The Navy SEAL unit serves as one of the most elite special forces in the military. As such, they undergo extensive training, participate in often-dangerous missions, and do things many Americans could never dream of doing. Along the way, many of them also pick up some life lessons the rest of us could stand to learn. Here are a few pieces of advice from Navy SEALs that will start your New Year off on the right foot. 1. Set micro-goals for yourself
Set small, achievable goals for maximum success. | oatawa/iStock/Getty Images Navy Seal Training Guide: Mental Toughness author Lars Draeger said his training taught him to focus on one thing at a time, avoiding all distractions. SEALs do that by first determining the overall objective, breaking it down into more doable pieces, and repeating as needed until the task gets done. That strategy helps SEALs complete high-level missions, but it can also help you tackle, say, home improvements.
Next: We all have heroes, but this type of guide can help you reach your goals. 2. Find three mentors to emulate
Find three people to look up to for inspiration. | Oli Scarff/Getty Images Tim Ferriss, author of The Four Hour Work Week interviewed General Stanley McChrystal and former Navy SEAL officer Chris Fussell, who offered him some key advice. Always look up to three people as “mentors” in your organization. Those should be someone senior you want to emulate, a peer who does a better job than you do, and a subordinate who does your prior job better than you did.
“If you just have those three individuals that you’re constantly measuring yourself off of and who you’re constantly learning from,” Fussell said, “you’re gonna be exponentially better than you are.”
Next: This take on “sweat the small stuff” will have you focusing on even tiny tasks. 3. Do small things right
Start your day off in this very important way. | Golubovy/iStock/Getty Images Admiral William McRaven , a Navy SEAL commander who was in charge of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, gave some advice during a speech in Texas. His first commandment? Always make your bed in the morning. “It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another,” he explained. “By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”
Next: You can think of this next time you feel discouraged. 4. Don’t ring the bell
A serviceman with the US Navy, ring a ships bell to mark the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during the Friends of the National World War II Memorial and the National Park Service, commemorate Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. | Pete Marovich/Getty Images McRaven also said not giving up ranks as one of the most important lessons he can impart. In SEAL training, a […]