When thrown into a difficult situation, how do you use your unique personal attributes to help you overcome your challenge? Do you draw on your patience, your proactivity or your courage, or are you unsure which attributes are your strongest?
In a recent episode of the It’s More than Money podcast, host Kye Harris chatted to Rich Diviney about ways to reach optimal performance and rise to the challenges faced in business, career, family, and personal life.
Rich Diviney is a former Navy SEAL Commander and author of The Attributes – 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance. Contrary to popular belief, optimal performance doesn’t mean constantly pushing yourself.
Rich’s career has been the epiphany of mind over matter – the retired Navy SEAL has been on over thirteen overseas deployments and served in the Navy for over 21 years. During this time, he’s discovered the secret to surviving the infamous ‘Hell Week’, a week of physical endurance, mental toughness, pain, cold tolerance and sleep deprivation. It’s a true test of teamwork, attitude, determination and desire, and separates the top SEAL candidates who make it through. It sounds like a walk in the park, right?
A common question Rich gets asked is ‘How are Navy SEALs different from everyone else?’. Well, in a way, they’re not. The concept of elemental performance that Rich discusses isn’t just SEAL stuff, it’s human stuff. Keep in mind that from each Navy SEAL Hell Week, only roughly 25% make the cut. The same can be said for many aspects of life. Those who have the perseverance and ambition, to stay in business are the ones that succeed. Those who have the patience and responsibility to commit to a long-term relationship are the ones who end up with a successful marriage 50 years later.
In Kye and Rich’s chat, Rich wanted to frame the question another way. He wanted to write a book about the human being, specifically the human being reading the book. We need to look inward at what attributes we are predisposed to, and also the attributes that we have more difficulty with.
Separating Skills and Attributes
“A lot of people don’t look at attributes,” Rich said. “People get seduced by skills. You can score and grade them. What skills don’t tell us, is how a human being reacts in times of stress, challenge and uncertainty.”
Attributes inform how we are going to show up in difficult circumstances. Attributes can be developed but cannot be taught.
The good news is a lot of us share the same attributes, but at different levels. The trick is identifying them and nurturing those attributes to be predominant in the correct scenario. Rich suggests identifying the attributes that come most naturally to you.
If you identify yourself as being on a track that does not come naturally to you, but you decide to remain there, you need to work extra hard on the core attributes needed to succeed on that track. The only other option is to choose another track.
Kye asked Rich what attributes people need in everyday life when confronted with challenges. “In life in general,” Rich explained, “the ‘grit’ attributes of courage, perseverance, adaptability and mental balance are what help grind it out and make it happen.”
“You can see this in cancer wards and in some PhD programmes. It can be spoken about in every context. For instance, I realised I was low on learnability. I have to repeat something several times and stay after class.” To overcome a challenge, it’s all about drawing your strength from your core attributes.
For more from Rich Diviney, listen to the full It’s More Than Money podcast episode with Rich Diviney and check out Rich’s free Attributes Assessments tool to measure the essential components of Grit, Mental Acuity, and Drive: https://theattributes.com/assessment-tool/
Disclaimer: The information in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal circumstances, financial needs or objectives. Before acting on any of the information you should consider the appropriateness of the relevant product having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. In particular, you should seek independent financial advice and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or other offer document prior to acting on any financial product or implementing any financial strategy.
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