I did 20 years in the Navy. I joined the Navy right out of high school and went through Navy boot camp, went to SEAL training, got done with that, and then showed up at a SEAL team, where I did 20 years. That was pretty much my whole adult life.
Don't think in the morning. That's a big mistake that people make. They wake up in the morning and they start thinking. Don't think. Just execute the plan. The plan is the alarm clock goes off, you get up, you go work out. Get some.
It's not fun to get out of bed early in the morning. When the alarm goes off, it doesn't sing you a song: it hits you in the head with a baseball bat. So how do you respond to that? Do you crawl underneath your covers and hide? Or do you get up, get aggressive, and attack the day?
Discipline starts every day when the first alarm clock goes off in the morning. I say 'first alarm clock' because I have three, as I was taught by one of the most feared and respected instructors in SEAL training: one electric, one battery powered, one windup.
The moment the alarm goes off is the first test; it sets the tone for the rest of the day. The test is not a complex one: when the alarm goes off, do you get up out of bed, or do you lie there in comfort and fall back to sleep? If you have the discipline to get out of bed, you win - you pass the test.
I did my utmost to ensure that everyone below me in the chain of command felt comfortable approaching me with concerns, ideas, thoughts, and even disagreements.
Every day is a major balancing act that I have to figure out and coordinate.
When a team takes ownership of its problems, the problem gets solved. It is true on the battlefield, it is true in business, and it is true in life.
Jiu Jitsu is a great workout both mentally and physically. You want to be strong for it and flexible for it.
With Benghazi, I don't see anyone saying, 'Hey look, I am overall responsible for this and therefore, I take responsibility for what happened. It's my fault.' I haven't heard that yet. Meanwhile, the other side of the coin, the Osama bin Laden raid, it seems everyone made that decision, and that's just unbelievable to me.
Some people, they take their form of working out as a religion that they think is better than everyone else's. I'm not like that. If you have a better way to work out, and you can teach it to me, and I find it to be useful and gets me in better shape, I'm all about.
That nice, soft pillow and the warm blanket, and it's all comfortable, and no one wants to leave that comfort - but if you can wake up early in the morning, get a head start on everyone else that's still sleeping, get productive time doing things that you need to do - that's a huge piece to moving your life forward.
There are a lot of inaccuracies out there when it comes to the SEAL training process. You will see guys carrying logs around on television. They think that the hardest part about being on a SEAL team is getting through that training. The fact of the matter is, if you have a good attitude, that training is fun. I had a blast.
When things are going bad, don't get all bummed out. Don't get startled; don't get frustrated. If you can say the word 'good,' guess what? It means you're still alive. It means you're still breathing.
Put your leaders in stressful scenarios. Make them figure out solutions under pressure. See if you can make them frustrated, angry, and flustered, and then demand decisive leadership from them. They will be challenged at first, but they will get better over time.
When I checked into SEAL Team One many years ago, one of the things that I noticed was there was this old guy, who was younger than I am today, who I decided that I was going to be like. I wanted to emulate what he was doing, and one of those things was he got to work before anybody else.
If you try and work out at 4:30 in the afternoon, how many people are going to chip away at that time? Your boss, your job, your work, your family, your other obligations that you might have. At 4:30 in the morning, all those people are asleep, so you can do whatever you want.
Do I have chocolate chip cookies? Yes, I do. Do I have mint chocolate chip milkshakes? Yes, I do. I love them. They are fantastic. But when I have them, they're worth it. I earned them. I did something. I worked out super hard. I stayed clean on food.
Most of us aren't defeated in one decisive battle. We are defeated one tiny, seemingly insignificant surrender at a time that chips away at who we should really be.
A lot of times, people have something that they're afraid of. They've got a client that's mad at them. They've got a project that's due. And they let that stress hang over their head. I don't let that happen.