Saturday, February 22, 2014

Way of the Seal ... following the Joshua Principle, the Way of Jesus

The Way of the Seal by Mark Divine (retired U.S. Navy Seal Commander), is about the skills of the Navy Seal, that if applied to life and business pursuits, would bring a powerful, productive dimension to our society. What he has noticed is we lack a cultural emphasis or education around honor, courage, commitment, seeking career advancement to be better people. Aspiring leaders lack a foundation in their own character development. We should have a strong focus on building character. 

The bottom line Divine says is if you lack an underlying commitment to self- mastery and growth, even the best theory won't help you lead yourself or a team to success. The Navy Seal is predicated upon your commitment to fully develop personal discipline and an ethical stand. Your focus is on becoming a good teammate before stepping into the leadership arena. 

The progression is from spirit to mind and then body. We must merge our heart and mind in action.  He summarizes to achieve Seal worthy success, you must
--establish your set point which is developing a deep sense of values and purpose
--develop front-sight focus so nothing can derail you on to victory.
--bulletproof your mission to inoculate your efforts against failure
--do today what others won't and then achieve tomorrow what others can't
--get mentally and emotionally tough, and eliminate the "quit" opinion from your subconscious
--break things, remake them and keep improving through innovation
--build your intuition
--think offense all the time to surprise your opponent and dominate the field
--and train for life development mastery in all areas of your life. 

In the book Divine goes into detail in each area. Within and at the end of each chapter, he provides exercises to learn the skills he recommends. Here is a brief overview of the Way of the Seal. 

A person must have a definite handle on his purpose, set values which form his character. Know what you stand for and live it. You have a reason why you exist on earth. What is your "why."  Without knowing this and living it a person will give up too soon before fulfilling the mission he sets out on. Uncover your purpose and learn how to envision your "future me." Have a strong stand, and build concrete character... the cornerstone of his process. 

Front-sight focus is preparing the mind. Learn how to breath. It is interesting breathing is very important to achieve what you set out to do and not let factors around you distract you. Divine recommends an exercise where you breath in at a count of four, hold it for a count of four and breath out in a count of four. Do this exercise every day for several minutes, extending it each time, and when faced with any situation first breath as he teaches. 

Practice a sacred silence and focus on just breathing. Think on a simple personal powering mantra as you do it. Then envision what you see in your future. See your future in these times, believe it as happening and then make it happen. Another way he puts it is to fantasize your purpose deliberately daily... before and after a day. Any attempts at action before you have mastered this fall short of being accomplished as you wish. 

Define your mission and simplify the battlefield. Determine your unique offer. 

Learn to direct your mind and be aware of your thoughts. You direct the mind with this process.
Detect. When negative or undermining thoughts enter your mind be aware.
Interdict. Stop the thought by simply saying stop, no.
Redirect. When you stop the negative thought, redirect it to powerful thought. In Seal training he learned to laugh within tough challenges, when he thought he couldn't go on. e.g., instead of saying I can't stand this, say just starting to have fun now.
Energize. Use the breathing technique to solidify the new thought so it takes hold as the dominating thought. Shift into a positive energizing state of mind with positive self-talk and mental imagery. 

To bulletproof the mission, keep going back to define what are your priorities, what are the realities you face, the options you have and select the best path forward

When you clearly and visually define your mission you reconnect with it viscerally(more from instinct than intellect). Divine calls it "dirt-dive" the mission. Practice the mission with the team until you have won it in your minds. It is practiced so well, it is then performed instinctively. 

Do what others won't and find your 20X Factor. What you think you can't do start thinking you can do it 20 times more than you think. Ancient warriors prepared with "mighty effort" which is training vigorously to do what others can't or won't. The industrial age brought us material prosperity, but also obesity, poor health, lack of purpose. Push your limits and acknowledge this mighty effort as both positive and necessary for true happiness. Embrace the pain and become disciplined, driven and determined in your mission. Again, your "why" is the most important factor that keeps you going. 

Forge mental toughness to control your response. Breathing neutralizes the fight and flight response to stresses. The sympathetic nervous system kicks back to the parasympathetic nervous system which brings balance... so we think and respond clearly, while not letting fear, anger, freezing control us. A Seal's life and death in combat depends on having this mental control. Control your attention, develop emotional resilience, harness your emotions. In the breathing and sacred silence you build the self-esteem, optimism you need. Then in the heat of action, focused breathing keeps you there. The Seals are about their team and not themselves. Take your eyes off yourself and on the team, completely committing to the team. All people pushing yourself forward.
By setting effective goals and visualizing powerfully you forge mental toughness. 

Box Breathing is mastering the four count breathing in, holding and breathing out exercise. Set SMART goals... specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. Divine says the key is to live in the present and set chunk goals, what you can do today, the next step. Seals work from step to step in their actions with high concentration on each step, staying in the present. 

Keep getting better. To do that you must break things and rebuilt them to be better. Apply total commitment, burn your boat, find a way forward fast by systematizing trial and error... try something new, fail, analyze the lesson learned, how can we modify the approach to regain momentum, re-instate the insights for you and your team and try again. Keep repeating this process. Navigate gaps for opportunity, operate in the present, identify and destroy blind spots, innovate and adapt quickly. Make decisiveness and variety a habit. Divine said he kept deliberating changing team meeting locations, times and methods. It's important to learn to excel in chaos, new conditions. 

Working within the rational mind is only half the effort. Intuition, using the subconscious mind needs developed. We haven't used this part to its potential but the Seal learns awareness skills from a developed intuition. A person should read this chapter in detail to grasp this. But in the fight of the day, we need to use the senses, pick up danger like a dog can pick up a scent, following the intelligence of the great computer program in our subconscious mind. This takes much time in relaxed awareness, i.e., much like meditation but focused for answers and future awareness of what to expect. In the alpha state you can get answers to questions not possible in the rational mind. You have a place where wisdom tells you things you may not know but need to know. 

Think offense all the time. Develop unwavering confidence by changing your words and changing your attitude. Avoid mental traps by avoiding:  things you doubt instead of investigating them, feeling you owe something to people who give you something, if something is good for someone you know it is good for you, waiting for social proof before acting, clinging to things once you have them, inflating the value of authority figures' ideas, thoughts, decisions. Activate your radar, do the unexpected while staying on the offensive to keep your opposition off guard. 

Divine concludes with an in-depth chapter on training the Seal Way including examples of training plans others have used to help you develop yours. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Closing thought, "slow down and shut up."  Lead with your heart. Breath, be quiet and let your spirit work through your mind. More from Mark Divine at 

Follow the Joshua Principle

A daily discipline of fixing our minds on God's principles, renewing our minds, rebuilding our minds, and taking disciplined action every day with the Power principles of Spirit is our driving force.

The first chapter of Joshua and the Psalms emphasize the power behind constant meditation, sharply focused thinking to concentrate on the precepts, principles of the Bible. In Joshua, God guarantees success in efforts that follow this method:

" I promise you what I promised Moses: 'Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you. No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. "Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1: 1-9, NLT)  

The Lord told Joshua to check out the territory... get intelligence on what is going on where he was to take the land.
" Then Joshua secretly sent out two spies from the Israelite camp at Acacia Grove. He instructed them, "Scout out the land on the other side of the Jordan River, especially around Jericho." So the two men set out and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there that night." (Joshua 2:1, NLT)

And sometimes His methods are unorthodox, out of the ordinary
, even a little bizarre. Think of it, God has His Servants stay in a prostitute's house. That definitely would raise a few eyebrows, but the cleverness here is the enemy most certainly wouldn't expect that as Children of God.

With this intelligence, He guarantees that we will be effective when we follow what he tells us strategically to do.
Whenever they followed the orders of the Lord, the Angel of God's Spirit went before them and they had overwhelming success. When they didn't, they had humiliating defeat. The only defeats came when they failed to follow His instructions to the finest detail. We can be assured He, the Spirit, will give us instructions to the finest detail if we seek his strategies first. And then follow them precisely. The important thing is seeking His Strategies, first.
We then are assured overwhelming victory.

How can we develop this ability to hear the exact mind of Christ, the strategies of God and His Spirit. It takes a life of discipline in the Spirit.

Jesus way is to believe. With faith in Jesus, see the answer already fulfilled knowing Jesus has the power to do it.

Faith is also the ear through which the voice of God is always heard and intercourse with Him kept up. It is through the Holy Spirit the Father speaks to us; the Son is the Word, the substance of what God says; the Spirit is the living voice.  God needs to lead and guide him; the secret voice from heaven must teach him, as it taught Jesus, what to say and what to do.
To be consistent to what we believe and stand for requires a personal disciple daily... morning, noon and night... keep mulling over the teachings of Jesus and His Apostles in the Bible. Joshua advocated to meditate on Spiritual principles day and night…i.e., constantly and all the time.

Those who practice this relate that they have seen great miracles when they do this repeatedly.
How you prepare in quiet, in Jesus Spirit, in the Secret place of the Most High, will be manifested, come into reality.

But it takes renewing the mind through reprogramming its thought processes, with Jesus' Spirit processes and then allowing it to saturate our being as it takes us on a mystical journey in our mind and soul. The more time spent here the greater the external results you will see
. The more Spiritual Power you will see being part of your life. The more results you will see in untouchable areas of your life....mind, body, relationships, purpose, mission, gifts, skills.

You live a Powerful, Action-packed, Spirit-guided lifestyle.