Seize Control of Your Environment

I am Ron White, Two Time USA Memory Champion, memory training expert and memory keynote. I would like to pass on to you some valuable information my good friend and coach, former Navy SEAL T.C. Cummings, has taught me about leadership and taking control of your environment.

As a Navy SEAL you never know what kind of weather conditions you will be working under. In SEAL basic training (BUDS – Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs) often the difference between those who go on to wear the SEAL trident or those who ring the bell and leave the program is simply a matter of weather. If you can’t get yourself into a frame of mind to adjust your brain to difficult conditions you will never physically be able to handle extremes. Where one man will shiver in extreme cold, another on the same team will be sitting in identical conditions and basking in the sun on a beach. It’s all a matter of mindset.

While undergoing BUDS training you do what the instructors tell you to do – you eat when they tell you, you run where they say, speak when spoken to, and swim in bone-chilling waters as directed. Ordinary men will look at these as obstacles to carry out as directed on his way to graduation. The one who succeeds and goes on to become a Navy SEAL will be the extraordinary one, who does as he is told but “brings his own weather.” This means that although he has to do as instructed, the instructor’s don’t have to make you live in the weather provided, you can adjust your mind to live in your own conditions. You can retain control of your mind, and that could often mean the difference between life and death for a SEAL.

In Navy SEAL training you are not in control, but you have to learn how to take control of what you can in order to keep your sanity. T.C. Cummings became a SEAL partially because he brought his own weather. When the going got tough, T.C. would remove his ball cap and smile into it, as big a smile as he could, without the instructors seeing him. He wasn’t enjoying himself, but he needed a release to keep himself sane – he brought his own weather.

Even when the going got so tough T.C. thought he was at the end of his rope and on the brink of losing control, the smile brought him back to reality – he could smile and no one could stop him. He was in control of his own environment.

In our life, when we things are out of control, we have to find a way to regain it. If you bank account is overdrawn, your kids are driving you crazy, someone at work stabbed you in the back in order to get ahead, or even when you lose your job, you can’t let what goes on around you cut you off at the knees. Ask yourself, “What would a Navy Seal do?” He certainly wouldn’t let his environment have control. You only lose control if you let it. Take yourself out of the environment and put yourself into an environment where you can cope. It may be as simple as smiling into a baseball cap.

For more information on how you too can think like a Navy Seal, check out our “Mind of a Seal” CD Package, or enroll in our “Think Like A U.S. Navy Seal” workshops.



“Mind of a U.S. Navy SEAL” workshop

Merriam Webster Dictionary – Consistency:

Santa Clara University – Consistency and Ethics: