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You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself. – Galileo
If you open your eyes in the morning and you are still breathing, then you are alive. Every thing else is a bonus.
Part of my training as an Infantry Officer required me to go to Ranger School, which is primarily a leadership school for combat soldiers who want to join the Army’s elite light infantry fighting forces known as the Rangers.
When I went through Ranger School, it was a 68-day course. There was the Benning Phase, The Mountain Phase, The Desert Phase and the Jungle Phase. Ranger courses run all year long, I drew the unfortunate short straw of having to attend during the winter months. I have never been so cold in my life (well except maybe the time I nearly froze to death in a snow storm when I was 14).
One morning we were huddle together like seals trying to stay warm. We had on our Gortex winter jackets and we were still cold. One of our Ranger instructors came strutting out of his command post and yelled, “Take those Gortex jackets off men. It ain’t cold out here. It’s 80 degrees out! Cold is a state of mind.”
We groaned and shuffled and did as we were told. Watching us shiver from the cold, our Ranger instructor said with a big old grin on his face, “Men if you make it through Ranger School, for the rest of your life, every day will be a holiday and every meal a feast.”
He wasn’t wrong.
Life is a mental game, and the quality of the game is determined by how you perceive the game in your mind. If your perception is that life is hard, then you will attract the conditions in your life to make it hard. Our Colonel told us, before sending us off to Ranger School, that “nothing is as hard as it seems, but if you think it’s hard, it’ll be harder than it actually is.”
To play the game of life well, you must first play a good game in your head.
What’s your mental game like?
I’ve spoken on here regularly about my early rising antics and about how well it works to put me in the right state of mind for work. This morning I rose 15 minutes earlier than usual with the hope of achieving even more.
This mornings objective was to go for a run. It was only the second time in my life I’ve been out on the streets for a jog, the last time I think I was in my early twenties and my camera lecturer at film school told me I needed to get into better shape to operate a TV camera… obviously it didn’t last long but that is probably down to lack of knowledge about how to jog. On that occasion I ran solidly for 30 minutes and returned home an absolute wreck.
This time its different and with a bit more guidance and I made it through a 30 minute programme without feeling too bad at the end. If fact after I recovered I felt incredibly refreshed and ready for the day, and I feel I made even better use of my morning time.
The most difficult thing is dragging myself out of bed to go out running, but put simply it’s only another 15 minutes at the front end of my day and if it make me feel better and work better it can only be a good thing.
Tomorrow is a day off and then back out on the streets again on Saturday. Will I be so keen then I wonder?