Eating Crow

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Episode 29: Jon Macaskill

Season 2, Ep. 29

Jon Macaskill has a lot on his mind.

He kept it buried far too long, until it nearly wrecked him.

Now his mission is to help other veterans practice mindfulness as they transition from the military to civilian life. We "civies" could learn as well. How to overcome trauma or stress to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

Jon is a true hero, the stuff of movies (not kidding, there are books and movies about his Seal Team). It was an honor to have him on the show, heck just to meet Jon.

As with most "real" heroes I meet, it's not just his actions, bravery, and frankly, "badassness", it's Jon's humility. We learn what inspired Jon to join the military (it's really more practical than inspirational - to start).

Key Takeaways for Leaders and Entrepreneurs:

  1. Take a breath. Heroes perform in the most stressful situations (life and death). All of them, including Jon, talk about taking a breath in these moments to collect yourself, allowing your mind, body, and soul to operate in harmony. It's more than physical, it's also chemical. Practicing this in the non-flow moments is actually more challenging for veterans.
  2. Keep moving. Even as Jon's mental state was quietly crushing him, he kept moving forward. This was a subtle lesson and so important for those of us who find it difficult to get out of bed some days. Get up, keep moving, then follow the next lessons.
  3. Ask for help. When issues are trapped deep inside, don't be afraid to ask for help, or at the very least, say "this is how I'm feeling..." Just talking about your thoughts and emotions can begin to unscramble the issues you are facing and allow others to help you carry the burden. Family, friends and professionals all play a role. Open up to them.
  4. This is an ongoing process. Rome wasn't built in a day. It took Jon a while to see results, but he stuck to it. Mindfulness involves relaxing the mind, body and spirit and it doesn't happen over night, nor does it ever stop. Embrace it.

Jon's Eating Crow Moments:

  1. Recognizing he needed help. Very hard for a Navy Hero to acknowledge these feelings.
  2. Staying at it. When Jon first started practicing mindfulness he was extremely skeptical. He stayed with it.
  3. Finding his new path. Jon could be successful in any pursuit, but like many veteran's he wasn't sure what his new mission would be. He's on several missions today but he's found his lane AND his voice.

You can find Jon here:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonmacaskill/

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