The decorated Special Forces operative, who has climbed Mount Everest twice and appeared in the last series of Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins, believes it is up to every person to decide whether to be happy or miserable. Morton, 36, says: “One of the big things is understanding that these hard times are not going to last forever. Just like everything else they will pass. “You have got to create some sort of positive mindset.
“It is your choice whether you wake up every day and be happy, or it is your choice whether you wake up every day and dwell on everything bad that is going on in the world.
“That is essentially it, you owe it to yourself to be happy and to be the best version of yourself.
“Also, understand that if you can cultivate a positive mindset through all the adversity we are going through right now, when it passes and we go back to normal times of not wearing masks and travelling on holiday and meeting up with our friends, you are going to be a stronger person because of this adversity you have gone through.”
Morton has used the four years he spent in the Paras and another 10 in the SAS to write a book titled Soldier: Respect Is Earned, which is out now.
Instead of penning a straight memoir, with his most daring exploits edited out due to the Official Secrets Act, it is a masterclass in mindset and strategy drawn from his experiences for anyone wanting to achieve more.
Jay Morton believes it is up to every person whether to be happy or miserable
The title Soldier stands for the seven characteristics needed: Self, Opportunity, Leadership, Danger, Intelligence, Excellence, Resilience. Each has a chapter in the book.
Morton says: “All of my best stories are covered by the Official Secrets Act and I’ll never come out with those.
“I would rather create something that is of value to people but has some anecdotes and stories mixed in.
“This book is everything I have learnt from my time in the military, which I have put into the seven characteristics that I think go into being an elitelevel operator.
“They can be applied to everything you do in life, whether it’s in a sports team, whether it’s work, whether it’s family.
“You can take those seven key principles and apply them to anything.All seven characteristics have a part to play in building a better life for yourself.
“My personal favourites are self, because I am quite self-analytical, and danger, because I have been given so much reward from putting myself in dangerous situations.
“That is not to say people should go out and throw themselves in front of cars. It’s more about doing the activities or things in your life that create fear.
“That could be going to speak to a girl or a boy, or applying for a job you don’t think you have the qualifications for.”
Morton lists his gruelling fitness regime in the book, with one of his routines being 200 press-ups, 200 squats, 200 sit-ups, 200 lunges and 200 burpees.
He also runs six to nine miles three times a week and starts every day at his home in Dorset by submerging himself in a wheelie bin full of cold water for five minutes.
Jay submerges himself in icy water every day
He says: “If the first thing I can do when I wake up in the morning in my warm bed is walk downstairs and get into a bin full of cold water, that for me builds resilience.
“If I do that first thing in the morning, have a shower and get a coffee, then I find throughout the day I am way more productive than if I don’t get in the bin, as I have already made the most difficult choice.”
After growing up in Preston in what he describes as a “pretty normal family” he said he started running and weight training as a teenager when his friends were out drinking cider on street corners.
He has pushed himself ever since and was due to climb K2 in Pakistan in June or July and Everest again in Nepal this autumn.
Both expeditions were cancelled due to the pandemic but he is hoping to attempt them again next year.
Jay was forced to cancel another trip to Mount Everest
He says: “Always pushing myself I think comes from insecurity from my youth, of never feeling I was fit, or fast, or strong and always wanting to better my fitness and my mental capacity.
“Just trying to develop in every way possible.
“I struggle to settle and be happy with where I am going and what I am doing. I think most people that are seen to be successful or motivated are like this. “I think they have their own internal struggles with self-doubt and insecurity, which forces them to push beyond the normal into the extremes.”
He joined SAS: Who Dares Win for the challenge, but says he is now looking to do his own TV show next year.
Soldier: Respect Is Earned by Jay Morton, £20, Harper Collins. To order your copy with free UK delivery, please call The Express Bookshop on 01872 562310 or order online at expressbookshop.co.uk.