Green Beret’s learn to get a task done regardless of steep odds and intense situations. It’s about finding a way forward and continuous progress. No, the featured image is not a Green Beret motto – but a Special Air Service one. It’s still relevant to earning the Green Beret and living a driven lifestyle. After all, much of our methodology and mentality is derived from the Special Air Service.

Green Berets are mentally resilient creatures. They have to be after the trials and tests they undergo to earn the Green Beret in the first place. There’s a book that looks at the human potential incorporating some studies of the SEALs from Team Six and Green Berets called “Stealing Fire.” Book aside (review to follow, still reading it) there’s a mentality shared by many that accomplish goals. When you become a Green Beret, you tap into that.

For me and what I learned – it’s all about charting a path forward – knowing your goal and getting there. It’s about being dynamic and not getting caught in a linear path to accomplish your goal but, becoming flexible within the rules and norms and getting to the finish line. There’s a phrase I heard in SF fairly often while in training. If you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying – and if you get caught, you aren’t SF. 

I’m not condoning cheating, but you have to be willing to push yourself and take on risk. The Special Air Service motto, Who Dares Wins, seems to express the same. That, to get it done, you’re going to have to be bold and do what’s necessary. The risk is akin to both failure and success. Every day, you ought to remind yourself what you’re striving to do or become. If you’re saying -I’m good and don’t need to become anything that’s fine. But, there’s got to be something you want to improve or gain. It’s a form of mental hygiene. In the Qualification course, all of us are constantly reminded what we’re trying to do. Because we see the Green Beret and Special Forces tab on all the instructors and those we look to for guidance. It was a built-in floss we couldn’t avoid.

Hygiene is important, and if we don’t do it, we get sick. For whatever reason, no doubt there are many, feelings, emotions and mental health aspects that are thought of in the abstract. But, there’s undoubtedly a science and a why to it. There’s a reason you’re upset, and it’s not because you’re ‘weak.’ Although, there’s something to be said for your power to will through natural emotional warning signals and inertia. There’s inertia that’s between you and big events and for those depressed, that’s between them and picking up the phone.

The thing that seems to unite everyone in SOF is a shared sense of purpose. Waking up each morning, even when you hate life while in training or deployed it more than manageable when you’re doing it for a reason. A reason that’s greater than yourself and something that you believe in. According to the Blue Zones diet and lifestyle research, detailing the communities that live longer and healthier than most every other human enclave. Research noted that the sense of being and mortality was a shared trait among these communities. A professional scientific study was centered on that very phenomenon, here.

The study is titled “Sense of life worth living (ikigai) and mortality in Japan: Ohsaki Study.” What they found is fascinating. Those who did not have sense of life worth living (ikigai) – were more likely to die. I’ll leave this part of the topic, here. Entrepreneurship, dieting, goal getting, whatever – it all sounds similar in the vein of an attempt to gain a full and deep ikigai, or sense of life worth living. The harder the effort, the more fulfilling and the life worth lived. While diet and lifestyle are no doubt paramount to how you feel – your mental azimuth, or rather finding it, is equally if not more important.

Featured image courtesy of Army.mil

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