In this episode, Mark Divine talks about his experience as a Navy Seal, what he’s learned, and the performance approach that he has, which is a combination of physical fitness, mental fitness and mindfulness and meditation.
Mark is a highly sought after speaker, coach, author and makes frequent media appearances to discuss SEAL way of life. His Unbeatable Mind program is helping to forge mental toughness among business leaders.
Mark Divine is from upstate New York with a degree in economics from Colgate University and an MBA in Finance from New York University Stern School of Business. Mark’s first career was with Coopers & Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouse Coopers) as a Certified Public Accountant.
Four years after joining Coopers, Mark left behind the corporate world to pursue his vision to become an elite Navy SEAL officer. At 26 he graduated as honor-man (#1 ranked trainee) of his SEAL BUD/s class number 170. Mark served for nine years total on Active Duty and eleven as a Reserve SEAL, retiring as Commander in 2011.
Mark embarked on his third career as an entrepreneur in 1996 by co-founding the successful Coronado Brewing Company (CBC) and founding the web e-commerce site www.NavySEALs.com. He later sold his interest in CBC, but continues to run NavySEALs.com as the leading web site for gear and information about the SEALs. In 2006 he launched US Tactical, a government contracting business.
After working with thousands of special ops candidates and professionals developing mental toughness, Mark self-published his first book Unbeatable Mind in 2011 and launched the at-home study program www.unbeatablemind.com. He is also the author of The Way of the SEAL and 8 Weeks to SEALFIT.
SEALFIT is uniquely effective at developing elite level physical fitness and mental toughness. The program has helped thousands to operate at an entirely new level in their personal and professional lives, and is used by military, first responders and sheepdog-like professionals of all stripes worldwide.
(03:20) When you hear the word successful, what’s the first thing or person that comes to mind?
(05:26) Mark’s background
(08:26) One of the things that strikes me about the SEALFIT program is the symbiotic relationship between developing your mental fitness and mental toughness and how that informs how you perform physically. Instead of the focus on just developing yourself physically and not being prepared when adversity strikes. I have a question for you about how important endurance athletics and sport, and then solitude and presence were. Those seem like pretty individual things to be focused on. How did you go from that to the collaborative team-based shared adversity approach that you take now with all of the training programs and as a Navy SEAL.
We master ourselves so we can serve others more effectively.
(14:29) I just want to go back one step to what you mentioned before about some of the turmoil that was happening in your household. I wonder if that has anything to do with your self awareness of your physical abilities, the skills that you wanted to develop, and the approach to being a Navy SEAL. Can you talk about what you were dealing with at home and how that affected you?
Stress is good.
(22:07) When you have people sign up for SEALfit or the Kokoro camp, how many people will do that in a given time frame or training program? What do you get for drop out rates? What’s the percentage of people that just don’t make it through?
(27:08) What does Kokoro mean?
(29:16) Out of the 5 mountains, in any part of the training programs that you have, whether you’re just reading The Unbeatable Mind book, or going through SEALfit, or in Kokoro camp, which one of the 5 is the most difficult for people to execute on that you see consistently?
The human body likes to play and it wants to be challenged.
The more you begin to train your mind, then the clearer you are about how your thinking patterns work and what’s driving your behavior.
(37:09) For somebody who’s an aspiring high performer, somebody who wants to achieve big things, what would you say to them, as kind of a small win, to get them moving in the right direction with achieving these goals? Right now they might be frustrated, stressed out or anxious.
(41:37) Are there any other books that have most influenced you, and why?
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- Essentialism by Greg Mckeown
(43:10) If you could have dinner with one person you admire, past or present, who would it be and why?