People ask me about my go-bag—a bag packed with essential items, kept ready for use in the event of an emergency evacuation of one’s home. I’ve actually got a go-vehicle—I call it the Polar Express, and I’ve dreamed of it since I was in fifth grade. She’s a 2014 Ford heavy-duty E350 extended body van that’s been modified with a Triton V10 engine, 4-wheel drive, a 12,500 pound Warn winch, generator and flares, first-aid kits and supplies, secret compartments, outdoor shower, and a whole bunch of lights; and it’s configured for 6-8 people.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to be ready for anything—you plan and train in order to prepare yourself for the unexpected. Generally, go bags contain essential items to help maintain our safety, security, and physical survival—food, water, warmth, power, communications and such. Occasionally, we toss in a book or game to keep us distracted or entertained when there’s not much else to do. But, most of the time, we neglect to prepare and maintain our mental performance platform—not only for emergencies, but also for day-to-day living.
Essential Tools for Your Mind, Body and Heart
Those who make it through Navy SEAL training learn that the real Navy SEAL Platform isn’t some kind of manufactured weapon—it’s you, and your ability to take control of the only things we can control: our mental, emotional and physical capabilities. How we think, feel and act determine our chances at success.
My first book, Be Unstoppable: The 8 Essential Actions to Succeed at Anything, contains a system to gain this vital skill set—U.P.E.R.S.I.S.T.—I call this your Performance Platform. And, since no one person can do it all, I’ve spoken about the seven traits that characterize unstoppable teammates, which you can read more about in Unstoppable Teams.
It’s my current mission to help you acquire not just the tools you need to survive uncertain times of adversity, but also to develop the mindset and actions required to thrive and accomplish more than you originally thought possible. My new Unstoppable Mindset course will be the Grab-and-Go Bag for Your Mind to help you overcome obstacles and achieve your goals.
Mindset Tools for Your Grab-and-Go Bag
While there’s not a one-size-fits-all collection of tools to include in your mindset go-bag, there are some common widgets to grab and pack for both emergency situations and day-to-day living. They cover the physical, emotional and mental realms; and support and maintain your ability to navigate through foggy patches and lay in a course to achieve your goals.
Your mindset charts the course and determines how you steer your way through obstacles ahead. Your mind is completely dependent on the input it receives from your body. Feed your body bad foods, and your brain slows down, making it harder to make decisions. The same thing happens when you don’t exercise or get enough sleep.
Your goals and planning ability are the tools for plotting your course and staying pointed in the right direction. 3-D planning is the toolset for looking at a plan from every angle—not just where you want to go, but also at the things that could change your course, and plan how to deal with them.
Your focus is the toolset that funnels your energy down to the point where we take action. When dealing with uncertainty—or most any complex undertaking, for that matter—we must manage for the moment.
Your failures are learning opportunities that turn struggle into strength—I favor the glass-half-full (learning angle) approach versus the glass-half-empty (failure angle) approach—fortune favors the prepared!
Your feelings flow from both how you’re wired and what you’ve experienced, but also from how you think and what you tell yourself. The conversation between your head and heart is a key component of your go bag.
Your outcomes account toolset is especially helpful to bring along with you when you’re going after something that will require months, if not years, of persistence to attain; and when you’re needing to predict and evaluate the consequences of different actions.
The best scenario is to have multiple tools in your go bag—and to know how to use them! Here’s to being well-prepared for adversity and well-positioned to take advantage of new opportunities!