There?s a maxim in the military that goes – ?Train as you will fight.?
The principles behind the military training might differ from that of a regular classroom or college degree but in reality, they can be equally utilized for living a life filled with confidence, courage, discipline and strength.
Over years, army or military personnel have been put under rigorous physical and mental training programs that pushes the limit of the human body and mind. As a result of which stress, pain, trauma, heat, cold and just about any life threatening situation can be survived, endured and overcome by a soldier.
The fact is???every soldier is taught to be that way. With repetition, practice and training, the mindset of a soldier becomes solid as a rock and sharp as a razor.
So how can you (and me) make use of the military mindset to become sharper, stronger and betterthanweare? Is there a pattern to this mindset that can help us get closer to our goals and achieve them?
Yes. The right mindset can make all the difference.
If you suffer from procrastination, laziness, lack of clarity or confidence?or a combination of them all ? it?s probably because you don?t have control over your thoughts, your outlook, your perspective and probably, your actions.
Have you ever asked yourself- ?Am I in control of my mind or is my mind taking control of me?? If not, it is important to take a prudent pause and ask yourself this right now.
Before learning how to be battle-ready, the military mind has a much important lesson to learn. In the military, the first and foremost lesson is to master your mind. It is said that the aim for military training is not just to prepare soldiers for battles, but make them long for it.
Now don?t get all philosophical with this. Mental mastery won?t give you any special superpowers all of a sudden. What it will give you is an almost superhuman ability to make best use of the most important tool/gift/resource you have in life???your mind.
?You can never conquer the mountain. You can only conquer yourself.?
Learning how to build a military mindset can lay the foundation for a successful, more fulfilling and satisfying life for all of us.
Will it be easy? Definitely not.
Will it be worthy? Absolutely yes.
Building and developing a military mindset is going to take every iota of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strength. Jump only if you truly want to become better in life.
If you don?t have the will to succeed, you might as well stop reading beyond this point.
However, if you want to live life like a champion, a warrior and a fighter???get ready to prepare for the most important battle you?ll ever fight.
What is the Military Mindset?
A state of mind achieved after completing intensive training, the military mindset can be colloquially summarized in the following mental attributes –
1. A mindset with discipline
2. A mindset with courage
3. A mindset with purpose
To develop all (or any) of the aboveattributes, you don?t have to undergo exhaustive training like an Army General or a Navy SEAL.
All you need to do is to take three steps.
Ready? Let?s take the first step.
Step 1: Train your Brain
What are the first thoughts that cross your mind when you think of a soldier? Based on your thinking prowess, your answers might lie in the spectrum of extremely courageous to ruthlessly resilient.
That?s precisely what military sergeants and soldiers are. After undergoing intensive mental training and preparation, the mind of a soldier gets stronger and sharper.
Just like a military personnel, treat your mind as a muscle and start training it every day to improve mental toughness, strength, resilience and focus.
Now you don?t have to go to a gym to do that, mental training can happen anywhere.
How they do it in the military? ? If you know anything about military, you probably know that their day begins at the strike of dawn. The value of time is immense in the military life and they practice punctuality like a lifelong ritual. Their day begins at the same time everyday.
How can you do it? ? Being punctual is the first (and easiest) way to train your brain. Punctuality breeds discipline which in turn breeds mental strength (remember ? the mind is also a muscle). If you snooze, you lose.
When you start getting out of your bed on the same time everyday, this habit will become a solid foundation to help you get out of your mental and physical comfort blanket. Want to take things a notch higher? Immediately make up your bed once you get out of it. Simple as it might sound yet when a Navy Admiral was asked about the most important lessons he learned from SEAL training, he replied ? ?If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed?
Hear him here.
Start waking up early in life. Now this isn?t a military specific advice, the benefits of early rising are immense and almost every person who is successful in your books gets going early in the day.
Whether you read a book, go for a run, practice your craft or simply meditate, getting up early gets you going and is one of the easiest ways to train your brain every single day until it becomes a habit.
Step 2: Do Something Different
From random shouts to unanticipated attacks, the military mindset is all about preparing for the unknown. In military lingo, this is called ?Situational Awareness?.
Basically, it is the ability of your mind to pay attention to what?s going or happening around you. Of course, a military environment will require entirely different levels of combat tactics and mental conditioning techniques to develop this special ability but you too can practice this technique at any point and time in life.
Mental agility is built when you give your brain something new, challenging and entirely unknown to experience.
To make better decisions in your personal and professional lives, you will need lots of mental planning and courage.
How they do it in the military? ? Mental conditioning drills in the military are reinforced by positive thinking, controlled aggressive thoughts, relaxation and defusing of destructive emotions. The training involves thinking of new situations and circumstances that might (or might not) happen in the future.
How can you do it????Start by giving your brain new situations and simulations on a daily level. Routine is the recipe to safety and to develop mental courage, you?ll have to break the patterns of routine.
It?s easy to be happy when you?re well-placed in your personal and professional life. But ask yourself ? will you be happy if you?re put in a totally different situation or curve in life? How well would you respond to the unknown? Do you have the courage to take the unexpected punches and fits life can throw at you anytime?
Start going out to new places. Make a point to meet new people (even if you?re an introvert). Try saying yes to new experiences and activities. Pick up a new hobby or a useful skill. To be successful, you must learn how to build the right amount of mental confidence and preparedness and for that you must embrace the unknown.
Have the courage to try out something new and different whenever life gives you an opportunity.
Yes, you might fail, suck at it or make a complete fool of yourself. So what? At the least, you?ll be wiser, fuller and better prepared than anyone who doesn?t even want to face fear in the eye.
Step 3: Visualize your Goals
Visualization is one of the most critical fundamentals of the developing a military mindset.
No matter how hard you train your mind and how confident you are in life???if you don?t have a goal, you?ll never know which road will take you there.
A soldier is trained to visualize life-threatening events and situations that they might encounter anytime. It is almost as if visualizing the future in the present so that you can tap your mind into believing you have already witnessed this event.
How they do it in the military????Military personnel are trained to move towards a common goal. In military training, a ?trigger? is developed as part of the mental training.
This trigger can be anything. It can be different for everyone. But the point of this trigger is to remind you of a goal that is worth fighting for, living for and even, dying for.
How can you do it????Pick a goal in life. If you can?t, make a list of things that interest you and then find what can be that one goal that drives you.
Your goal could be anything from eating healthy, getting fit, writing a book or learning a new skill. A visual trigger will help you learn how to dream it (before you learn how to do it).
Choose your trigger. Have one image in your mind that instantly moves and pushes you. Make this mental memory the ultimate motivation you need to achieve your goal. Whenever you are in doubt, dilemma or depression- pull that trigger and go for it.
The power of visualization is immense. But it is most effective when practiced with discipline and sincerity. Take few minutes out of your busy schedule and visualize your goal(s) every single day.
Be consistent in your goalvisualizations. Always tell yourself that you can do it. Even on the days you think you cannot do it.
Not everyone gets to train in the military, but not everyone has to.
The point behind building a military mindset is to take the best techniques and strategies and use them to up your personal and professional game.
Just like a battlefield, life isn?t an easy curve. To be successful and live a fulfilling life, the secret is to use your mind to the best of your potential and advantage.
3 steps to start with:
- Wake Up Early and Do Something You Love
- Try New things with Confidence
- Visualise your Goals daily
Remember ? every big change begins with a small step. The key to develop a rock solid mental ability and mindset is to take things a bite at a time, a bullet at a time, a step at a time.
Practice begets productivity.
Practicing a military mindset can help you live a life with guts (and glory). Most importantly, it is a proven way to get closer to your goals in life.
After all, the right mindset can make all the difference.
Time to take control of your life, soldier!