Below are 4 principles I believe are key to any successful endeavour. They are principles I've used myself in the past and continue to use today each and every time I set a new target.
Have a read and tell me what you think? Do you do something similar?
- Know your TARGET. What, in minute detail, do you want to achieve? Be very exact and definite.
- Create a ‘WHY’. Identify clearly the reason why you want the goal you have set. Look deep down inside yourself, and be very clear and precise, as you’ll need to draw on this reason time and time again when things get tough.
Write them down. Analyse them.
But there is a hazard up ahead! If you are preparing for Special Forces Selection I will always tell you that you don’t yet know why you will want to quit. Everything points to you passing selection. All your ducks are in a row, you’ve trained hard, you’ve studied all the relevant information, you’ve done your time in the regular Army and you’re free from injury.
At 2am on day 5 of selection, you’ve walked 70+ kilometres, you’re on your own in the middle of the bush somewhere, trying to get to your next checkpoint, or you and your team are dragging some ridiculously heavy equipment up a steep, deserted road with no end in sight, while the SF instructors scream at you to hurry up! Then it hits you…
That’s when you start to think about that girlfriend you left behind, or your little 3 month old girl who misses you; the regular battalion that doesn’t seem all that bad anymore; your parents that were against you ever enlisting. Maybe you could change jobs; start that business you’ve always thought about? Maybe the Army and Special Forces isn’t for you...
So, why exactly do you want to achieve your goal?
Be clear, be precise and be certain!
- Visualise and Feel your Success.
Many of you are probably familiar with visualisation technique. Vividly visualising your success, and that moment when you reach your goal, is a very powerful tool that consciously and subconsciously convinces you that you’ve already succeeded.
The other component to this is to Feel it. When you go through the visualisation technique of reaching your goal, try to experience the feeling of your success. Fool the brain into believing that you have already experienced this event. This will compound the visualisation aspect and forge an unstoppable need to succeed.
When training for Selection I did this exact technique thousands of times and convinced myself of the success I would experience. I did this so much that on the last day of Commando Selection, after 5 weeks of intense scrutiny, mental pressure and physical effort, I was lined up with the 26 candidates left from the 100 or so that began and was told it was finally over. The feeling I then experienced was a completely familiar one, as I had fooled my brain into experiencing that exact moment thousands of times before.
- Gain confidence in past achievements and build momentum.
I guarantee you, at some point in your life you’ve been successful at something; anything! In your past you’ve wanted something passionately and succeeded in getting it. How did you do it? What were the steps you took? Maybe you didn’t even realise the process you went through at the time to reach your goal.
Think about that past achievement now and all the necessary steps you took to complete it and ensure your success.
Great achievements don’t just happen by chance. Any goal worth setting your sights on can be broken down into small, manageable, micro steps. This achieves two things:
Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher said in 600 BC, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. So often a great, overwhelming goal is seemingly too far off into the distance or too complex to comprehend how to begin.
The way is to deconstruct the task, take it apart, analyse it and break it down into bite-sized steps. A bit of thought and you’ll have a sequence of micro-steps to take to achieve mission success.
Once they are all planned out, you take the plunge and action your plan by completing the very first step, then the second and the third. What you’re doing now is creating a pattern of success. You’re gaining momentum, creating small wins, building up an unstoppable force forging forward towards your end result; your end mission; your worthy goal.
These were the major steps I developed to achieve Special Forces Selection success:
- Became as physically fit as possible
- Learnt everything about the subject matter from experts
- Studied the unit and its history
- Became the best soldier I could possibly be
- Received the approval of my Commanding Officer
- Passed the psychological assessment
- Passed the entry test
- Passed the selection course
All these larger goals I then broke down into micro-steps, like individual training sessions, study sessions, courses, talks, thought processes, visualisations and so forth.
Every time I had a success and made a step, I grew in confidence. Then I replicated that winning process to take new steps and achieve new goals.
- Identify your target.
- Create a ‘why’. The reason you want it.
- Visualise and feel your success.
- Gain confidence and build momentum.
Action these processes and your success is guaranteed!