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Book review: The Way of the SEAL

| by Kim Niles

“You may be wondering how you got here, or worse, what you’re doing here. Perhaps, you found yourself wondering why you aren’t happy, and whether you’ve stepped onto the wrong boat in your life.”

This opening quote immediately grabbed my attention, and the information and training in The Way of the SEAL: Think Like an Elite Warrior to Lead and Succeed,by Mark Divineheld my attention until the last page.

This book is easily one of the best books on self-improvement and leadership I’ve read in a very long time. I spent several weeks reading and re-reading this book, and I took lots of notes as I absorbed each chapter. 

Through this book, you will learn from Divine’s life experiences, adventures and life lessons as a Navy SEAL. After a harrowing experience, Divine left his job and focused on his training to become a Navy SEAL.

As with anyone who pursues excellence, you can be sure there will be a death of a vision, a monetary enticement or a crisis that causes them to become discouraged, tempt them to change their course or to completely stop. 

Divine felt the same pull, but persevered.

A few lessons I learned from this book:

  • Live out your values and don’t merely speak them.
  • Don’t look for the quick fix, instead look for what will last.
  • Hold yourself to the highest of standards.
  • Be completely responsible for your own thoughts and actions, knowing that you will be held responsible in the long run.
  • Never allow life and the hamster wheel of work to keep you from being attentive to what matters most.
  • Never stop learning and growing — as you learn and grow, your victories in life will come. As you continue, your victories will accelerate...but so will the size and number of life challenges.
  • Don’t shy away from life challenges...instead fully embrace them as the opportunities they truly are.
  • Develop focus, discipline, patience, and humility…so you become a person of honor in the process. You will then become an authentic leader of both yourself and others.

Divine shares that it is imperative to understand how failure is important and how to “fail forward fast.” He explains that failure is sometimes a gift in disguise and the importance of resolving poor beliefs and stagnant thoughts, so you don’t become stagnant or remain stuck.

I was also motivated and challenged to declutter my life, thoughts and surroundings so I could be more effective in my family life, ministry and endeavors.

While this book doesn’t come from a Christian worldview, I still recommend this book to anyone who is desiring to dramatically change their life and learn new techniques to create a tough, razor-sharp mental focus. The Way of the SEAL guides its readers to dive deeply into many areas, especially with goal-setting and perseverance. 

As the book title suggests: you will learn the way of the SEAL and how to think like an elite warrior as you find fresh new ways to lead and succeed! 


Kim Niles

Kim Niles is the author of Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You and is the co-founder of Grief Bites. She is also a writer and partner for YouVersion, a Community Leader at her church, and an inspirational speaker.



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This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.
Isaiah 48:17 (NLT)
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