William Harry McRaven, a former US Naval admiral, in his 1996 book titled, “Spec Ops” studies many Special Operations conducted by US special forces and identifies six principles as the key elements making the strategy a success.

These six elements are repetition, surprise, security, speed, simplicity and purpose. These are time tested principles which have brought amazing success to American forces in toughest of the operations. No doubt, they are equally useful for success in life. 

Repetition means practising the decided course of action again and again. Practise makes a man perfect. In life, if learning calligraphy is a goal, regular and repeated sessions of practice can make handwriting beautiful. Nothing is achieved by accident. Frequent, dedicated action makes everything possible.  

Surprise means to attack the enemies without any hint and catching them off guard. It increases effectiveness of blow. Life is like a race and competition. Announcing plans to others may make our determination weak. It may be better, often, to keep it a surprise. And, if it is a competition, no one should know what is going in your mind. 

Security is meant to keeping the information and resources secure so no leakage occurs in the plan. It can be understood as securing means of operation perfectly. While putting efforts for a brighter success, means of survival must be secured. Family, finance, health and career related securities are essential. It also means arranging necessary tools for achieving the target.

Speed is required to finish the mission in time. To win, you must be faster than your competitors. In fact, this makes the progress measurable. How much time is required for doing a particular thing? Assess speed and progress continuously and never let your efforts lose pace. 

Simplicity of method makes the target easily achievable. Path should be drawn as simple as possible. It can be made simple by more practise and better understanding of methods and means involved. The better is clarity of thought and target, the easier is the path ahead.

Purpose of the mission must be crystal clear. Singleness of goal and focus on the purpose makes the mission successful. Clear purpose of life, better written down in a personal journal, keeps an individual focussed always to the goal. 

If we change the order a bit, the six principles can be easily remembered as S4PR. Keep this is mind. Repeat it. Remind yourself of the PURPOSE REPEATEDLY, SECURE means which make the path SIMPLE, keep working at a regular SPEED, and see SURPRISING level of achievements in the mission of life. 

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