I originally wrote the book Be Unstoppable as a leave behind for my four boys. In SEAL Team, we would write these “just-in-case” letters for our next of kin before deploying overseas in the event one of us returned home on our “shield.” Years later and shortly after the birth of my first son, Henry, one of my teammates came home on his shield and I knew his letter was addressed to an 18mth old son. That was 2003 and got me thinking what I would have written if I were in his boots. Ten years later I finished my “letter” to my boys and published it in hardcover in 2013. 25,000 copies later and translated into multiple languages, readers have asked me for a simplified version of what I refer to as the “Master and Commander’s Code” in the book. I attempted to simplify it by putting it into a powerpoint (see attached – it’s short!) and answer some commonly asked questions.
The Code is a series of actions that I learned from over 30 years of persisting after various goals. Whether your dream is found on the playing field, battlefield or the boardroom, the actions required bring the dream to life are precisely the same. It took me so long to write the book because I wanted to distill the things I learned into a format that my boys could embrace and apply at their ages (I was assuming as young as 10yrs old at the time).
The point is success comes from persisting, from getting up and trying again and again. The magic to succeeding is found in persevering – working hard. Unfortunately, many folks will work hard for a period of time and then give up… just before they were about to succeed. SEAL instructors, during Hellweek, could be heard saying: “it’s darkest (and coldest) before dawn.” The same applies when working toward that dream of yours. Your darkest hours usually occur just before you see the light of your dream turning into reality.
The Master and Commander’s Code was my way of simplifying and reminding people of what it takes to make something happen. And by something, I’m referring to that dream you’re not 100% sure how to make it happen – the one where others laugh at you when you tell them what you’re working on – the same one that generates demons of doubt in your head and makes you question yourself and your sanity.
I know those demons well. I’ve battled them on the sports field (in my case on the water – rowing), on the battlefield (leading SEAL platoons) and building companies (launching Perfect Pushup). Here’s the thing, if you’re reading this blog then you have the ability to go after your own dreams. So how come more people don’t pursue their dreams? From my coaching experience, people accidentally learn to accept limitations that aren’t theirs – they accept someone else’s limits as their own. They write off their dream as a silly escapade that they couldn’t really make happen anyway and focus on feeling “fine” instead of swinging for Awesome(!).
This blog is different from the others I’ve written because it comes with a short powerpoint explanation of what the Master and Commander’s Code is all about. View it as an early Holiday gift to get your juices flowing for 2018. I want you to go after your dream – I want lots of people to dream bigger and go for them because that’s what our country is built on and it’s what this world needs: people with the courage to dream BIG and go for it. Okay, so your dream or my dream might not change the world but it will change you and me when we succeed, and that’s a great start! I hope you enjoy the ppt and realize that the only three things in life we can control is enough to pursue any dream we can create – see the ppt for the 3 things we can control.
“The future belongs to those who have the courage to follow their dreams.”
Dream BIG and Go For IT!
This post was originally published on LinkedIn.