Do today what others won’t, so you can do tomorrow what others can’t. That is the smoke Jumper creed, and one of my all-time favorite sayings. It represents the spirit of Unbeatable Mind daily training and practice. We must be relentless with our practice, day in and day out… doing what others won’t or don’t. Soon, we show up VERY different, and able to do what other’s can’t. This is not meant as a put-down to those who won’t or don’t do the work. They have their own issues and karma to deal with. But you, on the other hand, have committed to growth to the highest levels possible… so you simply must do the work. Failure is not an option.
Day by day, in that way, you will grow more potential, perform at your peak, serve with more focus and integrity, and connect deeper to your team, tribe, and essential nature / higher power. To remain on point and win your day to day battles, you will need to rely on the rituals and spot drills. The rituals and spot drills have been discussed several times, and I bring it up again here in our last lesson to reinforce how important they are for the “One Day, One Lifetime” learning model of Unbeatable Mind. These rituals are what you “do today that other’s don’t.” They also provide you grounding, focus, connection to your ethos, and growth momentum.
Wake Up and Be Awesome with the Morning Ritual
The morning ritual powers you up for the day, and has you win in your mind before stepping out the door. The process outlined in this course is what works for me and offered as a guideline. You can mold it to meet your specific needs.
When you wake up drink a large glass of water, then sit comfortably with your journal, and begin to box breathe. After a minimum of five minutes box breathing, ask yourself these empowering questions, and write ideas that come up in your journal:
- What and who am I grateful for right now?
- What am I excited about doing today?
- What is my purpose? My passions? My Vision? My Mission?
- Do my plans for today align with my mission and vision?
- How can simplify and declutter to hit my targets for today?
- Who can I reach out to and serve, or to thank today?
Next, Visualize your Future Self – this is your 25-year vision, then you accomplishing your 3-year mission. Finally, review your actual daily plan. Make any adjustments and block time in your schedule for deep work on the important but not urgent things. What are your:
- PRIORITY TASKS (must complete today)
- PROJECTS (work on one step at a minimum today)
- CONNECTIONS (call/email people I need to connect with to offer help, or b/c I need something from them to move a project along)
- IDEAS (any ideas that came up during the Power Ritual)
After you have completed these things, then you can check your email, or ideally movement practice, write or read (or all of these!). Of course, taking care of kids, spouse, food, etc. are all on the list. But first, you take care of your personal mastery for the morning, then you serve the others. That is not selfish… rather it is essential for the long term capacity to expand your connection and service to your family and team.
Experience No Regrets with the Evening Ritual
The other bookend to the day is the evening ritual. Before you settle in for the night, get to your quiet space and with your journal and follow some version of these steps:
- Perform a minimum of five minutes of the 1-2 “Mother’s Breath, or a Box breathing pattern with 2x exhale (4-4-8-4 for example.).
- Continue deep breathing, then perform a “look back” recapitulation visualization of your day, from start to finish. Note whether you were “on” and in the zone today or “off” and unbalanced. Why? Was it lack of sleep, diet, a relationship, stress?
- Then ask yourself what were the top three positive things you accomplished or that happened to you today?
- Then ask yourself what went wrong, or suboptimal. Are there unresolved issues or questions. Go to your Mind Gym to work out whatever may still be bugging you. Eradicate any regrets right now by forgiving yourself (or others) and letting them go.
- Consider your targets and big rocks for tomorrow. Do a brief dirt dive to see yourself winning.
- Journal any insights, lessons learned, regrets eradicated.
- Sleep a minimum of seven hours, and wake naturally without an alarm if possible.
Prepare for Victory with the Pre-Event Ritual
During the day, or leading up to a big performance, you will use the pre-event ritual. This is things like a major mission, race, or challenge where you must operate at your peak because the consequences are high. This can be a 5-minute exercise, and it will have a powerful impact on your performance.
- First, as you approach the time of the event take action to avoid external distractions (some events have a known start time like a race or workout. Find a quiet space where you can be alone. If you are in a crowded area, just sit and close your eyes – others will leave you alone.
- Next, perform a Dirt Dive visualization see your performance as exceptional, flawless in the event. Diminish in size and energy your opponents (your own fear, competition, etc.). In this visualization see yourself dominating the situation, totally in control, and see your competitor as capitulating, congratulating you, (or weak and ineffective – whatever is appropriate for your situation). It is important to do both parts of this visualization. We tend to make our fear, our weakness or opponents bigger than life, so we can reduce their energy by bringing them down in size as we build ourselves up in our mind’s eye. Focus on your positive physiology and psychology during the visualization as you see the event unfold in your mind. Perform deep breathing during this dirt dive.
- Next, review your goals and strategy for the mission or challenge. See yourself accomplishing the goals with ease. Double-check your strategy against the reality of the moment. Are there any last minute modifications you need to make? Are you prepared for the unknown with contingency plans?
- Finally, anchor your peak performance with the imagery by making it a full sensory experience. See, feel and hear your ideal performance. Begin an internal dialogue with a powerful mantra to set the right mindset. Align your posture and emotional state as you wind up the pre-event ritual.
- Get ready to go… then stay present and in flow as you perform. You will use the big four skills to maintain flow, or get back to it if you fall out.
Learn and Grow with the Post-Event Ritual
When the event, challenge or mission is complete, find that quiet place again (or do at home). Make sure you have your journal.
- First, reflect on your performance. How did I do? What did I do well? What could I improve upon? What did I learn?
- Consider what you can do to change your training, strategy, tactics of mindset to improve?
- Consider if the mission or challenge was worth the time and energy. Was the return on investment worth it? Is it worth doing again, or continuing down that path? If you are a SEAL mission planner and the mission was a disaster, what would you do differently next time?
- Journal insights and lessons learned so they don’t get lost. These are grist for new choices in the future.
You may not have won the event, but you can win the aftermath with your positive response in this post-event ritual. If the event was a crucible like a challenge, reward yourself with some downtime and something meaningful to you… even if you feel you screwed up.
Reframe, Recharge and Regroup with Spot Drills
During the day, you can recharge, reframe and regroup with spot drills. Some of my favorites include:
- Box Breathing
- Mindful movement (squats with attentive breathing and sound, for instance). The list of potential mindful movements is long… squats, pushups, sun salutations, burpees, pull-ups, chi-gong, tai chi, spontaneous moves, and the like.
- Warrior breathing
- Vibe machine
- Take a short walk or run outside and deep breathe
- Visualization… still water, fish bowl, windshield wiper, empty the mental vessel
- Walk around and just be present to listen to others
- Offer to help someone
- Drink a glass of water with gratitude
- Reflect on something important and journal insights
- Read something inspiring for 5 to 30 minutes
- Sit back and ask yourself focusing questions: is what I am doing now (or about to do) in alignment? How am I doing today? What can I do different, better? etc.
- Bounce up and down (we call this the Jelly Fish drill in our Inner Circle)
- Feed the courage wolf with a teammate – “We got this… EASY Day!”
These rituals and drills will discipline winning habits, and lead to exceptional results. Do them today, while others don’t. Then you will do tomorrow (next year) what other’s can’t.