Today I want to share with you a nice and helpful article written by a retired Navy SEAL Commander, Jocko Willink, that I read in the book Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. Here is the article:
How do I deal with setbacks, failures, delays, defeat, or other disasters? I actually have a fairly simple way of dealing with these situations. There is one word to deal with all those situations, and that is “good”.
This is something that one of my direct subordinates, one of the guys who worked for me, a guy who became one of my best friends, pointed out. He would call me up or pull me aside with some major problem or some issue that was going on, and he would say, “Boss, we got this, that, or the other thing going wrong,” and I would look at him and I would say, “Good.”
And finally, one day, he was telling me about some situation that was going off the rails, and as soon as he got done explaining it to me, he said, “I already know what you’re going to say”.
And I asked, “What am I going to say?”
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 is going to be some good that will come from it.
- Oh, mission got cancelled? 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 beat? Good. We learned.
- Unexpected problems? Good. We have that opportunity to figure out a solution.
That’s it. When things are going bad, don’t get all bummed out, don’t get frustrated. Just look at the issue and say: “Good”. Accept reality but focus on the solution. Take that issue, take that setback, take that problem and turn it into something good. Go forward.
Finally, to close this up: if you can say the word “Good”, guess what? It means you are still alive. It means you are still breathing.
And if you are 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.