I recently read an excellent book entitled “Extreme Ownership: How US Navy S.E.A.L.s Lead and Win” by Jonko Willink and Leif Babin. The authors explain lessons learned in combat that they adapted for teaching corporate clients in their leadership-consultancy firm, Echelon Front.

Willink tackles war, leadership, business, jujitsu, and life. One thing I took away from the book was that Navy S.E.A.L.s are all about discipline. He explains some many pitfalls soldiers deal with, and many of these battles mirror the battles in which law enforcement is engaged today.

Jocko says one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is NOT being lazy and executing little daily task, citing this lesson as a big part of his success.  Get up, show up, and do.

He explained; “If I worked out only when I felt good I would be an out of shape slob! There are many days when I do not want to eat right, go to the gym, or get up at the crack of dawn, but I am disciplined.”

 

DISCIPLINE SETS DIRECTION

People who are enormously successful go; they push through, no excuses. The benefit of discipline is getting things done and programming your body, mind, and spirit.

 

Discipline is a path to creativity. Many officers I know are masters of exercising creativity. Being part of a three-ring circus inspires creativity. You become comfortable with chaos, familiar with the disorder of drug addicts, continuous lies from criminals. People lie to you daily. Officers become very creative in how they do their job

Artists and athletes need discipline to succeed; officers are no different. Every day they are on a stage, every encounter recorded.

The best officers are well disciplined in:

  • Juggle family and work, in that order
  • Time management
  • Train physically
  • Train mentally
  • Conscious eating
  • Ability to unwind and rest
  • NOT identifying as “a cop”
  • Have healthy hobbies
  • Report writing
  • Wake up with a purpose

Strive to overcome resistance to these disciplines. We must use a bit of time daily for planning and a few moments to review the day. With priorities clearly set, it is easier to tackle each task calmly and energetically. Thomas

Edison once told a young man who asked for advice on how to work more effectively: “Never look at your watch”. Put distractions away.

 

STARTING SETS THE TRAJECTORY

One thing I have learned, how I wake up defines, in large measure, the remainder of my day. Start the day waking up without hitting the snooze button. That will be the first battle you win!

Take satisfaction in the little things. Remind yourself, “This Is What I need to do!”  We accomplish what we set out to do through effort and discipline. You can’t just want to succeed. You have to plan and prepare for the worst.

You will get disrupted often. You need to prepare for these moments by constructing triggers that awaken your motivation. Everyone can do better with self-discipline. Make it simple, yet keep it within reach.

Winners act like winners before they start winning. If you’re not performing like a winner today, you won’t be a winner tomorrow. Let me know how it goes – i.e. how soon you start winning.

 Remember:  At the bottom line, it’s all about saving just ONE life.

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