In this episode, I interview former Navy SEAL Eric Davis. We talk about building resilience, and about doing some unorthodox things that he does to his kids that he believes can be implemented with other families and other parents.
Eric Davis served our country as a U.S. Navy SEAL and decorated veteran of the Global War on Terror. Eric has been recognized as one of the premier sniper instructors in the U.S. military and has served as a Master Training Specialist at the SEAL sniper school in Coronado, CA.
He is an expert of technical and physical surveillance and was part of an elite group hand-selected to perform intelligence collection in denied areas around the world.
Eric has spent years developing, writing and executing curriculum for the SEAL Teams. By leveraging his expertise in the development of systems, structures, processes and practices Eric was instrumental in significantly reducing the failure rate, of Naval Special Warfare’s internationally recognized Sniper course.
Since departing from the SEAL teams, Eric has worked in corporate performance, sales and leadership training bringing an unprecedented amount of innovation, efficiency and structure to the domain of business and personal performance.
Eric is the author of “Raising Men: Lessons Navy SEALs Learned from Their Training and Taught to Their Sons.”
(02:31) When you hear the word “successful,” who is the first person that comes to mind, and why?
(03:03) What was Toby [Hecht]’s focus for you? What really resonated for you with Toby as a person and as a teacher?
(03:49) Eric’s background
(08:06) I’d like to get your feedback on watching somebody you wanted to emulate or really look up to and watching them decline in that way. What did it do to you as far as the fire in your belly, or the opposite, something that really turned things on its head in a negative way. What sort of impact did that make to you at that time and still, to this day?
(11:20) When you first dove into Navy SEAL training, you quit at first. Can you tell us about that experience?
(14:16) As a man, you want to provide but you also want to be there as much as possible for every single moment for your son or daughter. How can a new dad or current dad really balance that, or focus on what you believe is most important in that scenario?
The idea of balance typically does not work. We can harmonize things, but the idea of balancing things in life is pretty impossible.
We selfishly live a good life so that we can altruistically lead others to do the same.
(18:21) Let’s dive into more of what you cover in Raising Men. What lessons did you learn as a Navy SEAL and as a sniper that you’re trying to get across in this book.
(20:15) You seem to be somebody who pushes but also, you’re really respectful and kind in the way that you develop these practices and teach these lessons to your kids. I’m interested in that balance. Is that something you learn from being a Navy SEAL or is that your personality type?
Imagine a world of that which you felt like doing was exactly the best thing for you to be doing or that you should be doing.
(24:23) Let’s dive into one of those examples with your kids. I’m looking at one of your posts and you focused on an exercise called drown-proofing. Can you give us an example of what we’re talking about?
(27:20) Do you have those debriefing sessions with your kids as well after your exercise or whatever you’re doing? Do you sit down and really go through those failures, those successes, and talk about what the learning moments are?
(29:14) Another thing that strikes me is not only setting that expectation, but your kids are going through this stuff together so it’s kind of building this camaraderie and shared adversity, kind of like when you were a Navy SEAL.
(33:23) I’m interested in successful people’s morning routines. Do you have a specific thing that you do in the first 30 minutes to an hour of your day to set the tone?
(35:34) Are there any books that most influenced you, and why?
- The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding by Humberto R. Maturana & Francisco J. Varela
- The Bible
- Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
(37:49) Do you tend to read only non-fiction or do you read fiction as well?
(41:43) If you could have dinner with one person you admire, past or present, who would it be and why?
Book: Raising Men: Lessons Navy SEALs Learned from Their Training and Taught to Their Sons by Eric Davis