“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Aristotle
In my book, 8 Weeks to SEALFIT: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Unconventional Training For Physical & Mental Toughness, I tell a story about a middle-aged business owner who described himself as common. He’d hit his 40s, and spent most of his time riding a desk. Yet he knew he wanted something more out of life, and fate found him at the door of a CrossFit gym. After a year of training his mind and body, he had begun to open up to the possibilities that life offered him.
Bobby Yates wondered what was next, and enrolled in my Unbeatable Mind Academy. Unbeatable Mind is designed to clear the slate when it comes to the psychological shackles most of us unwittingly accept. When I say shackles, I mean those stifling patterned limitations perpetuated by a weakening culture guilty of 34 hours a week of mind-numbing TV.
Thirty-four hours a week. Is it any wonder that chronic depression and Type-2 diabetes are skyrocketing? Those living that ugly stat will reach the age of 65 having spent nine years in a passive state of erosion, mindlessly soaking in the banal values of producers selling sex and feel good pluralism, and the sales messages of corporations selling everything from cola to pharmaceuticals.
The mission of Unbeatable Mind training is to shatter those perceived self-limitations that hold us back from our true potential. The ultimate goal is to find your 20X potential, and students often turn to SEALFIT to accelerate what the Unbeatable Mind training has unlocked. To “unlearn what you have learned,” as the Jedi Master Yoda put it, so you can begin again with a fresh slate. A big part of this unlearning is a re-definition of work. Bobby Yates learned what real work was in CrossFit, and then re-defined it again when he attended SEALFIT Academy a year later.
The 2-hour SEALFIT Operator WODs crushed Bobby. He was pushed deep into areas of discomfort that he didn’t even know were areas. He had to push far beyond what he used to think of as hard training – and he routinely cursed the program and me along with it. Change of any kind, especially of this depth, has multiple, increasingly uncomfortable layers of experience as bodies and minds go through the distress of physiological and neurological rewiring. SEALFIT training has a relentlessness that comes straight from actual SEAL training, which requires a keen insight into why you are doing the work. Just as a SEAL Trainee—overwrought in the midst of BUD/S training—will find himself in trouble if he doesn’t have a clearly defined “Why” driving him through the discomfort, Yates had to confront his true self and ask, ‘Do I really want this? Is this really worth all the pain? Where is this taking me?”
The answer to those questions came in a flash after 12 grueling weeks of training. I took the call on my cell phone and it was him: “Coach, Bobby Yates here,” he said with exhilaration. “ I called to tell you about my breakthrough.”
Bobby explained that for three consecutive weeks he had been able to complete the Advanced Operator Training sessions, all as prescribed. But what he really wanted to tell me was a foundational transformation that had come toward the end of this feat. He had finally begun to tap into the Warrior within – and rather than dreading workouts, he found himself waking up in the morning and chomping at the bit to get busy. He felt a new sense of courage, commitment and even honor. The work was burning a hole right through him and transforming him into a new person, one that was uncommon.
“I’m a machine at work,” he told me with excitement. “I have tons of energy to spend with my family. My friends think I’m crazy, but I feel like I’m 20 years old again.”
That inner Warrior that Bobby tapped into is the secret to our massive personal power that is stored within the depths of everyone. It took the SEALFIT training to bring it to the fore with Bobby, as it does with so many others. When we take a hammer to the old norms and replace it with a new and higher standard, one that takes uncommon effort to strive for, we step up to meet every challenge with a sense of destiny about victory. Bobby’s new “normal” is very rare in today’s world. Since you are reading these words, I assume that your new normal is to find your 20X and maximize your human potential as well. The time is now – there is no excuse to continue to be common.
Where to go from here? Everyone is different – Bobby activated his inner strength through CrossFit and then found his warrior strength through SEALFIT. Years ago, when I was in the Wall Street rat race, it was Zen and a martial art that activated my inner strength, and the SEALs that ignited my warrior spirit. In both cases, as with you, it all began by listening to that quiet voice within, the one that urges you on to something greater, telling you that you are not meant to be common, but for something more, something different and someone special.
In this new blog series, I am going to dig deep into the various aspects of SEALFIT training and philosophy, explaining what it is and what it has in store for those who have the motivation to give it their absolute all.