Ed Hiner is the author of GUTS: Greatness Under Tremendous Stress, now available via this link
Over my twenty-plus years of being a Navy SEAL and serving in three separate wars, I’ve become what I call a Blue-collar scholar in fear, motivation, and self-leadership.
As the Training Officer for all of the basic and advanced SEAL training, I focused on dissecting precisely what we do and what is in the secret sauce. Some of the things we SEALs know we aren’t even conscious of knowing them, but that is my intent in GUTS, finding the secret sauce and putting the Blue-collar scholar principles to work; knowledge may be power but doing empowers. GUTS is not about getting up earlier and digging deeper; GUTS teaches how to develop discipline, how to deal with fear, and how to manufacture motivation in your life when you don’t feel it–Yet.
As you can imagine, people often make promises to themselves during combat, and I’m no different. One of the promises I made to myself was helping children suffering in their lives and are at risk of pursuing a destructive path in life. A couple of years ago, instead of waiting, I dove in and developed a program for kids in courts and the juvenile school system using GUTS principles to train mental toughness and self-leadership. When I was struggling in my life with Post Traumatic Stress a few years after retiring from the SEAL teams, I knew I needed to go on the offense and redesign my life. These principles are what I did myself and pulled myself out of the personal and emotional rut I was stuck in.
I had just finished the manuscript when Covid hit the world and seized us up with fear, fear of the unknown and uncontrollable. I watched how everyone reacted and watched the ideas in GUTS unfold in real-time as a society hit the panic button and did things only people terrified would do. Fear is a gift, but if not dealt with properly, it will become a curse and even a disease that will permeate all aspects of life. We live stressful lives in today’s modern world, especially in the VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) of the post-Covid world. The steady drip of the stress hormone cortisol is taking a toll on every aspect of our lives and ultimately steals our success, happiness, and even our health.
All the cliches in the world won’t help you deal with fear and manufacture motivation to accomplish what you wish to achieve in life. As a Navy SEAL in combat, fear is inevitable as it is in our day to day lives, but you can still achieve excellence if dealt with properly, and this is what is in GUTS. In the world of uncertainty, we must have strategies to deal with it and harness fear as a gift and not be a curse or a disease. In certain times in our lives, we all need to awaken the warrior energy in us, go on the offense, and live a life that WE design. Transforming our lives is not difficult it just takes knowing what to do, and then most importantly, doing it! When we do the little things, we can make big changes and create a different relationship with all aspects of our lives. We will live a life that we design.