It is available for purchase through Amazon.com
What are the core elements that allow top performers to achieve success repeatedly?
One clear, positive thought can set a goal in bedrock or trigger peak performance.
Study 3 easy fundamentals, make them a habit, and you have a recipe for sustained success no matter what hurdles life throws at you.
This is a story of a small boy, scared and alone in the world, who ran away from home at 16, and overcame numerous hostile environments to pursue his dream to become a Navy SEAL, and eventually became the Naval Special Warfare sniper course manager (head) instructor. The lessons learned along the way were powerful.
When I was part of the sniper instructor cadre, we studied the habits of champions, and top performers. Then we applied them to our course curriculum and students. The results were incredible and undeniable.
The Power of Thought works.
We learn from stories: some true, some fiction. I’ve loved stories and storytelling since I was a boy marooned on my family’s sailboat, “Agio,” for long stretches at sea. I had a bunk room full of books and a large imagination. I was a voracious reader; there were no cell phones back then, and no TV in the middle of the southern Pacific Ocean. I relied on those stories for entertainment, for inspiration. Now, I hope my story entertains and inspires, too.
This is a story of a small boy, scared and alone in the world, who ran away from home at 16, and overcame numerous hostile environments to pursue his dream to become a Navy SEAL, a pilot, a business owner, and a New York Times best-selling author.
People told me I’d never amount to anything as a young man, including my high school counselor in Ojai, California. These people (I call them dream-stealers) invent reasons why we can’t or shouldn’t pursue our dreams.
This story of mine is true; the experiences are real and raw. There are no chapters; I wrote this book almost nonstop. In keeping with how I wrote it, it’s one continuous story, presented the same way it spilled out of me and onto my MacBook Air as I sat surrounded by the dark ocean night outside my San Juan condominium.
There are plenty of recent studies that prove the benefits of positive psychology. This isn’t one of them. While I truly believe in the benefits of positive psychology, and focusing on desired outcomes, I also know that people learn by sharing experiences, good and bad. Sharing experiences rather than prescriptive advice is like giving someone the tools they need to problem solve on their own and become successful. It reminds me of the quotation, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
In my experience, sharing personal stories can be the wind that blows away the fog surrounding an otherwise clear and ever-present solution. My hope is that, in reading The Power of Thought, you’ll learn the importance of taking time to think and speak to yourself more powerfully.
Consider what I’m about to tell you as a cautionary tale, like the old warnings of years past found deep in some South American jungle (take your pick), carved into stone in some old ruins and translated as, “All who enter, do so and risk your own peril.” Yes, you’ve been warned. Hopefully you take something valuable away from my experiences facing adversity with powerful thinking and turning it into leverage for success, happiness, and more.
When I left the military, it was to become my own boss. It didn’t work out so well at first, but after a few false starts, including getting kicked in the teeth a couple of times, I finally found something that I enjoyed doing—writing and publishing—and I turned it into a business. But it didn’t start out so well! And like most things in life, there are incredible lessons in failure that, like college credits, are requirements to become successful by our own measure.
I was a 29-year-old Navy SEAL chief petty officer with a young family. I made over a quarter million dollars buying small houses and apartments while on active duty, and I was hooked on real estate (always a great investment if you buy right). That led me to start reading books on investing and business (a good place to start for anyone). If you want to be successful, start reading about other successful people and their experiences. Then I did some simple military retirement math, and realized that if I stuck around another 7-12 years (this would put me at 20 or 25 years in), I wouldn’t just be physically broken, I’d be financially broke as well.
I had great income as a Navy SEAL because of all the special pays that added to my base pay, but only my base pay would factor into my retirement pay, so in essence, I would get the same retirement as a Navy cook (no offense, Navy cooks!). Hopefully this changes in the future, but it was that way in 2006 when I took the jump and left active duty for the civilian world.
So there I was, on active duty; I’d been meritoriously promoted to E6 at our training detachment sniper cell, then recruited to the SEAL sniper course by an old SEAL Team 6 senior chief, and then selected for chief petty officer my first at-bat while acting as the West Coast sniper course manager. I had a great career, but my fun meter was pegged, my back was killing me, and I wanted a better life for my family. I jumped from a speeding train.
It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I spent some time contracting overseas with a three-letter U.S. agency to put some money away, then started writing a business plan (my first ever, but needed for any venture, trust me) with a SEAL buddy of mine, Randy, who later became my business partner. What was the business? We saw the massive need for training areas for military, law enforcement and first responders in California. We were going to raise a few million dollars, buy a thousand acres, and develop it into a driving track and some shooting ranges. In hindsight it was a crazy first business venture, but SEALs don’t know the word no.
To make a long story longer, we did buy that land, raised just under $4M, and got the property through a complex and expensive county planning process in just under four years. However, saying it was a tumultuous process would be an understatement.
I have to pause for a laugh out loud here. I once had an ambitious and misguided young local reporter call me to inquire about some of my “Tumultuous business dealings….” I’ve got news for you, if you’re in business, especially as an owner, stand by for rapids around the corner! It’s part of being in business. Anyone who says otherwise is a politician or a reporter with no business experience.
Randy and I parted ways (we’re still good friends) following an influx of new partners, and after the project was finally approved, the San Diego, California chapter of the Sierra Club sued the county over our project’s environmental impact report. It’s a common tactic to kill projects or drag them out. Unfortunately for us, it choked the life out of the project.
It was a complete failure, and as the CEO and co-founder, I had to accept full responsibility for it. I’ve learned that it’s much easier to just accept responsibility and admit fault rather than put it off. Avoiding it just makes it much worse.
The Power of Thought is available for purchase through Amazon.com
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