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Willing Warrior: Unleashing The Secret Power of Kokoro

This is the title of an inspiring book I recently read by Joe Stumpf.

Joe, who was 54 at the time, was the oldest man to successfully get through the legendary Kokoru training put on by retired Navy Seal Mark Divine and his Sealfit organization. This training simulates some of the hardest parts of “hell week” at Navy Seal’s Bud/S training. Sealfit and Kokuru help prepare candidates who want to go through Bud/S, but it can also be undergone by civilians who want to give themselves a major challenge.

Joe was very successful in business (training real estate agents), and wealthy with a nice house in a beautiful area. But while he enjoyed this superficial success, he was feeling unfulfilled, and the book is the story of how he turned that around and found meaning in his life by going through the Sealfit academy, a rigorous 3-week training program, then the mind-boggling 50-hour challenge that is Kokoru training (Kokuru means “heart” or “spirit” in Japanese).

My favorite part was when Joe, who was exhausted, having already been through many hours of rigorous training, was working on an out-and-back run. He noticed he was by himself in an alley, and thought “Who would know if I turned around now instead of running all the way to the end and back?”. He realized that the “Who” that mattered was not his surface self, but his true self beyond thought that is witnessing everything he does. I discussed this concept previously here. Joe made the right call and did not “cut corners”. This is a good example of how a severe physical challenge like this has mental benefits as well.

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