Feb 12, 2015

A Navy SEAL Explains 8 Secrets to Grit and Resilience

Getting Across

Outtakes from Article by Erin Barker

In this series we are breaking apart Erin Baker's article on why Navy Seals are so tough (Resilient) and what the everyday open water marathon swimmer can learn. 

Purpose And Meaning

To say SEAL training is hard is a massive understatement. 

The initial vetting phase (“BUD/S”) is specifically designed to weed people out who aren’t serious.
How do you get serious? Grit often comes from a place of deep purpose and personal meaning. Here’s James:

"At BUD/S you have to know what you’re getting yourself into and what you’re there to do.I still mentor a lot of guys who are interested in trying out for BUD/S and they always ask, “What do I need to do to make my push ups better?” or “Can you teach me the proper swim technique?” My first question is always, “Why do you want to be a SEAL? What is it about being a SEAL that appeals to you?”
The research backs James up. Without a good reason to keep pushing, we’ll quit. Studies of “central governor theory” show our brains always give in long before our body does.
“…Overall, it seems that exercise performance is ultimately limited by perception of effort rather than cardiorespiratory and musculoenergetic factors.”
But this isn’t just true for athletics, it also holds for careers. In a study of West Point alums, those that had intrinsic goals (“I want to serve my country. I want to test my abilities.”) outperformed those that had extrinsic goals (“I want to rise in the ranks and become an officer because that’s a really powerful position and it’s prestigious.”)

So purpose matters. But what’s the attitude that keeps you going in the moment? It’s actually a bit less serious.

If your just trying it to see if you will get across, you will more than likely fail.

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