Blocking out the Noise
Here’s a tip for anyone who feels like their world is chaotic right now:
As an instructor for a special operations unit selection program, one of the staples was the “no-notice” wake-up. Several of us would come in to work in the middle of the night and gather all of the noise making materials that we could find:
Megaphones, air horns, even a mobile air-raid siren at one point. We would quietly walk up the stairs to the barracks where 100+ candidates lay peacefully sleeping. After spacing appropriately so we’d have an effect that was spread out, one of us would flip the lights on chaos and would erupt.
Between the air raid siren, air horns and encouragement from the megaphone, the candidates went from a dead sleep to absolute chaos. The instruction repeated through the megaphone was “You have two minutes to be downstairs in the PT uniform.”
This may seem extreme to some but it isn’t a pointless exercise. In war you have to have the ability to focus under duress and go from sleeping to executing tasks. The person who loses their mind and runs into a wall out of panic needs to learn to control their emotional response — the only way to do that is through repeated exposure to external stressors.
What did the successful ones do? They cut through all the extra noise and listened to the instructions on the megaphone. They changed into the PT uniform, closed their locker (and locked it) then ran downstairs.