Here we are reviewing Day 4 of 20x Your Potential. The goal was simple. Execute laser beam focus to take control of yourself. It as an extension of Days 1-3 only this time looking at the will.
To overcome the will requires laser focus and discipline like a Trapist Monk. I took a vow of silence for 2 hours. Here were the rules:
- No Talking
- No Internet
- No Phone/Devices
- No Sleeping
- No Reading
When I first saw this challenge, I thought it would be easy if I could only find the time. My biggest worry was how this would impact my family.
The first four rules were easy to conquer. I’ve been through military training before and toughed through the challenges of being cut off from the distractions of life. But even in the training environment, I had something to read (manuals, study material, religious material). Going without something I truly enjoy was a tall order.[Tweet “Laser focus on the one next action moves you forward to mission success #militarymindset”]
I carved out some time at the very end of the day. One hour before the kids went to bed where I could focus on my chores. One hour after the kids went to bed where I could focus on being alone in my mind.
This two-hour experience didn’t help me reach the same level of laser focus that I had experienced in different phases of military training. Being alone in my mind was quite uncomfortable during those training phases. I conquered uncomfortably through focusing on the one next action I did have control over. Making silence and deliberate action part of my daily routine has freed my mind to focus on what needs attention instead of distractions.[Tweet “Focus on what needs attention instead of distractions #militarymindset”]
During silent time in training, I would wonder what my family was doing back home. It was lonely. I would try to plan for the impending attack from the instructors. My mind was racing trying to stay ahead of problems. However, living in the future creates worry instead of calming fears. It was easy to quiet my mouth, but hard to quiet my mind.
What I learned from silence, was the importance of staying in the present moment. I love the SEAL slogan, “The only easy day was yesterday.” It is too easy to hold on the past. I get it, I’m a history teacher. But, letting go of yesterday’s baggage frees you to move forward and make progress.[Tweet “Letting go of yesterday’s baggage frees you to move forward and make progress #militarymindset”]
Letting go of the past is similar to going out on a mission. Once you leave the safety and protection of the base, you are exposed, risking everything. You don’t have time to think about the would’ve, could’ve, should’ve. Instead, you can only focus on the present moment. Laser focus on the one next action moves you forward to mission success.
This is the power of getting comfortable in the quiet of your mind and focusing on the here and now. Learning from past mistakes is necessary, but reliving the past is soul crushing.
The military has a saying, “Fail forward to success.” Focus on the mission and the one step necessary to move forward. Complete this process repeatedly and you will achieve your goal. Embrace the silence of the present moment, build laser focus, and attack your goals.
[reminder]Do you have what it takes to develop laser focus and take the one next action. Share your story.[/reminder]
[callout]Read all my reflections from 20x Your Potential: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 [/callout]