One Evolution at a Time
Admiral McRaven: We used to have a saying in SEAL training, “Take it one evolution at a time.” Meaning don’t look six months down the road. Don’t ask yourself or don’t look and say, “My gosh, I’ve got more swims and more runs and more PTs.” If you do that, that event horizon becomes a little too far and I think it can be frightening. If all you do is try to do the very best you can at that very moment, you take it one step at a time and then six months goes by and you took it one evolution at a time and you made itBusiness Insider Article (A Navy SEAL commander explains how he learned to never give up)
This mantra by the US Navy SEALS has stuck with me. I originally heard it from the documentary “Navy Seals: Buds Class 234”, which I have watched 10+ times! Taking life one evolution at a time is simply the idea of single tasking and intense focus on the present. Navy Seals are trained to look at life as a series of evolutions, down to the miniscule.
Instead of thinking about how bad your workout is going to be, or what exercise is next, we just focus on the task at hand, doing one good pushup. The infinite amount of places our mind can take us, usually with negative undertones, takes away from our present task. It can build anxiety, leading to procrastination or simply just quitting. Focus on washing one dish well, instead of the pile of dishes, the dirty kitchen, the messy house, the big test approaching next week. Before you know it the whole kitchen is clean and you can move on to your next task.
Simple advice goes a long way, and reminds you not to waste energy worrying about future events, those events will have their moment of your attention when the appropriate time comes.