The Stoics tell us we need to be like a fire… not a candle, or even a camp-fire; you need to be a “burn-the-house down forest fire”!
That fire can’t be extinguished by blowing it out or raking its coals. In fact, wind, trees, and any obstacle placed in it’s way just make it stronger. When you burn with that much intensity/momentum everything in your path is just fuel for growth. If you have an unextinguishable mindset like that forest fire, anything and everything that is thrown at you is ‘Good’– just fuel for growth!
In fact, that is the mantra that ex-Navy SEAL commander, Jocko Willink uses to approach everything that happens to him throughout the day.
He loses a game? GOOD– Thanks for the motivation to train harder!
He gets yelled at? GOOD– Either get better or find a new job working for someone he respects.
The point is that we can’t control what obstacles are put in our path, but we can always choose how we react to those obstacle. When we take 100% ownership of the things that are within our control we become anti-fragile. Not fragile. Not even resilient, but ant-fragile– the more we are dropped, kicked, and smeared in dirt the stronger we get. With that mindset it’s impossible to experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Instead, the only option is Post Traumatic Growth Disorder!
I know, easier said than done. That’s why we practice mental training everyday. We do hard things, we seek obstacles to prove that we can handle anything that comes are way.
Practical Exercise: Today, seek out rejection and failure. Feeling scared, shout to yourself ” I’m excited” before you go for it!
Not getting rejected? Seek a greater challenge. After each rejection says out loud to yourself. “GOOD, Bring it on”. Afterward, write down the 5 things and reflect. I’ll bet it wasn’t as bad as you thought!
Daily Rejection/ Failures:
That is what sports training should be. Push yourself outside your comfort zone enough times and your body and mind adapts. That’s the analogy for making a Navy SEAL. Just like an unbreakable Samauri sword, They are heated (exhaustion via exercise) and dunked in freezing cold water (uncomfort) a few thousand times. At the end, they come out unbreakable, ready to cut through any obstacle in their way!
The Obstacle is the Way | by Ryan Holiday
Extreme Ownership | by Jocko Willink