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Having a Positive Mindset – Words to Live By

A former Delta Operator Gets Serious About Mindset and Attitude, Laying Down Some Truth and Wisdom.

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The topic of mindset is subject to interpretation. To me, mindset and attitude are synonymous. One’s mindset can be cultured, matured, and adjusted. The definition of mindset is “a mental attitude, disposition, or mood that determines how we interpret and respond to situations.” A proper mindset can assist us in acting decisively with little hesitation in day-to-day life.

Years ago, I fell into despair, as many Americans do, due to some life-altering events. The lens through which we view life can become distorted by domestic issues, financial strife, and overwhelming workloads. As a result, your mindset and attitude may end up in the crapper. For me, it was a combo platter, and my darkness, masked by a lot of faking, lasted for more than a year.

For one, I missed the camaraderie of being a part of a unit with such a level of intimacy with those surrounding you that can’t be found in many places. That was coupled with a horrible support mechanism on the home front. When I found myself in a dark place, my self-diagnosis, with a little help from a Google search, concluded that I was depressed. My prognosis, naturally, was that depression is for pussies. I know now that depression is very serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly, but that’s what I plugged into my pea brain at the time.

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I nearly capitulated to darkness. But something reminded me that life isn’t objective. I knew that I couldn’t simply “go with the flow.” Life is malleable. My remedy was to go for a run — not across Greenbow County like Forrest Gump. I just went out and burned up the pavement for a bit. I knew I needed an attitude adjustment. I needed to adjust my mindset — the mindset that was already engraved in my hard drive. I just had to dig into the recesses and adjust it. My timing was out of whack a bit, and I wasn’t running on all eight cylinders.

Some time back, I was a part of a small group of individuals who had the mindset that there was and there is no second place. It wasn’t shouted in some lame mantra nor was there any chest pounding. It’s a fundamental mindset that resonates with certain people or groups of people. That mindset had become an ember, and I just needed to set fire to it again.

However, we’re all hardwired differently. Not all of us can put our minds to achieving a grandiose task of epic proportion and succeed at it. Not all of us can light a match that ignites dark and scary thoughts either. Regardless, there’s fire within us all that allows us to be whom we want to be. We can choose our own paths.

But following through and delivering is another story. Not only can a bad sequence of events put you in a downer of a mood, but it can spiral to the point where you question your self-worth. Don’t look where you don’t want to go. Before you buy a ticket to the pity party, remember that the world is bigger than you — and we — are.

The mind navigates the body. In other words, how you think will determine your attitude and mindset. The brain intuitively tells the body what to do — mindset, to what degree.

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My mindset has directives that give me direction. I have jotted down some of these directives below. I’m willing to bet that you and I will parallel on some.

  • Maintain condition yellow. Stay out of the white. Stay switched on instead of switched off.
  • Take the stairs instead of the escalator. Take my own path and stay away from the sheeple.
  • Workout several times a week because a strong body equals a strong mind. My mindset preprograms how and what I’ll attack in the gym the day before I get there.
  • Never be late, light, or out of uniform. If I’m not early, I’m late. And if I’m late, please come look for me because I’m probably face down in a ditch somewhere.
  • The best way to get out of an altercation is not to be there in the first place. But when things escalate, I’ll put a fist through the face of the antagonist who closes the gap.
  • I will not draw my pistol with the intent to merely aim and give warning. If I’ve made the decision to draw, I’m dropping the hammer with precision and lethality.
  • Drive like the roads are a chess match. There are a lot of pawns on the board.
  • My mindset allows me to be introspective and to recognize my faults and weaknesses. It states, “You can probably do better.”
  • Treat my lady like the queen that she is. Worship the ground she walks on and make sure she’s satisfied before I am.
  • Do what’s right instead of doing the right thing. Innately, human beings know right from wrong. We should be good to others and do what’s right instead of doing the right thing to appease someone of some higher power.
  • Train on the range with an objective and with intensity. Perform at the next level.
  • Don’t plan to fail by failing to plan. Be prepared for whatever may come. I need to be prepared to save my life, someone else’s life, or to kick someone’s ass.
  • Check my anger. Though I will not be victimized, I should exercise keen intellect instead of rage when avoiding being victimized by some dumb c***. Mind you, there are a lot of them out there. And there’s no cure for being a c***. I’ll try at all costs to defuse a situation before I crush a dipsh*t’s windpipe.
  • Limits begin where vision ends. We cannot outperform our self-image. Positive mental attitude goes a long way in training and in day-to-day life.
  • My mind says that everything is a competition, and I can do better at anything than anybody. Is that true? No. It doesn’t have to be true.
  • Don’t rest on my laurels. What’s done is done. Yesterday doesn’t mean shit unless you can perform tomorrow.
  • Don’t underestimate anyone. Looks can be deceiving. Cunning and moxie rule the day.
  • Don’t be a dick. It doesn’t resonate well. I’d rather have assets than liabilities.

My mindset reminds me that my positives outnumber my negatives. I look forward to every tomorrow and remember what’s good about the past. We shouldn’t data dump the “bads” from yesterday, but learn from them. Fail quickly. When sh*t doesn’t go our way, we need to learn from the past, prepare for the future, and perform in the present.

Attitudes and strong mindset can be contagious. A negative attitude can adversely affect those around you. Conversely, you can spread positivity by emitting a kick-ass pheromone of badassery.

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About the Author

Pat (Mac) McNamara has 22 years of special operations experience, 13 of which were in the U.S. Army’s 1st SFOD-D (Delta). He has extensive experience in hostile fire/combat zones in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He trains individuals at basic and advanced levels of marksmanship and combat tactics. Based on his wide-ranging experience, McNamara emphasizes a continuous thought process and accountability, utilizing a training methodology that is safe, effective, and combat relevant. He retired from the Army’s premier hostage-rescue unit as a sergeant major and is the author of T.A.P.S. (Tactical Application of Practical Shooting) and Sentinel.
www.tmacsinc.com

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