Robert O’Neill is a former Navy SEAL best known for claiming to have shot Osama bin Laden. He’s the author of the new book “The Operator.” In this video, he talks about how his SEAL training helps him deal with highly stressful situations. The following is a transcript of the video.
Stress is the bag of bricks you can pick up in the morning and let it weigh you down or you can just not pick it up. A lot of it’s in your mind.
And one of the key phrases that I still use today is, “Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.” You try to rush anything, stuff’s not going to go to the way you do it, slow down take a breath.
And the realisation that stress is actually a choice that you make. You can be stressed out or you can not be stressed out. It’s important to try to divorce emotion from what you’re doing. Your initial reaction is the wrong reaction. You need to separate it to just by taking a second letting it develop.
I would tell guys, “Don’t react. Do respond.” Taking a breath, relax, and take a wrap off. I mean it’s ok to be afraid. It’s not ok to panic. There’s a very, very fine line. Panic is contagious, and the other people will panic if they see you panic.
But as a leader, if you can remain calm, your people will remain calm as well. And a lot of that comes with experience. It’s one thing to do it in training it’s another in combat. My first few actual combat deployments, you know, what’s it like if I get shot? Just a cautious awareness. But looking at my boss, I remember one mission, in particular, were he was in front of me just as smooth as ever, as cool as ever, and just the realisation that I want to be like that.
And that’s just what experience does to you. And 95% of the stuff you worry about doesn’t happen so just let your training take over and just do what you know.
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