We talk a lot about Self Mastery in our Unbeatable Mind training program. It is one of two primary disciplines of the Warrior-leader, and a driving force for us once we experience the impact of Five Mountain training and Front Sight Focus in our lives. The habits of the Master were introduce in my forthcoming book titled “Unbeatable Mind” and I thought it would be fun to review and discuss them in a series of short articles.
Masters are unflappable, unfazed and dead certain in the midst of the most intense, chaotic and grim circumstances – thus appear larger than life. They are “so in control.” What you have now learned is that they are not in control of the events, but rather, of themselves. I was clearly impacted in a very strong and positive manner by my first mentor, the Karate Master Tadashi Nakamura, founder of Seido Karate. I continue to be positively influenced by this Master’s example of stoicism, beginner’s mind, and effortless perfection in his disciplined approach to all aspects of his life.
Mr. Nakamura achieved Mastery by adhering to simple principles, and not wavering from this path. There are many unknown warriors who possess these same traits. They are the quiet professionals like former SEALs Glen Doherty (also a SEALFIT Coach) and Ty Woods who have stepped up to the plate to live the warrior’s life and stepped into the breach to save American Lives in Libya Sept 11, 2012. They did not wait around to be told what to do, but strode forth with courage and confidence to be the subject of the story, and not the object of their enemy’s story. They sought to create the reality and move the outcome to one they were satisfied with. They exhibited single point focus, uncommon resolve, a positive mind, discernment, high pain tolerance, unflappability, heightened awareness, focused on the welfare of others and humbly accepting of their responsibility.
These habits we desire to cultivate in our SEALFIT and Unbeatable Mind training. At first they will seem hard to achieve, but will accrue to us naturally as we polish the mirror of our minds and spirits daily.When one dedicates his or her life to mastering themselves through disciplined training and practice of a worthy pursuit, they gain mastery over their body, mind and emotions. In turn these precious human assets flourish and are expressed to their fullest potential. As a result the spirit is also allowed to grow and shine through the matrix of clutter that typically clouds it’s presence. When we see an individual operating at this level, we call them “Masters.” The habits are cultivated and honed over many thousands of hours of disciplined training. The habits are valuable to ponder and begin to internalize as we step day by day on our path to self-mastery. The habits include single point focus, uncommon resolve, an unstoppable positive attitude, greater discernment, heightened awareness, unflappable spirit, high pain tolerance, another focus, humble acceptance of circumstances, and shibumi, or effortless perfection. In this article we will look at the first two. Good luck on your own journey!
Single Point Focus
Masters practice KISS (Keep it Simple, Smart) with passion and are able to reduce their mental attention to a single point focus regardless of what is going on around them. This is the single point focus required to survive a parachute accident, to dominate an opponent in a sparring match, or to succeed time and again with business ventures. Deal making the way Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger do it requires incredible single point focus, and they are the wealthiest men in the world for it. Developing the “still water that runs deep” in our minds allows us to clear the clutter in our minds and focus with intensity on the task that must be done right now. This does not mean that we lose awareness of our surroundings. On the contrary, single point focus also includes an expanded field of awareness so you are taking it all in while focusing on the task. It seems contradictory but it is natural when we learn it.
Why will warriors such as our SEALFIT Coach Glen Doherty and his teammate Ty Woods (who together saved 18 American lives in Libya after ignoring orders from their superiors to “stand down”), or the Spartans at Thermopole, fight to the death for a cause they believe in? This unusual commitment is shared by all warrior traditions. How can one develop a similar uncommon resolve to persevere in spite of the odds against us? Masters develop this resolve by developing confidence through training, and courage through a faith-based humility. The faith required is one born of faith that there is an intelligent order, that we are part of that order, and that we can make a difference if we make the right choices. If our actions are aligned and in integrity with our purpose (as our belief and faith tells us), then we know we are doing the right thing, regardless of the outcome. Stepping into the breach to save teammates in grave danger is in complete alignment with the warrior’s code; therefore the warrior exhibits uncommon resolve born of the courage, backed by their faith that this action is the right action to take. The potential loss of life is given consideration but does not deter the warrior from taking action. This is where the honor is displayed. Any purpose worth living for is also worth dying for. A warrior is spiritual aligned and willing to live and die for a worthy cause. We will continue this discussion in part 3…until then, train hard, stay focused and stay on the path! – Mark Divine
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Mark Divine is founder and CEO of US Tactical, inc. which operates SEALFIT, NavySEALs.com and US CrossFit. He started his athletic career as a collegiate swimmer and rower, then competitive tri-athlete and martial artist before joining the Navy in 1990 as an officer. Mark graduated as honor-man of his SEAL training class (170) and served on active duty for nine years. Mark retired as a Commander from the Navy Reserves in 2011.
At NavySEALs.com and now SEALFIT, CDR Divine has trained and mentored thousands of Navy SEAL and other Special Ops candidates to succeed in the most demanding military training programs in the world. His success rate with SEALFIT in preparing candidates is unrivaled.