I never thought that I would be the kind of person to read military books. Its not that long ago, while in a bookshop in Oban, that I stumbled across the military section, pulled a face at it and walked away! Now though, they are fast becoming my favourite books to read and I like nothing better than taking a soldier or two to bed with me in the evenings for a spot of adventurous bedtime reading!
This book is my new go-to manual for motivation. Co-written by the four ex-SAS soldiers who made the TV series SAS Who Dares Wins, this companion book to the series is full of information and tales of high risk adventure. Not only does it give details of how these men came to be in the SAS, but it aims to teach civilians how to think, act and persevere like an elite soldier. In short it is a cross between a collection of biographies and a self-help manual.
I had some fun Tweeting with the authors during the show and they all seem like nice lads. Colin Maclachlan has even emailed me tips and advice on how to deal with anxiety, telling me to identify the situations that trigger a hyper-sensitive fear response and to remember that no-one else can make me afraid - only I can do that to myself by allowing myself to panic. It's good advice and it was his emails that made me want to buy the book, just to see what the other lads had to say as well.
I wasn't disappointed and there are some cool stories used as examples of how to remain calm under pressure, control one's emotions and how to be the 'grey man'. I've read the book three times now and so when someone recently said that he didn't know me at all after 18 months of working together, I took it as a compliment and a sign that some of this book must have sunk in, because I am learning to keep my cards closer to my chest.
As my college course has become something of a battle-field lately, with the pressure piling on, I need books like this one just to get me through these final few months of my diploma! Because military books are not just for those who serve in the Armed Forces - everyone can benefit from reading them. SAS Who Dares Wins is a great introduction to a new way of thinking, reminding you of your capabilities and that you can push yourself to even greater achievement if you just keep going and don't quit. This is exactly what I need to hear right now!
The book has chapters on mission planning and delivery, avoiding and deescalating conflict, identifying strengths and weaknesses, knowing when to retreat, gaining respect and establishing command, decompression, how not to quit and handling responsibility. It aims to teach readers how to be 'an army of one' so if you are like me and you prefer to be independent, or if you lack a support network, then this book could well become your new best friend. It will give you motivation when you need it, remind you of your achievements, skills and capability and steer you in the direction of leadership and personal responsibility, helping you to better yourself along the way.
My one gripe with the book is that there are a few football analogies used to explain something. I'm a woman. I don't get football, so these explanations went right over my head. I can just about cope with the military lingo (because there is a glossary at the front of the book), but football is beyond me! Still, there is a nice selection of glossy photos of the authors in their uniforms so I can forgive the football references. Boys will be boys!
The book is available in hard copy and Kindle on Amazon UK, just click here
You can Follow me and the boys on Twitter too, here are the links;