If you opened up my brain, I would like to think that you would see books lined up on shelves around the different parts of my hemispheres.
A book for me is not just something to read, it’s something to absorb. I fully embrace and understand that a good book will turn me into a zombie whilst I am divulging it. I am fully open to my neuroplastic brain being moulded and sculpted by the images and words conjured up in its pages.
One such recent purchase has caused my brain to deliver the following curious messages to my mind and body:
So this morning at 4.30am I found myself running in the pitch dark along the water wondering what on earth was happening to me as I listened to Goggins reveal how he responded to failing a particular world record attempt:
“I knew there was treasure in this wreckage and leverage to be gained somewhere, I just needed to piece it together like a puzzle…most wars are won and lost in our own heads…don’t focus on what you think you deserve take aim on what you are willing to earn…”
His words sunk into my plastic brain and moulded together with all the failures I had so far encountered in my career. I started to take my own mental notes of my own treasures and found comfort in hearing a Navy SEAL reveal his most vulnerable moments.
In Goggins RAW words:
As compliance professionals, we constantly find ourselves in a position of having to justify ourselves and in some cases our roles, manage ethical challenges, keep up with constant regulatory changes, experience unpopularity and a workload that ranges from high to overwork. Some days it may actually seem like a military operation to get through the week and the hierarchy. So, although this book, at first glance, may seem quite far away from a corporate life, on closer inspection I think you may find quite a few similarities to our lives in compliance.
I never imagined that I would feel comfortable or even prepared to receive guidance from a Navy SEAL. Not just any Navy SEAL, but one who has completed two Navy SEAL Hell Weeks, run 100 miles in 19 hours, run 135 miles in just under 26 hours, done over 4,000 pull-ups in 24 hours (a Guinness World Record), and completed the Ironman World Championships in just over 11 hours. It’s worth reading the book just to find out what Hell Week is really about.
It’s also worth reading just to hear some really brutally honest, plain speaking truths. “Can’t Hurt Me” opens with Goggins saying that life is unfair and the sooner you accept that the sooner you can prepare for it. The best way to approach it is with a “Can’t Hurt Me” mentality. But don’t be deceived by the frankness, this is a highly encouraging read that breaks down in minute detail precisely what the reader needs to do in order to manage their mind, get the difficult work done and achieve the seemingly unachievable.
Throughout the book Goggins suggests ‘missions’ for each reader at the end of each chapter. Each mission is transferrable to our work and home lives. I have listed my top 5.
Mission 1: Write Down All Your Difficulties (compliance speak for identify all risks): Goggins tells the story of his abusive father and he suggests that his readers take stock of all the difficulties and hardships they faced -and face- in life. Because, as he says, “you are going to flip that shit”.
Mission 2: Own the truth of your shortcomings: Our mind will always follow the path of least resistance and unless you learn to beat your own mind, it will always keep you “safe and stationary in life”. Goggins asks us to be brutally honest with ourselves. Any self-improvement starts with brutal honesty.
Mission 5: Visualize and include challenges, why you’re doing it, what’s the fuel?: Goggins explains that remembering what you’ve been through and how that strengthened your mindset can help you side-step negative thoughts that tend to overtake us when we want to give in. You want to get to a point where not doing the things that you know you should do haunts you. Hence why I now have a 4am start in my head! Damn you Goggins.
Mission 6: Build your cookie jar of accomplishments: I love the concept of the “cookie jar”. This is the place where you put all of your achievements and all the times when you have shown resilience and “mental callousness”. When you need motivation, you simply open up that cookie jar to fuel you by getting a reminder of what you are capable of.
Mission 7: Remove the Governor from your brain with constant incremental growth: Goggins explains that most of us feel like we are hitting our limits when we are only at around 40%. He argues unless we learn to stay in the pain and push beyond the discomfort, we will always fall short of our true potential.
But don’t take my word for it, go and download a sample and see what you think. But be prepared, it’s a bit addictive and I offer you this health warning - you may well find yourself rewriting your compliance strategy, rethinking your workload and getting up super early each morning to exercise.
Written by Nicole Rose, Founder and Director at Create Training
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