While I Was Hiking

Thoughts & Musings From The Trail

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Remember The Good

Its chaos right now. The conversation is inescapable. And if you follow everything the media says, you’ll reason that everything is f*cked and join those who continue to put negative energy out into the world.

Sure, it sucks. Good.

What if right now is exactly how it’s supposed to be? What if right now is a blessing in disguise? A chance for us all to realize how lucky we have been to live in the United States. A chance to realize how each day before has been a blessing and continues to be? 

Or maybe this is our new life. Good.

Maybe your worry can be redirected. Maybe this time, right now, is all you need to finally look inside yourself and discover a new way to live. Maybe this is our great reckoning and a turning point in your own hero’s journey.

Maybe not. Good.

I’m not here to convince you it’s not that bad or you shouldn’t worry. I’m not trying to sound like Mr. Smiley Positive Guy or come off as trite. A positive attitude alone does not always solve problems.

I’m writing today as a plea to the world to stop adding negativity into the airwaves. I’m writing to tell you not to dump more shit onto one another. Stand firm. Choose to adapt. Choose a response. 

There is another way you can choose to look at this. For the remainder of the article, I’d like to introduce a concept and a mindset for the chaos. Its something I’ve been trying to implement in my life over the years that has fundamentally changed my perspective. I hope you’ll try it out yourself.

Be Like Jocko

There is a man I follow called Jocko Willink who has taught me an incredible amount and someone I think of in times of chaos. He’s a retired Navy SEAL and most well known for the book Extreme Ownership. A true, through and through badass who continues to lead.

One of his trademark phrases is “Good.” And I’d like to share a youtube clip and an excerpt from Extreme Ownership to illustrate a point.

I had a subordinate once, someone later who would become my best friend. He would pull me aside with some major problem or issue that was going on, and he’d say, “Boss, we’ve got this thing, this situation, and it’s going terribly wrong.”

I would look at him and say, “Good.”

And finally, one day, he was telling me about something that was going off the rails, and as soon as he finished explaining it to me, he said, “I already know what you’re going to say.”

And I asked, “What am I going to say?”

And he said, “You’re going to say: ‘Good.’ ”

He continued, “That’s what you always say. When Something is wrong or going bad, you just look at me and say, ‘Good.’ ”

And I said, “Well. I mean it. Because that is how I operate.”

So I explained to him that when things are going bad, there’s going to be some good that will come from it.

Oh, the mission got canceled? Good… We can focus on another one.

Didn’t get the new high-speed gear we wanted? Good… We can keep it simple.

Didn’t get promoted? Good… More time to get better.

Didn’t get funded? Good… We own more of the company.

Didn’t get the job you wanted? Good… Go out, gain more experience, and build a better resume.

Got injured? Good… Needed a break from training.

Got tapped out? Good… It’s better to tap out in training than tap out on the street.

Got beat? Good… We learned.

Unexpected problems? Good… We have to figure out a solutions

That’s it. When things are going bad: Don’t get all bummed out, don’t get started, don’t get frustrated. No. Just look at the issue and say: “Good.”

If you can say the word “good,” then guess what?

It means you’re still alive.

It means you’re still breathing.

And if you’re still breathing, that means you’ve still got some fight left in you. So get up, dust off, reload, recalibrate, re-engage – and go out on the attack.”

“Good”

Think about your/this situation

How can you say “good” here?

Locked up? Good. More time to catch up on reading and writing and planning for the things you’ve said you’ve always wanted to do. Time to catch up on finances, define your financial freedom, learn more and make a plan for getting out of debt. Time to call your loved ones, facetime, rekindle your relationship with your wife. Time to save money. Time to meditate. Time to reconnect to WHY you are on this earth. Do the pre-work.

Can’t travel? Flight get cancelled? Good. You can save that money towards your next big adventure or pay down debt.

Media got you down? Good. You always said you wanted to be a more positive person. Time to pick up a book instead of consuming endless articles saying the same thing.

Ran out of TP? Good. Remember, there was a time where TP wasn’t around. People used clothes. It’s still an option if it comes to that.

Been too busy in life? Good. Now you’re quarantined. Time to put your free time to the test. Do you really even know what you would do with your time if you actually have it?

Feel like the whole world’s falling apart? Good. Time to reach within and remember that you are a compassionate person. You have people around you that love you that would love to hear from you. You can choose not to add to it.

conclusion

With so much negativity going around, it’s challenging to be optimistic. But I think being optimistic isn’t your only option.

Instead, we can all do one vitally important thing. Don’t add to the negativity. Don’t say the worst out loud. Don’t project it on other people. I’m not telling you that you should only speak optimistically to people. Rather, simply avoid stating the negative, the worst, the ugly, and not say ANYTHING at all.

If you choose to see the negative, it will never stop coming your way. You will become depressed. It’s true that Humans are resilient. America is resilient. Europe is resilient. Many storms have come over time and we have risen to the challenge. But you have a choice in how you navigate the world.

So remember

You can choose to adapt. You can choose to be neutral in your thinking, or optimistic, or negative. Put the greater world in perspective. How lucky are you to have lived without something like this going around for the past 10 years? How lucky are you to have people who love and care about you? 

It’s time to spread more love and avoid adding to the negativity. It’s time to think about how “Good” applies to you. Because every storm runs out of rain and when the sun comes out after, a new world can be born.