Walking In Mud: A Navy SEAL’s 10 Rules for Surviving the New Normal By Steve Giblin with Jon Land
Rules to live by:
There’s no shortage of books out there by former Navy SEALs and ex-military figures in general, many of which offer tutelage on life skills in what amounts to the author becoming a kind of literary life coach.
On his first day as a SEAL, Steve’s initial assignment was to tote a dustpan in place of an assault rifle to clean out the Team commander’s office. Tucked in one of the drawers he found a document labeled “The Ten Essential Qualities of an Underwater Demolition Man.” Those qualities became his mantra, his words to live by. And now, thanks to Steve adapting those Essential Qualities into a like number of Rules in WALKING IN MUD, they can become ours too.
“I’m not the kind of SEAL who went out and killed a bunch of bad guys on hair-raising missions,” Steve humbly tells us. That said, he served for 14 years in DevGru, another term for SEAL Team 6, the best of the best, and saw combat on numerous continents. Steve relates any number of his own experiences in a 27-year overall career with the SEALs and Special Operations to serve as guideposts for us all.
He’s unrelenting in his self-criticism and self-deprecation, applying the lessons he learned through the ups and downs of his military career to those Ten Rules he painstakingly lays out to help us cope in a post-COVID world. He talks the talk he learned while walking the walk, in other words, and that helps make WALKING IN MUD a seminal treatise on the human condition circa 2021.
There’s his story about a SEAL compadre, Pete, who lost a leg in a training accident and went on to fight his way back and, ultimately, oversaw the raid that brought Osama Bin Laden to justice. There are Steve’s own struggles with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, no stranger to any number of us civilians in these times so riddled by COVID’s residue. Or, as a chief himself, Steve’s breaking the norm of the all-male USS Ogden’s crew by bringing two women on board as SEAL support staff. These and all of the book’s chapters conclude with practical advice pertinent to the specific Rule/Essential Quality that chapter covers.
The end result is a sobering, genuine, heartfelt approach that slows the world down enough to sharpen its spinning blur to crystal clarity. That’s what makes the book not only special and distinctive, but also stunningly effective in its means and message. Far from just another lifestyle entry, WALKING IN MUD is destined to stand alongside the likes of Harold Kushner’s “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” and Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People” as an enduring, instant classic.
You can order your copy from the Amazon link here.
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