches of the same tree. They complement each other. By pushing yourself physically you will push yourself mentally and become tougher. The brain is the strongest muscle in the body and it requires constant exercise.
Make a list of 5-things that scare you and make them. Repeat the actions that scare you and you will become very strong mentally. Courage s not the absence of fear. You do it in spite of fear.
ABSOLUTELY FORBID YOURSELF ANY BLAMING OR WHINING. These make you weaker. These are the contrary of mental toughness. If mental toughness is taking responsibility no matter what, blaming and whining makes you physically and mentally weak.
One of the toughest moments of the training to become a SEAL comes during what is called “Hell week”. This takes place during the first of several weeks of BUD/S training. It consists of six nonstop, hypothermia-filled sleepless days and nights and is the time when most of DORs (drop on request), or quitters give up. It’s when they decide to stop their suffering and go home. THIS TRAINING IS THE ULTIMATE TEST OF PHYSICAL AND MENTAL TOUGHNESS.
Mental Preparedness is critical for surviving and for overcoming a life threatening situation.
Making the unknown familiar.
Visualization techniques is an excellent way to practice what they call emergency conditioning. This is also referred to as battle-proofing or battle inoculation by military personnel.
When the brain imagines something in deep and vivid detail, IT WILL BECOME PART OF A PERSON´S EXPERIENCE FILES. This visualization exercise will actually fool the brain into believing that you have already experienced this event. You can tap into this files at will by hitting the play button that starts the movie inside of you, of what you have visualized over and over. This exercise gives you an extraordinary advantage.
There is a part of the brain called the Hypothalamus which triggers the release of stress-response hormones, including adrenaline and the steroid-like cortisol into the bloodstream. Cortisol is produced in the cortex of the adrenal glands. This hormone increases energy and metabolic efficiency and it helps regulate blood pressure. Simultaneously, blood is diverted away from the brain and skin to the muscles to maximize the chances of survival. At this moment, your brain has tunnel vision. It focuses only but what it must do to survive. When you hear about people in desperate situations becoming superhuman, this is what happens. All your energy is focus on surviving and doing whatever it takes to accomplish this task. This is the body stress response. Its fascinating.
CREATE A MENTAL MOVIE IN YOUR HEAD: Success starts in your head
No matter where you are, look around and take mental notes of your surroundings and its particulars. Try to describe it the exact details of where you are and what its around you. This is the setting of your mental movie.
It´s amazing how most people they go about their lives without paying any attention to their surroundings or whats happening around them. This is called “situational awareness” and its critical for survival.
Now, imagine what would you do if something were to go wrong. Imagine how would you react to this situation, and see yourself acting in this challenging environment successfully and resourceful. Keep practicing and improving your reaction time in your mental movie. Practice over and over this movie.
This is what Jack Nicklaus did before every golf ball he hit. By the time he was going to play the hole in real life, he had already succeeded in his head. He was the master of mental movie practicing.
Cade also used to see his whole mission in his head before he would actually start the mission.
Imagine if you would do this during the day. Before going to a meeting you visualize succeeding in the meeting. It only takes a few seconds, about 10 but it prepares you for a winning outcome.
You can play with the movie, hit pause, rewind, go faster, whatever you want and feel. You control and direct this movie.
A great visualization exercise is to visualize the day you have head. See yourself successful from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed. It will only take a couple of minutes but it’s a great mindset exercise. A little trick: when you make your mental movie, describe the scene in your head “talking”, if its not aloud, make it as describing the image internally, hearing your voice also. This makes it a little easier to visualize and maintaining the attention on the movie, without distracting yourself.
As an add-on, you can actually practice what you have visualize. By repeatedly practicing your emergency procedures you are also creating muscle memory.
Rehearsing skills helps improve muscle memory. If you want to be exceptional repeat the same procedure 2500, and try to improve while doing it. So will become so good at it you will be amazed.
Here you visualize successfully handling extreme situations. You visualize vividly they will become part of your internal files, as if the experience did already happened.
–Create Mental images of success before you go into an important situation. This will take only a few second. Describe in your head, both verbally as well as mentally the situation you are about to do, in your head.
–Ideal Day Visual exercise. Before you wake up, create an mental image of the day you are going to live. See yourself successful, doing great things, healthy, confident. Create an ideal day outcome scenario in your mind.
–Ideal Life Exercise: Imagine how your ideal life would be, create a mental movie of this. To help you do this is helpful to write it first. Many times our minds will resist seeing yourself massively successful, in order to protect you.
Create a mental trigger that will push you in your toughest moments.
Go deep inside yourself and find your number one motivation, the reason you do what you do, your deepest reason. It can be to see your daughter graduating, your parents safe, helping people on the streets, a family picture, or whatever other reason. Go deep. This is a brutal activator. It will make a massive difference. When things get challenging, see this image will be a great trigger. Actually you can use it anytime. Choose the most powerful and impactful one. This will ignite many of the essential qualities you need to survive. Tis trigger will be different for everyone. And you can change it as you go along in life. THE KEY IS TO MAKE THIS TRIGGER AS VIVID AS POSSIBLE. If it’s a visualization, make it as vivid as possible.
For Cade, this trigger was seeing his men coming back from a mission safe. As Cade says, your trigger can be aspirational, as thinking that nothing will stop you from achieving your goal and mission.
MAKE SURE YOU PULL THAT TRIGGER!
SEALs use the phrase VIOLENCE OF ACTION. It simply means that they apply complete and unrestricted use of speed, strength, surprise and aggression to achieve total dominance against an enemy or an adversarial situation. This term can be used in business or sports. While you do this you repeat intensively in your mind “I AM UNSTOPPABLE”. So, you use al, your power, both physically as well as mentally because this is what it´s required to succeed. What you do in the next 30 seconds will determine if you live or die.
You can use this short mental affirmation technique with a different affirmation in any situation. For example, lets say you want to find your ideal mate and your mind starts sending you doubts. You feel as if you are not sure your Prince is going to ever show up. You can interrupt, and repeat this short affirmation fast, “YES I CAN, YES I CAN, YES I CAN” WHILE TAKING DEEP BREATHS. The key is to interrupt these negative messages, don´t let them live in your head.
awesome book. A must read. You can get it here?
by Tylor Jones, founder of TURBOMIND.
MY FAVORITE BOOKS ON WINNING
If you are looking for other exceptional books on mental training as well as mental toughness here are my favorites, the ones I have personally read:
- How Champions think by Dr Bob Rotella, https://www.turbomind.com/how-champions-think-by-dr-bob-rotella/
- An IRON WILL, by Orison Swet Mardin, https://www.turbomind.com/an-iron-will-what-all-great-men-have-in-comon/
- The Champion´s Mind, by Jim Afremov.
- With winning in Mind, by Lanny Bassham, https://www.turbomind.com/with-winning-in-mind-by-lanny-bassham/
- Chasing Excellence, by Ben Bergeron, https://www.turbomind.com/chasing-excellence-by-ben-bergeron/
- Mind Gym, by Gary Mack, https://www.turbomind.com/mind-gym-gary-mack-turbomind-book-club/
- Tom Coughlin, by him, https://www.turbomind.com/tom-coughlin-earn-the-right-to-win-best-ideas/
- No Limits, by Michael Phelps, https://www.turbomind.com/no-limits-by-michael-phelps-the-will-to-succeed-turbomind-com-book-club/
- Relentless by Tim Grover, https://www.turbomind.com/relentless-from-good-to-great-to-unstoppable-by-tim-s-grover-summary-by-miguel-de-la-fuente/
- Unbeatable Mind, by Mark Divine, https://www.turbomind.com/unbeatable-mind-mark-divine-turbomind-com-bookclub/
- Get the Life You Want, by Richard Bandler.
- Can´t Hurt Me, by David Goggins, https://www.turbomind.com/cant-hurt-me-by-david-goggins-turbomind-book-club/
- Make Your Bed, by Admiral William H- McRaven, https://www.turbomind.com/make-your-bed-by-admiral-william-h-mcraven-turbomind-bookclub/
- The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone, https://www.turbomind.com/the-10x-rule-the-difference-between-success-and-failure-book-summary/
- Discipline Equals Freedom. Jocko Willink, https://www.turbomind.com/discipline-equals-freedom-by-jocko-willink/
- RAFA, by Rafael Nadal, https://www.turbomind.com/rafa-by-rafael-nadalbook-summary/
I keep updating this list regularly….