I just watched the movie “Lone Survivor.” A true story of Marcus Luttrell, it details a four man team being “inserted” into Afghanistan with a mission to take out a Taliban terrorist. The mission went bad and the team was overrun by a militia force. Only one of the four survived – Marcus Luttrell.
Like those around me, I sat in the movie theater dumbfounded, stunned, really, at the bravery of these men. With courage and determination, they took bullet after bullet and yet were able to outwit their enemies for hours. At one point in the movie I thought to myself, “This really happens; day in and day out in the schedules of our deployed military. YIKES!”
What also occurred to me, as I watched the men stumbling through the brush, was the key role their training played in what they did. The countless hours of pushing themselves mentally and physically on the training field bore fruit in their action on the battle field.
While you can’t prepare for everything that happens to you in life, you can develop personal disciplines that will help you weather the unexpected that happens.
- Harness your personal power of choice. Most people succumb to the lie that they have no or very little choices in life. While you can’t control everything, you have power to choose how you’re going to respond. Sometimes the response is to do nothing. Other times the response is to make a move and move fast. But make sure your response leads you to positive outcomes. Are you going to allow bumps in the road to defeat your attitude for today?
- Have a mental plan. Luttrell and his team practiced knowing when to “push left” or “push right.” They even knew when to “fall back” when the situation crumbled. Thinking through options, mentally visualizing next steps and taking small daily action all play into mental toughness.
- Stick it out. Perseverance pays dividends. I like the quote by Muhammad Ali, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'”
- Lean into God. Even if you’re not a spiritual person, the understanding that you are part of something bigger in this life is woven into your core and is a great benefit when you are having to make decisions. Ask Him for guidance. He promises to give it to you as it works into His purpose and plan for life.
Train everyday and you’ll be regarded a champion.