Jason Kuhn on How Motivation Comes From Selflessness
Sometimes it can be difficult to find the proper motivation to get you through a challenge. On this episode of the Spartan Up! podcast, Navy SEAL Jason Kuhn explains how everyone can find the most effective form of it by just changing their mindset.
"In life, there are all sorts of circumstances we can’t control," Kuhn told Spartan CEO and founder Joe De Sena. "And a lot of times we focus on those, and we’re reactionary according to how those make us feel. Emotions are on the bus, but they’re not driving it. And mentally tough people, what they do, is they interrupt that cause and effect cycle and insert thought and action and value."
Kuhn recalls a specific firefight he was in where this mindset took over. He was pinned down with bullets raining in on him from the right and in front of him. He knew full well that the actions he took next would determine whether he lived or died.
"I couldn’t force the outcome but I could influence it by focusing on what I could affect," he said. "So mental toughness to me is a shift of focus off of what you can’t control and back into the process. What do I need to do right now to win the fight in front of me?"
Kuhn's teammate helped save him by acting selflessly in a life-threatening situation. He contorted himself at a number of different angles to lay down cover fire for Kuhn, who eventually got out from where he was pinned down. It's that exact selfless lifestyle that he believes can build unbreakable trust between people.
"When we live a selfless lifestyle, we can trust each other, and what that creates is the most effective form of motivation," he said. "If you shoot at me you better not miss, but if you shoot at my teammate I’ll hunt you down because we love each other."