Shape Shifting - Sheep Dogs & Sheep

My plan? Hide in our room and call the cops.

I had let too much time go by without a gun in my hand allowing the worst to happen. The natural digression from “Sheep Dog” back to “Sheep” had begun to occur and I had no one to blame but myself.

I had realized it when the instructor was demonstrating how to keep your gun above head height when running the “Package” out of a danger area. As he was demonstrating the technique he said: “Or say you’re moving your wife and children to safety”.

As soon as he spoke the words it was like a slap across the face. I thought to my self.

When the hell would I ever need to defend my family with a gun?

Then I thought:

Man that guy could totally defend his family should something ever threaten them.

Then I realized it:

Shit – I used to be that guy.

Somehow, slowly over time, I’d gone from a highly trained and highly motivated Navy SEAL to a… well something I don’t even have a name for. Regardless of what you call it, I had become complacent.

 

I forgot my why

We all become whatever we become for what ever reason we become it. For me, I wanted to be a Medic because I would always be able to care for my family in an emergency. From there I went on to become a Navy SEAL so that I could defend, protect and care for my family. I always related everything back to what it would mean to my family.

Then the training begins. Then you get deployed and your purpose grows proportionately with your power. Sacrifice and the greater good push you to get better and better. Your original intent – Be a badass for my family is fulfilled by way of byproduct created by your profession. It all works until you leave. Then the countless hours of training don’t seem to have the importance anymore.

 

When you decide to leave the fight, the fight can decide to leave you.

“Or say you’re moving your wife and children to safety”. The words burned in my pysche. It was like a mental “Bitch Slap”.

Then you remember. Hopefully before it’s too late. You remember why you started all of this in the first place. A warriors ultimate purpose to protect the things he loves.

It wasn’t that I could protect my family because I was a trained SEAL. It was that I was a trained SEAL so that I could protect my family. That was my “Why”.

 

Here’s how you get your “Why” back

When I started this post I was thinking the theme would simply be about getting to the range and sending a few rounds down it, but now that I’m here I realize that just shooting isn’t enough.

You need to get to a range with steel targets, low light conditions and an instructor who can run you through real gunfighter drills. I had periodically been going to the range to shoot some targets, but that doesn’t get the testosterone levels back. There’s no “edge” to it.

You’ve got to get out and get in the game. Put yourself under some stress. Remind your self how impossible it is to hit a man sized target consistently when you haven’t been training. Prove to your self that you’ll be the last man, and family, standing should things go down.

Not because of some bull shit belief that you’ll rise to the occasion, but because of pragmatic mechanics of superior training.

I got home after 3 days of gunfighter training a new man. I again was looking at everyone everywhere I went. At the gas station I was more alert and more present to the group of guys smoking by the bathroom. Walking across the parking lot I was checking every parked car to see if people were sitting in them.

I wasn’t all of a sudden looking for the threats because the world had become a more dangerous place. I was looking for the threats because I knew I could do something about them should I need to.

We tend to only notice that of which we can deal with.

So I ask you this question: What have you stopped noticing?

Get out, get dirty and get it back. It’s never too late until it’s too late.


Eric...

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Eric Davis

Eric Davis served our country as a U.S. Navy SEAL and decorated veteran of the Global War on Terror. Eric has been recognized as one of the premier sniper instructors in the U.S. military and has served as a Master Training Specialist at the SEAL sniper school in Coronado, CA.

He is an expert of technical and physical surveillance and was part of an elite group hand-selected to perform intelligence collection in denied areas around the world.

Eric has spent years developing, writing and executing curriculum for the SEAL Teams. By leveraging his expertise in the development of systems, structures, processes and practices Eric was instrumental in significantly reducing the failure rate, of Naval Special Warfare’s internationally recognized Sniper course. 

Since departing from the SEAL teams, Eric has worked in corporate performance, sales and leadership training bringing an unprecedented amount of innovation, efficiency and structure to the domain of business and performance.