On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
Something that resonated with me. David Goggins is a former Navy SEAL and someone that inspires me. I listened to him speak this week about his “1 second rule.” He explained that regardless of how motivated, talented, or driven you may be, success will boil down to how you react over a single second. The example he used were guys around him that quit during BUDS training because they were so cold. They sought comfort and in their “1 second” quit, whereas the people that completed SEAL training persevered in theirs.
I find this way of thinking to be accurate. Some of my biggest triumphs have come when I felt close to quitting but continued. This premise applies to every important decision. Deciding not to drive drunk, holding our temper, remaining calm in a stressful situation, attempting something that scares us, and so many other things are examples of this principle. Take the 1 second rule seriously because you will be faced with it many times throughout your life. The years of your life will be guided by how you react in those crucial seconds.
A recent reminder. On Saturday night I went to bed about 9:30 stressed out. My mind was thinking extensively about how I was going to help someone very important in my life. I woke up only a few hours later just past midnight and couldn’t turn my brain off. At first, I tried to get back to sleep but after an hour I decided just to get up and start mapping out what I would do to resolve the issue. I took a couple hours to think through everything and wrote out a plan.
Foregoing the sleep was worth it for me. Rather than continue to feel anxious and uncertain, taking the time to face the problem gave me peace and a path forward. The second I finished writing out my thoughts I felt clear-headed, sure of how to proceed, and more energetic than I would’ve been from sleep. This was an excellent reminder of the necessity of facing our problems head-on. The longer we avoid them, the more daunting they become. Therefore, deal with them as directly and as soon as possible.
A useful skill. Do you struggle to wake up on time, eat what you know you should, exercise regularly, study enough, watch less TV, etc.? Things of this nature are often not completed or done properly because they are challenging. Also, they are often far less fun and certainly less gratifying in the short term than their alternatives. Earlier in life, I was not great in many of these areas myself.
Now, my approach is to do my best to become a master at what I don’t want to do. This is accomplished through consistency and a mindset where excuses are not tolerated. As an example, if I set the goal to get up at 4am and run 10 miles, I don’t see how I feel when the alarm goes off. I go no matter what. It is imperative to view the difficult things you know you must do as an opponent. You can’t allow that opponent to get the better of you, you must keep fighting back until it becomes easy to do so.
Something I noticed. I was around one of my son’s football teams recently and saw two examples of behavior that interested me. The first was a coach that showed up for the game complaining about how far a walk it was from his car to the field (barely a quarter mile at most). He kept going on about it, sounded wimpy, and then spoke to his players about showing determination and having heart. The other example was a coach that is horribly out of shape preaching to the kids about how important it is to be well-conditioned and in shape. In both instances I was struck by how what they were saying clashed badly with the example they were setting themselves. This is common.
Often, we have a set of standards we know are important but do not follow ourselves. We become great at telling others how to behave but we fail to do it. For this reason, it is crucial to ask what our behavior, habits, and actions say about us. Are they congruent with what we are saying? If not, it is time to make some adjustments. Remember, don’t talk about it, be about it.
Some quotes I love.
“When they can’t touch the person you’ve become, they’ll dig up who you used to be.”
“Even when I was close to defeat, I rose to my feet.” – Dr. Dre, Still D.R.E.
“There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either in or out. There’s no such thing as a life in between.” – Pat Riley