Ron White memory guy, Two-Time USA Memory Champion; memory-training expert and memory keynote, shares lessons from TC Cummings Mind of a SEAL program on how discipline helps you move on and grow as a person – in all phases of your life as you learn to think like a US Navy SEAL

Excerpted from TC Cummings Mind of a SEAL program :

Have you heard the phrase, “You Can Never Go Home”?  What does this mean?

Literally, it may be possible to return to the house you grew up in. Your parents may still be there, and the room you grew up in could be exactly as it was when you left it.  But, is it the same?

What once was a haven is now simply a room full of memories of a life you once lived. The feelings of comfort you once felt when growing up are no longer there. The street you lived on, the town, the old school – have all changed. Your high school is now a middle school, the corner drugstore is gone and a parking lot for a Wal-Mart, and the sandlot where you played ball is now part of a new subdivision. Nothing stays the same – life happens, and what doesn’t change becomes stagnant, run down and unkempt.

Each moment in our lives is a step away from the last one. Each decision we make has some impact on someone else, whether we know it or not. We change, we grow and we are not the same person we were 10 years, or even an hour ago. We are constantly evolving, learning new things, experiencing new changes, and unless we do the exact same thing at the exact same time every day without fail, we have an eventful life – whether we realize it or not.

As we grow, most of us set standards we want to achieve, and keep raising the bar as we go along. Eventually we look back and see we don’t enjoy the same things anymore. Example: I have a friend who recently was telling me that she really disliked spending time with her younger sister, not because she didn’t love her but because her sister liked to gossip about people in her life. In this case, my friend had moved on and set her standards higher, realizing that gossip is hurtful and immature. Her sister, on the other hand, had not and was still living the life she felt comfortable with – she was stagnant. Stagnation causes the people around you to be uncomfortable, and bored, and can cost a number of relationships (or jobs) to be lost.

My friend, former Navy SEAL , T.C. Cummings, told a group during one of our Mind of a SEAL Discipline workshops another example of not being able to go home. As a child, T.C. loved to ride on roller coasters. Even though SEALs love to have fun, after the intense training they have to undergo the thrill of a roller coaster just isn’t the same. His life was so full of adrenaline highs that a roller coaster was boring to him. He said, “Once you’ve stretched your imagination you can never be satisfied with what you were doing before.”

Throughout our lives, if we don’t stretch ourselves – through discipline, we will become stagnant and boring. Our jobs will be boring and routine. Our spouses will become unhappy and may even leave. Stagnation is toxic – to yourself and those around you.

If you were a salesman you are given a goal to attain each week. The goal may be to bring in 10 sales a week. If you only bring in 10 sales a week you are doing the minimum required, but you are not stretching yourself to improve. You are becoming stagnant, and you will be bored. Perhaps your boss will be bored with your efforts too, and pass you up for promotion.

Navy SEALs have to constantly push themselves to best their last time. If they ran even a second less than their best time they failed. The next time they run they have to do better than their best time again, not their last time. They did not lower the bar because they didn’t make it the last time.

If your weekly goal this week is 10, move it up to 11. Next week raise it to 12.  If you don’t achieve that goal you still must keep your goal at 12. You get to restart again next week, but don’t lower your goal. You will eventually come up to the point where you can’t get any higher, and although you didn’t attain the goal you worked at it and can try again. There’s no need to beat yourself up, but you can’t go back to 10. If you come to a point where you can’t get any higher, as for help.

You can never go home! Through discipline, by setting higher standards for yourself and doing your best to attain them, you will grow and become successful in whatever you strive to achieve.

This lesson, along with so many valuable ones that help you in business and in life, was excerpted from TC Cumming’s Mind of a Navy SEAL program.