“I think the self-worth comes from what you create. I think that what you create creates you. What I put out into the world creates that sense of pride.” – Anthony Trucks
Anthony Trucks (@anthonytrucks) is a former NFL player, currently a speaker, author and an entrepreneur. He talks today with Commander Divine from the Spartan World Championships in Lake Tahoe. Anthony talks about his very difficult childhood, and how he has been able to manage the shifts in his own life.
- We need to learn how to update our mental software
- How we use the see-shift-sustain method to recognize our patterns and then make lasting change.
- We need a coach to get our self-perception clear
Listen in to hear how to make change happen in your life and make it stick.
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Hey folks. This is Mark Divine. Welcome back to the Unbeatable Mind podcast. Super-stoked to have you here. I’m up in Lake Tahoe, at Squaw Valley with the Spartan World Championships. And I’ve been on like a podcasting frenzy. I know my guest Anthony Trucks has also been doing that. It’s been really, really cool without much ado.
I’m not going to give any more intro to Anthony, except to say I’m super-excited to meet someone who has gone through such trauma and hardship, and yet continues to come out on top. And now is turning his attention to really helping other people deal with the shit and the shifts that happen in their life.
Anthony is a former NFL player, a world-class athlete and coach… But it hasn’t been an easy road, has it buddy?
Anthony. Oh man, no. No. To be honest I don’t want it to be. I think now
Mark. In retrospect, right? All that shit that happened, we’re like, “bring it on.” We’re glad that it happened. But it sure doesn’t feel that way when we’re going through it.
Anthony. Oh no. In the moment of it, nobody enjoys pain. But it’s a great little appreciation for the crazy. Cause now I don’t have things that I won’t do. Like I’ll just try…
Mark. Right, there’s nothing that can hurt you, right?
Anthony. No, that’s the whole thing. And when you get that kind of freedom it’s a way different life you live.
Mark. I tell you what man – I used to lament – and I’ve talked about this on the podcast – growing up in a family that had a lot of chaos in it. And physical abuse and alcohol… And I thought “oh man, I must have it bad.”
And then I’m like “that’s nothing. Because there was a lot of stability too. And I had the same parents that I still have. I was never abandoned or given away. I was never tortured or left to feel completely unloved.
Mark. There were just moments where it was just chaotic and abusive. And I’m like “that was actually pretty good compared to a lot of people.”
Anthony. Yeah, I guess it’s a mess, but…
Mark. What was your life like? Because I read a little bit about your bio. And your first trauma was basically being abandoned by your biological parents.
Anthony. Yeah. I mean, I wouldn’t even say parents – just parent. My mom had me, she was single when she had me… My dad took off and disappeared and left her. And then my mom had three more kids. So I was one of four – oldest of four.
And then at three years old, she gave us away. So I entered the foster-care system.
Mark. So she gave all of you away to the foster system.
Anthony. I remember the day happened too – oddly at 3 years old, I can still like see it in my head…
Mark. That’s rare. To have that memory.
Anthony. Yeah. And I don’t like it. I mean, it’s not like I enjoy the memory. But it’s one of those ones I could anchor back to of where I came from. So I get a great deal of gratitude every day, knowing where I started.
But she put us into a crazy world. Because it’s like 1986? I want to say.
So at this time there’s no social media, there’s no internet, so there’s no connection of what’s going on. And I’m a kid. And so the houses that I get put into back then it’s what’s called a paycheck. So you get paid to have me there…
Mark. Right. They’re getting money from the system to take kids in. Where was this?
Anthony. The East San Francisco Bay Area. A town called Martinez. Like Martinez was the area, the base… But it was like Concord, Pittsburgh, little towns that surround that area. S
Mark. So what was the foster experience like?
Anthony. For me, not too nice.
Mark. Not too nice. Is it like being in dormitory with a bunch of other kids?
Anthony. Oh no. So you’re thinking like group home – kind of like boarding school type things – orphanages.
So imagine you go to somebody’s home. It’s an actual house and these people take care of you. And the people that I was… Probably the six houses I went to, four of them were like that.
Mark. So why would you bounce around?
Anthony. They just move you. Like, it’s instability to the max. You have no idea where you’re gonna be the next day. So like, there’s days you just come home, there’s a car out there, your bag of clothes is put in the car, you’re putting the car, you go to this new place. Having no idea why you’re leaving. No idea where you’re going. And it’s just very odd.
I remember those days of, like, just coming home from school. There’s a new car front. I just gotta get in the car and go somewhere. Tough, difficult.
Cause I think for me as a kid, I didn’t know any different right – cause you don’t know when things are crazy – so you embrace it. You just “I guess this is what I do.” you really get used to the normalcy of having no normalcy. And that was my world.
And so were you bouncing around schools too?
Anthony. Oh yeah, I actually wasn’t allowed to go to kindergarten for more than like 30 minutes or an hour I was told, cause I was like really bad. I mean, obvious reasons. I’m acting out, there’s a lot of craziness, instability.
I think I did kindergarten twice – which you don’t usually do kindergarten twice…
Mark. (laughing) Yeah, usually they wait a few years… You’re not learning anything in kindergarten anyway.
Anthony. (laughing) Yeah, “let’s let this guy do it again. We don’t want him in first grade.”
Mark. Good job, by the way.
Anthony. Yeah, so… But I mean these houses… I bounced around…
Mark. Maybe that’s why you were so successful in other things. You got to do kindergarten twice.
Anthony. Yeah, man, I was more creative.
Mark. (laughing) Maybe there’s a formula there.
Anthony. (laughing) Yeah, everybody take your kids back. Do kindergarten twice. Do like Billy Madison – he went back to kindergarten
Mark. Right. Maybe I’ll do it again. I would like to do kindergarten again.
Anthony. So I can laugh about it now, but back then dude was it was tough. Cause these houses like… They wouldn’t feed you… Like, although they’re getting paid for me, that money is not going to me. They’re not buying me clothes…
Like, there was one house, they put me in this chicken coop in the back… It was in Pittsburgh down by the train tracks, I remember… And they had this chicken coop in the back. They put me in. And they’d make me chase a chicken, to catch a chicken, so I could earn my meal that night. And if I didn’t, I didn’t eat.
Mark. Holy shit.
Anthony. Yeah, it’s weird. And then I would in the middle of the night sneak out and like get food, and if I got caught, I got beat. And then if I did get food I’d get as much as I could, and then I’d hoard it and hide it behind the bed. I remember one day they pulled the bed back and saw all this food hidden. And like beat me…
Mark. How long did you stay at that place?
Anthony. Oh man, I don’t even know.
Mark. How come you didn’t run away?
Anthony. I wasn’t even 6 years old yet. Between 3 & 6. I think the girth of this happened between like 4 & 6. Like, little kid times.
And so like it’s 6 years old… There was a house that they put me out in this shopping cart at the top of a hill… Would push me down in the cart and like make me hit the bottom. Hopefully no cars come. I fall out.
Put me back in and do it again.
Mark. Just for fun?
Anthony. Just for fun. It was like a weird… I have like this disdain for human – or had for a lot of years – like why this is what I was exposed to as a kid. This is what I thought life was.
So a lot of anger. That’s why I took it out on teachers and classmates.
And so like they put me on the curb and like force me to lick the bottom of the every kid’s shoes. It’s like, my tongue would bleed. And like they’d just keep doing it. Like really weird, torturous, odd things. So at six years old…
Mark. That’s horrible that those people are involved in foster care.
Anthony. Back then, how’d you know?
Mark. It’s part of their whole welfare system, I guess.
Anthony. Yeah, it was. And I remember, I was moved from house to house… Like the family I got moved into – which is my family now – I was told I showed up with like weird corduroys that didn’t fit, boots that wouldn’t fit, a weird like halter-top purple shirt that wasn’t even big enough… That’s what they put me in. With dirty hair.
Like no one cared. And nobody knew – was the worst part. There’s no social, there’s no videos, and if I said something, like “we wouldn’t do that. Oh I didn’t do that. What you talking about?”
What do you do? Like there’s this little kid making an excuse and what you don’t realize is as a little kid they know that all you want to do is go home. So a lot these little foster kids make up stories to be able to say “these people are horrible,” so they can go to a new home. Or so they can go back with their parents.
And so it’s really in-between and there’s no way to know. Then you age through it and get to a crazy place…
Thankfully, for me, a lot of the “craziness,” we’ll call it – ended at 6 when I moved…
Mark. What kind of scars lingered and how did you kind of overcome that? There’s obvious trauma that happens
Anthony. That took me a lot of years.
Mark. How did you overcome it? Cause this is one of the things that’s really interesting to me. Cause I’m a big promoter of emotional development, especially for men, because childhood trauma like this is not uncommon. It may be more severe in cases like you than like me.
But everyone’s got some form of it. And so emotional development is really critical. But it’s really not accessible to most guys, mainly because they don’t think about it…
Anthony. They don’t want to accept it either…
Mark. They don’t want to accept it. They think that it’s gonna make them look weak. So how did you deal with it?
Anthony. Accidentally. I think I was put in positions where I was forced to. I think the change out of it started when I was between like 8 and 14. Cause I’m in this house with this family… My real mom’s kind of still in the background… Like I wasn’t allowed to play sports or do much, because she had what’s called parental rights.
So like she kind of messed me up for a lot of years. And then I finally got adopted at 14, but it took a lot of years of letting that family love me. Like it was this weird thing in my head like “this is kind of my family, but it’s not really my family. I’m not really adopted.”
So I mean 14 years of my life like this is kind of what I knew. I got to the point where I finally got adopted and things changed. But you asked how did I deal with it?
I didn’t deal with it until maybe like 10ish years ago.
Mark. Yeah. How old are you now?
Mark. 35. Still, that’s pretty young to be dealing with that in your mid-20s.
Anthony. Yeah, yeah. And I went through different levels of life. Like my adoptive mom was diagnosed with MS. I tried this sport called “football.” like I got good at that, obviously. Played in the NFL.
And had a kid at 20 and married my high school sweetheart. And got divorced – all this craziness and I went through like situations…
Mark. So I imagine – like I read your bio – so you were swinging like a pendulum between good and bad, good and bad. And that was clearly to me the result of just this fractured childhood and inability to really find the middle path, or find the balance in life…
Anthony. Find a solid foundation.
Mark. To find the foundation, right. And so you were just always grasping for here or there. And then hoping things would work out.
Anthony. Yeah that’s really what is. You’re hoping.
It’s weird, there’s an in-between for me, so one is I don’t like instability, right? I don’t.
Like, the NFL was interesting. People think like “that’s amazing, everybody wants to be there.”
But you never know if you have a job tomorrow.
Mark. Right, I could see that. I’ve met a lot of NFL guys, and there’s a lot of instability there. Even though most people… From the outside looking in, it looks like a really stable thing. You got a lot of people showering attention on you.
But you got you show up every day, and got to earn your slot. Like we said in the SEAL Teams, you got to earn your trident every day. You’d be off the team if you start fucking off.
Anthony. That’s what happens in football. The exact same verbiage.
Mark. Really? Earn it every day, huh?
Anthony. So for me is also the one difficult part is because I went through so much change and I know how to do it, I guess I don’t navigate the shifts – like I’m not scared of it also. So I’ll leap at things.
So there’s times in my life when the instability’s thrown me. And then times in life were my ability to navigate instability has thrown other people in my life off.
Anthony. So it’s like knowing that. So you asked like where does it show up. It still shows up to this day. I have weird thoughts.
My wife, she’s good with understanding that. And I’m good with not pressing on her and forcing her to do things. It’s like I have a balance now.
But it took a lot of years to really grasp that I have these things that I’m not even realizing are going on. Because who we are is who we are. We’re not thinking about who we are.
Mark. Yeah, it’s the subconscious part. And the conditioned patterns that really drive…
Anthony. How we operate. And then we’re like, “why is everything going crazy?” things just happen. And so for me…
Mark. Do you believe that you create the conditions that show up in your life?
Anthony. Every day. Every single one of them.
Mark. Totally agree. Not a lot of people really get that. They hear those words and they think it’s kind of a platitude.
But when you really pay close attention, you recognize that pretty much most of what happens to us and around us is self-created or co-created with those you attract in your life. Or the situations you put yourself in.
Anthony. Yeah, perfect example for me… Like, I got to 25, 26, I got my wife. Post NFL – lost my career to injury – came home, had two more kids. My wife had an affair. Shook me.
Mark. This is your ex-wife.
Anthony. This my ex-wife. Who’s now my current wife. Long story. Wouldn’t get into it…
Mark. Now your current?
Anthony. Now, yeah.
Mark. Yeah, so I saw you married your high school sweetheart. She’s the one that had the affair, and you guys spun out of control for a while.
Let me back up and do a little chronology here, cause I’m…
Anthony. There’s a lot of weird stuff. Oh man, I know. Hey, welcome to my world. (laughing) You’re experiencing my instability right now.
Mark. (laughing) Exactly. My head is going like a ping-pong ball.
So you got interested… Or you were obviously a good athlete in high school. You played football in high school…
Anthony. Yeah, but I wasn’t good at first. At first I was bad.
Anthony. Really bad.
Mark. You’re not the like… When you think of NFL players you think of 6’5″ linemen or running backs. How tall are you?
Anthony. 6 foot 1.
Mark. You’re 6′ 1″. So we’re above the same height.
Anthony. Yeah, linebacker.
Mark. You were a linebacker? You must’ve been fast then…
Anthony. Was fast and big, yeah. I gotta show you a picture man. Nobody ever believes… Because I’m a smaller guy now – purposely – I don’t like to actually eat and lift like I used to, but this is this is what I used to look like. I was a house.
Mark. (laughing) that is a house, yeah. About 50 pounds more, 75 pounds more…
Anthony. Man. It’s my job though.
But yeah I was a most people think of us massive.
Mark. Okay, so you got recruited out of high school to go in the NFL? Or did you just walk in?
Anthony. No, no. College. I got a scholarship. So while I was bad the first two years of football… I just tried this thing football, cause I loved to hit people, but I got in trouble for it usually.
So football, I could do it and not get in trouble. And so I leaned into it. There was a point in time where I was like “I don’t want to do this anymore.” I actually checked out. I was like “I’m not gonna do this.”
And then had a few moments that set me straight. Like “I gotta try…”
Mark. Did you have a coach or a mentor who inspired you? Or kind of showed you the way?
Anthony. I think they came as I invested. I think coaches will invest in those who want to have investments.
Mark. True that.
Anthony. So I had a guy named Chris Matthews, who was my receiver’s coach back my freshman year. And he was the dude who just like – real cool, regular dude, but like he saw something. But like he tried to get you to do more, but he wasn’t gonna push you. If you want to push, he’ll guide you.
And he was a guy that yes… Like he called me Tony… Tony Trucks… Still does. And he was one of the guys that when I kind of decided like “I gotta be good at this.” he hopped on, helped me be better, for sure.
Mark. Okay, so you got a scholarship to where?
Anthony. University of Oregon.
Mark. Oregon. Okay.
Anthony. I’m a duck, man.
Mark. (laughing) You are a duck. Quack-quack.
So you played football at Oregon. Did you do all four years?
Anthony. I did. I registered actually. I came in, I started my true sophomore year. Actually I met my biological dad my first collegiate start on national TV. And I got a game ball from the game.
Mark. No shit.
Anthony. Yeah, it was an interesting day. That’s pretty interesting day.
Mark. How’s your dad doing, by the way?
Anthony. He passed away a few years back, yeah.
Mark. Did you have a decent relationship with him?
Anthony. It was interesting, because at this point I was still navigating that, right? And so he’s like “I didn’t know you existed.” he’s like “I’m so sorry,” at this time.
Fast forward nine years, like before he passed away he’s like, “hey, I wanted you to know I did know about you the whole time. I just didn’t know what to tell you.”
Mark. Yeah, that’s interesting.
Anthony. Yeah, I gotta let interesting parts of my life, man. So yeah, but it was an interesting day. And at this time I had a son too, so at 20 years old I had a son my sophomore year at college. With my high school sweetheart. Who was actually was my fiancé, before we got pregnant.
Mark. And she moved up to Oregon with you?
Anthony. She did. She went to UC Davis. She actually has her master’s Summa cum laude in special education.
Mark. Good for her.
Anthony. She’s a monster.
Mark. That’s cool.
So then you got recruited? Did you get recruited into the NFL, or did you do a walk-on?
Anthony. It’s a free agency. I didn’t get drafted. The Buccaneers strung me along for like two or three rounds, and they’re like “hey, we’ll just sign you after the draft.” so signed. Went to the Buccaneers after. First team. Coach Gruden.
Mark. Okay. And then fast forward through your NFL career. How did that go?
Anthony. Well NFL stands for “not for long.”
Mark. (laughing) Got me on that one. That’s really funny.
To be fair, what is the average career length…?
Anthony. If you take into account all the guys who get signed like for camp in March/April… Whatever it is… To who actually you know gets the roster 53 later… It’s something like six/seven months. Because so many guys come and go.
Now if you get signed, you make it into like camp and you make it into a team, it’s like three years or less. Because you get pension at three years, three games.
So a lot of teams are like, “alright, three years…” like you know…
Mark. Three years, two games, you’re out…
Anthony. Yeah, it happens. And no one picks you up. Cause they know if they give that one game, they got to give the pension. Interesting world, man.
Mark. I never heard that.
Anthony. The NFL’s cutthroat dude. It is a cutthroat realm to live in.
Mark. So did you last three years and two games?
Anthony. No, I got hurt in my third. I tore my shoulder my third season, yeah. My third year.
Mark. And you played for three teams in those three years?
Mark. That is unstable.
Anthony. Oh it’s just the world you live in man. You have to get used to it. You bounce around… I think my first year after I got released from The Buccaneers, I had like eight workouts. Which means every Tuesday you fly out to a new team you do a workout. Like you’re around guys you don’t know, you’re in hotels with guys you don’t know…
Mark. And they’re just scouting you, looking at you…
Anthony. Well no, what they do is they bring you the facility, put you through a workout for like 20, 30 minutes. You’re just like a piece of meat.
Mark. And to see if they want to pick you up?
Anthony. Pretty much. Yeah.
So they always have these running like boards of guys who are available. And what happens is based on how the operation of the league is going – like the scouting Department for the team – if somebody gets picked up, they go off the board. If somebody’s a free agent, they go in a certain part of the board. And what they’re doing is trying to see who’s where. So they’ll fly you in, put you in a board somewhere, and if somebody gets hurt week four, five, six… Eight, you might get the call to come in.
Anthony. Or they might need somebody right now. And you get signed, and you stay there.
Mark. And if you’re not picked up you’re just sitting around at home training?
Anthony. Sitting at home training, preparing for a Tuesday when somebody hopefully gives you a call for a workout.
Imagine that. You can’t even start on life. Cause you’re just waiting.
Mark. Right. You’re either in or you’re out at that point. So in a sense almost the injury was a blessing in disguise.
Anthony. It really was. I didn’t realize that at first.
Mark. Right. Of course not.
Anthony. You don’t think it is. Even like mental… Like I’ve had brain scans since and my brain has physical damage, but not cognitive processing damage. My brain is physically older than it should be.
Mark. I mean the research on TBI, it’s just insane how much TBI there is. In the military, in NFL, and probably a lot of other sports. Hockey and I don’t know…
Anthony. Motocross. It’s crazy.
Mark. It is crazy. Yeah, there’s a big opportunity to really help healing and also just to improve the sports. And I think you know… Like I’m running a panel later on about how sports are changing. There’s a lot of people who are looking at those sports… A lot of kids going and saying “you know what?”
Anthony. The games gonna change, man.
Mark. Yeah, “I don’t want to have brain damage and be drooling on myself when I’m 50 years old.”
Anthony. It’s odd, because now is like of all times to ever play the sport of football, now’s the best. Because they’re focused on safety.
Mark. Yeah. And the helmet technology’s getting much better. And the rules are changing.
Anthony. It’s still gonna change. I mean, if you just took a wave… A percentage of kids off the field – which has already happened – you’re gonna feel that 10-15 years from now. So that the league’s gonna change massively, I think, in the next 10-15 years.
Mark. I agree. That’s fascinating.
Mark. So after NFL, what were you gonna do? Did you have a plan?
Anthony. No. What’s a plan, man?
Mark. How many do, right? I see that so much with the military guys. Like especially in spec ops. Like you’re a rock star and you’re running all over the world doing cool stuff and getting all the girls. And getting paid fairly well.
And they know their day is coming, they’re gonna retire or get injured – hopefully not the other thing.
And then they get out and they’re like, “I don’t know what I’m doing,” you know? And there are finally some organizations popping up to help guys figure out a transition plan. And get the healing they need, if they need it, which most do. Put a resume together.
Mark. You know, network or something.
Anthony. That’s kind of what I had to figure out.
Mark. Yeah, you go from one structure – NFL – that has all these rules
Anthony. I’m being told what to do every day.
Mark. You’re being told what to do. You’ve been told what you’re gonna get paid. You’re being told what to wear, how to act, where to be.
Anthony. You have to think about it.
Mark. The same thing in the military. It’s such a tight structure. And then the next day – nothing.
Anthony. It’s all you.
Mark. Blank slate. “Have fun with that.”
Anthony. “We didn’t teach you how to do that. We taught you how to play this game, but didn’t teach you how to live life. And you’re left…
Mark. I tell a story in might book “The Way of the SEAL,” about how I found my first identity. Which became… I was a CPA – believe it or not – Certified Public Accountant. I kid you not.
And then I joined the seals at 25 as an officer. And the process was one of deep introspection, and meditation, and basically purpose finding. And it was extraordinarily powerful.
But then when I got out of the seals, I had to kind of go through it again. Because I went into business, but the first business I went into was just about beer. It was a micro-brewery and obviously it didn’t work out that well, because the business was really successful, but it was a disaster for me. Because it wasn’t my calling.
At any rate, so that’s my story. How did you find your identity? And what did you stumble upon in terms of tools or insights?
Anthony. I broke my life, man. Yeah legit, I went home and broke it. Cause I came home, you know… You want that sense of self-worth. What else can I pour into? And so for me, I have my degree in kinesiology…
Mark. Do you find that self-worth comes from your spiritual center or some deep inside? Or inner voice? Because a lot of people do have that experience.
Anthony. Yeah, I mean there is a spiritual sense to it, but I think the self-worth comes from something you create. I think what you create, creates you. What I put out into the world creates that sense of pride.
I gotta believe that in the moment when it needs… If somebody challenges me, I gotta believe to my core “no, no. I’m strong enough. I’m smart enough. I can do this.”
Cause if not, I don’t lean into it heavy. And I don’t get that unless I did the work. Try to create that, right?
So I think for me when I came out, I was trying to create that. So I came out, like “I’m gonna pour into this this gym I created an opened” – because my degree’s in kinesiology so like I know the space. So I went in there. Problem was, I now have three kids, I got a wife and I’m at the gym from 6 a.m. To 10 p.m. So I’m not really a husband or a dad right now.
Mark. Yeah, running a gym is… It’s like three full-time jobs.
Anthony yeah. And the thing is we get into it, and most people who leave situations we want to be in control, because we were the rock star – like you said. And the problem is you can’t do everything. You actually ruin the business by trying to do everything.
That’s what I did. I got nine months into this new space. All NFL money gone into this and I was looking at eviction.
Mark. No shit.
Anthony. Yeah. Looking at eviction. On top of that – this is where I found out my wife’s having this affair. So like, I’ve lost my career, my business is failing, my body – I’m not even in great shape anymore – I stopped taking care of my health, just so focusing on the business, right? And taking care of bills now.
And not even being a present dad. And like everything’s just stripped. So like, I lost even more. Like it was like a really dark bottom.
Mark. Yeah, I mean that’s so interesting, because it’s like the hero’s journey… You went down one path, thinking it was it… And you’ve had to get to your dark night of the soul moment. And it was because you were heading down the wrong path. You were fighting the wrong fight and you didn’t know.
Anthony. Yeah, people called it climbing the ladder…
Mark. So the obstacles kept piling up until you finally had to either ask for help or turn within deeper…
Anthony. Exactly. Seriously. Had to ask for help. That was the catalyst. And I didn’t even ask for help where I needed help. That was the biggest thing that didn’t…
Mark. True. Cause you’re not looking at the real root problem anymore…
Anthony. No. Most people don’t. I thought I needed help on the business. I needed help with Anthony.
And so I figured the business thing out enough to keep it running to like just keep it above water.
Mark. You still have it today?
Anthony. I sold it last December actually, a little over a year ago. That’s a different chapter closed.
And actually it’s interesting because I sold it this time. Previously I closed it in ’14, but I didn’t really master it. I got a big quarter million dollar contract to do some work, so I was like “well, I don’t have to do this gym right now. I’m gonna try just speaking thing, coaching thing.”
And so I kinda did that and then I had some money. So I was like “let me see if I can try to mash this before I close a chapter for good.”
So I opened it back up, just to see if I could run it right – the way I really wanted to. Did really well. Was able to sell it for a profit and so I have closed that in my heart that chapter.
Mark. That’s kind of cool, yeah. So it didn’t go down in the log as a failure.
Anthony. Exactly. Even previously it didn’t, cause like the lease was up, and I sold the equipment, so it wasn’t a failure – but I knew. I knew. And so I wanted to know when it was all said and done…
Mark. I had a similar experience – although I did close my business, but I closed it as a win. Because I had to fight our city even for the right to keep the location. They wanted us to get a major use permit for a small CrossFit gym which is more like a yoga studio or martial arts studio. None of them have to have a major use permit in our town.
Anthony. Why would they do that?
Mark. Well because their laws were written for like Gold’s Gym, you know? Showers and pools and parking.
Anthony. Gotcha. Yeah.
Mark. Anyways. And the real issue was we were a military-type establishment called SEALFIT in a town that didn’t really want military there.
Anthony. Yeah, there’s more politics behind there.
Mark. So we kind of fought, fought, fought – we ended up getting our use permit. But then we realized – or we said “you know what? That battle was worth fighting, but this business is not our core business anymore.”
And it’s just using the 80/20 rule – 80% of our effort was going into a business that was giving us less than 20% of our return. And so we decided to shut it down.
And then our focus has been much more radically focused on growing our core business, which is similar to yours – team building, executive coaching, leadership development… And then we still run the SEALFIT events in our online training. So a lot of online stuff
Anthony. That’s where I’m at, man.
Mark. That’s where you’re heading too.
Anthony. You reach more people that way too.
Mark. For sure. That is scalable.
So tell us about like the new… This version of Anthony.
Anthony. I call it updating your programming, right? We’re all hardware. We’re bodies walking around. But we’re operating off of like software from when we were little kids.
Mark. Right. And a lot of people don’t upgrade their software…
Anthony. No they don’t. Their life. If it’s like bogged down – it’s like that “spinning wheel of death” on your computer. Like it won’t move. That’s what a lot of us doing.
And so for me I went to the craziness. Like going back like the situation with my ex – you’re talking about taking ownership and seeing where we had control – like her decision, was her decision. It’s 100% hers, but she didn’t get to a place of feeling she needed to make a choice by herself. It’s like I had to take some ownership for that. I realized that she did what she did.
And in doing so, she didn’t do it to hurt me, she did it to help her.
Mark. She was filling a hole that you weren’t filling for her.
Anthony. Exactly. I think that’s one of the things… A lot of people think there’s malicious actions behind when somebody hurts you.
There wasn’t malice. It was just like her feeling neglected.
Mark. You know, that’s a really good point that needs to be brought forth a little bit more. Most people think that people do things to them. People do things just because they do things.
Anthony. For them…
Mark. They do them for themselves. It’s very rare that someone will actually do something to hurt you.
Anthony. Yeah. Unless you did something.
Mark. Unless you did something to deserve some retribution or like a violent criminal or something. Even then, they’re doing it because they don’t feel whole. And they’re projecting or they’re doing something because it’s their issue.
So ultimately most people – if not all people – are predominately concerned with themselves.
Anthony. They are.
Mark. Until you get into a real open-hearted relationship and then it’s like two-way street.
Anthony. Yeah. Which is where I’m at now. Pretty cool.
Mark. Awesome. So you’ve got a coaching business. You’re trying to help people deal with their identity shifts – I love that positioning from a business standpoint I’m like “that’s really cool,” because it really is ultimately about the ego’s stories – which then show up in your behavior, your subconscious programming, and your identification of what your specific roles are in life.
And like you said earlier – astutely – that they’re pretty much driven by programming from the first seven years of your life.
Anthony. Yeah. You never look it upgrading. The screen comes up “so you want to update?” people keep clicking “no.” no one updates. “Later.” An hour.
Mark. It’s too scary to update…
Anthony. It is. Cause you might get a bug. And you might have the old software, gotta work the bugs out.
Mark. Or you just don’t know how to run the new software, you know what I mean? People are comfortable with comfort.
Anthony. My wife’s like that with her phone. She doesn’t like to update her phone for the same reasons. And I can look at that I’m like, “figure it out.” The thing is there’s gonna be new needs in the future.
Mark. So you got to get comfortable with change, and discomfort, and always growing. And not fear that you’re not gonna know or like the next version of what’s coming.
So again – I want to get to some specifics – like how did you figure that out for yourself? And how do you help others?
Anthony. So I think the thing for me was leaning into needing to figure things out. Like that situation, relationship, the business aspects, my health, parenting… I don’t coach anybody in an area I’ve never mastered myself… Or at least come close to a mastery…
Mark. Right. So those are four areas that you’re pretty good at, right?
Anthony. Yeah. It’s just what I lived through, right? So for me it was just going through and trying to figure out “how do I fix what’s broken by putting everything on end?” cause I’m strong, like I got the strength to handle it. So I can talk about the ego aspect… Just push it to the side. “Like where am I broken? What was wrong? What’s going on?”
I spent a lot of time in books, still do. A lot of group programs, seminars, talking to people, having open conversations. I did all the things that most people are afraid to do, to update the software.
And so what I did is went in and said “okay, where are the bugs? Where are the glitches? Mark. What were the scariest things that you did?
Anthony. For me, it was taking ownership of the relationship was tough. Of what happened there.
Another scary thing was taking her back…
Mark. Did you guys get any help with that? Like through a therapist or whatnot?
Anthony. We did therapy. But the problem with therapy is if you don’t have two people who want to be there, it just doesn’t work.
Mark. True that.
Anthony. It’s the weirdest thing. And people are like “go see a therapist…”
Mark. Gotta have willing participants…
Anthony. Two, openly. Who want in there.
And none of us wanted to be there.
And for us faith was a big piece of a fixing it. Top of that scary thing was having to own up – there’s a part of me that has always never wanted my kids to have the kind of… Anything close to what I had. So when this took place… Like now that I owned that I was a problem in that relationship, I also had to own like man I was putting my kids in a position to have him not have a solid, stable house. Just like I didn’t have. And that killed me too.
Mark. Yeah. So you saw the pattern repeating itself.
Anthony. It was big. And it is for me like “how do I figure these things out?” and I just had to look at it.
And so since, I’ve actually taken tons of time to sit back and look how neuroscience and psychology works and I just opened up my brain. Not be like this dumb jock, but learn the science behind it all. To create processes that I actually walk people through, to do this.
The three stages I worked through See-Shift-Sustain. See what got you here why you’re stuck, see where you can actually go.
Do the work to shift as a process we go through.
And then how do you sustain that for a long period of time. Because some people have success, but they get stuck there and the world keeps moving. And the idea is “how do I sustain my growth, so I never fall back behind the curve? Never slide back downhill?”
“And then how do I get to that next level like serving in some way?”
Because my level of happy now is amazing, but the only reason I can get to that next tier of happy is to give somebody else happy from what I’ve gone through.
Mark. Yeah right.
Anthony. So I made sense of all my crazy, to be able to give it back to the world a different way.
Mark. See-Shift-Sustain. Cause the shift is the change.
Anthony. Shift is the change.
Coaching and Honesty
Mark. So I’d like to chunk those out a little bit. Most people don’t have the capacity to see their truth or to see what’s going on in their life. So I think the value of having a coach is to hold that mirror up. Or to be the truth detector so to speak. Be saying “how is it really going in your life with your physical health?”
Mark. Yeah, and then “so track your food.” and they come back with the total lie, right?
Anthony. They always do. Look good.
Mark. (laughing) Really?
Anthony. Yeah, you wouldn’t look like this, if you ate that.
Mark. Right, let’s get a serious here. How much ice cream are you really eating? How much beer are you really drinking?
Anthony. Yeah, they’re not honest man. Scared to go there. That’s the hard part.
Mark. It is hard.
Anthony. Yeah, people don’t want to dig into it.
Mark. So do you typically start – and I’ve found this with a lot of our coaches – people come in and we want to take them right to the transformation though the service. And what they really need is just to start getting their weight under control. Or start moving functionally or heal from something.
Anthony. I mean my work, now it’s not as much health and fitness at all – I mean there’s a part of, right?
Mark. But it’s got to be part of it. If you’re way out of balance, it’s hard to do anything…
Anthony. To me, it’s like health-wealth-relationships, right? It’s all tied together. Those three they affect each other.
Mark. Those three, you’re gonna find out all the juice, right?
Anthony. Exactly. And so for me, I start with the aspect of like “you’ve wanted to be in better shape? What part wasn’t getting that done?”
So we do step back and we really unpack that… I call it “roots and fruits.” like you look like a tree, you have roots. And if your roots are healthy and they’re strong and stable, you produce great fruit.
Most people’s fruit sucks. Which is like your career, finances, your purpose of why you do stuff, your education… Like, whether you take trips and escape and enjoy life.
But their root sucks. They can’t produce that fruit.
And the root’s like Faith, Family, Health, friends and emotions. You have lack of control or lack of depth there, and you don’t even admit it or acknowledge it, then what end up happening is like, you can’t figure out why I can’t produce any fruit in my life.
And so for us we go back and figure these things out. And each one of them has an area and I call it an “identity gap.” There’s who I want to be and there’s who I am, right? So Who I am has what I have, and if I don’t like this or something wrong, there’s somebody we need to be that has what it is we want. And these gaps are like gaps in our identity of a person who just naturally does certain things. And so when I start like looking in, I’m like “alright. So for your faith – if it’s just personal faith, religious faith – like, why isn’t it deep?” and we start to really poke and prod and dig individually. It’s not like “what’s the one thing?” like we dial in. Like, where we at, where we at, where we at?
Because now that we know this it’s like “alright, this is what we got to work on. People call it “tough love.” I think it’s like real love.
Mark. Of course.
Anthony. Because real love is like “Hey, I’m loving you enough to tell you what you need to hear.” and I think people like always just pacifying you, like it doesn’t make you better.
So I need people in my life who just call me on my stuff, man. Like, I’ve got some good friends that are good at it. But I respect them enough to let them call me on it right? And you’ve gotta have that kind of set up.
But when you can really dig in, man – that’s where you can see. See that pain.
Mark. I agree.
And how do you find success in getting people to actually close that gap?
Anthony. It’s all work. As much as I would like to make it really big and philosophical…
Mark. It’s like holding them accountable to the daily work.
Anthony. Well people protect what they create, you know that. So we actually help them create this plan, based on the gaps. So it’s an arbitrary work. They’re bought into it, because they know what they got to work on. We just unpacked this.
Now it’s like “I’m gonna create this.”
And for me – like I talked about – I need you, at some point in time, say “I’m not this person trying to do this thing. This is who I am now.”
Because when you’re in that stance like success becomes like your second nature. It’s like an autopilot. And like people look at you like “how do you just make this happen? Are you special?
Like “no. It’s just who I am.” like, you shrug your shoulders, like “it’s normal to me.”
And when you get someone to that stage, that’s how the shift starts like closing the gaps. That’s how it works.
Mark. That’s right. So the sea naturally flows into the shift. Because you’re closing the gap. And in order to close the gap, you have to see the type of person you want to be – especially in those areas – and also the type of person who’s beyond that. Like the real center of you that wants to be physically fit, have healthy relationships, be a person of faith…
And then once you kind of align those, that’s the shift. And once the shift happens, then all that stuff becomes easy, becomes maintenance…
Anthony. Yeah. You get to a maintenance point. We call it actually – this is perfect for you -but it’s a matter of design-develop-deploy. So like I design this ideal identity that I want to be, based on the gaps I just saw. What is the identity that I want to have that’s opposite of this?
Mark. And do you articulate that in written form? A vision board?
Anthony. Oh, we have full curriculum. We have a full-set… I’m a thinker guy, like, I spent a lot of time in learning how to teach. Learning how to create frameworks and structure.
So I didn’t want to come in and be a guy just has a cool story. Because that doesn’t help somebody’s life. Watch a movie.
Mark. No. Well, it can help them get motivated, but that’s about it.
Anthony. Yeah right but motivation takes you to what you know. So how do I get to know more? So I teach them. And so it’s designed and structured for you to understand, “how do I design an ideal identity?”
“Then how do I develop a plan for my life to get this done?” that’s more of like the structural actions I’m gonna take. And then put them into the world. Deploy. And then for you, obviously on your deploy you come back and debrief. Then we figure out what to design and the same process goes. And that’s how the shift flows.
So at the end of this, we’ve gone through it enough – it’s usually a four month process. Like “this is who I am now. I’m the person that gets up and exercises. And I eat right, and I do this work. And I don’t cut things out. I don’t be procrastinate. And I play with my kids.”
Like “it’s now who I am. If someone looks at him differently, “yeah, I am.”
Mark. And then you got a habituate it. And then you improve it, you iterate and improve it.
Anthony. And now you believe it’s you.
Mark. And you believe it. I love that. That’s a really powerful process.
How many clients do you work with? And most of your work is online now, you say? Through seminars?
Anthony. Yeah, primarily online. Yeah I’m a dad, man. I don’t want to be on the road too much. Yeah and time is tight for me, so no more than four one-on-ones, everything else is group. So we do groups and we have stages like the shift starters, shift incubators, like the community – it’s more of like the environment to shift, and then they actually have the shift accelerator. Once I’ve shifted, I’m kind of like that new person, and how do I go.
And so I spend my time with my four one-on-ones, and then coaching throughout those programs.
Mark. Nice. And to scale what about… Do you plan to certify coaches?
Anthony. Yes. 100%. I’m glad you asked that… Most people don’t think about that, man. Look at you.
Mark. Well, that’s where we started… We’ve done it. Started that about three years ago. So we got about a hundred coaches in the process of certification.
Anthony. Not there yet.
Mark. Well you got to be ready. But it sounds like you’re pretty close.
Anthony. Yeah well the framework, structure is there…
Mark. The world needs you to do it.
Anthony. Well I’m going to.
Mark. The more people – like we’ve got a great program Unbeatable Mind – you got a great program. I’m all for it, because the life coach paradigm needs to be shattered. Because most people didn’t really have a lot of structure. And it was just personality driven. And they weren’t creating the transformation.
I shouldn’t cast a blanket statement like that. There’s like over 500 certification programs out there.
Anthony. Yeah, I think the problem is not a lot of duplicatable processes in what people are doing back then. Like for me, it’s like “I gotta make sure that what I do, I can do with the 500th person.
Mark. That’s right. And achieve the same type of results. A little bit different for every person, but yeah…
And you know what as far as the outcome, what you said was key is that ultimately it’s not just so you can make sure that you have more than a three year, three-month career in the NFL. Or you get the Navy SEAL trident. Or you become the successful entrepreneur…it’s so that you can serve.
And – in my opinion – tell me if you agree with this – serve with a more world-centric, open-hearted perspective.
Anthony. Yeah. Genuinely though. Like not because you want to reach the world for more clout.
Mark. Genuinely, right. Exactly. Not because you want to be the next unicorn company or something like that, but because you want to serve all of humanity, or all sentient beings. And that’s a world-centric perspective that flows from the integration of heart and mind and interactions.
And then from that perspective you make decisions that are good for mother earth, are good for all humanity, more sustainable…
And then it does shift culture. So the individual shift that you’re trying to speak of when it happens at scale will shift culture to a more positive…
Anthony. And that’s the idea, man. I came into a world that wasn’t great for me. So if I can leave it better, that’s what I want to do.
Mark. That’s awesome.
So have you written anything on your process at all? Cause that should be valuable for people to read.
Anthony. Yeah. So it’s funny that you ask that. One book I previously wrote was my biography, like more of a cathartic thing. Get it out of my soul, I want to have it on paper, family can see it.
And it’s been more crazy since I wrote it.
Mark. (laughing) You need to update it.
Anthony. (laughing) I do. It’s called part one – that was back like maybe ’14.
Mark. Is that the title of book?
Anthony. It’s called “Trust Your Hustle: Life Forged by Fire.”
Mark. Oh, cool.
Anthony. Yeah, it’s a cool autobiography. For me at least. Obviously, I wrote it, so I think it’s cool.
But the next book is more of like a want to be dog year, get some information applied to your life. And so the next one’s going to be called “On Shift: How Successful People Make Shift Happen.” that or “How to Make Success Your Second Nature.”
Mark. Yeah. So you’re in the process of writing this now? No deadline.
Anthony. No, I’m really… The first chapter is already done. I’ve got the structure, but I’m working with the ghostwriter. Cause I can talk, but it’s not like book perfect. But it’s also going to be in my voice…
You know the machine of the process.
Mark. Sure, yeah. I work better by writing. I’ve tried ghostwriters and they can never get my voice.
Anthony. No, I write… Well it’s hard to explain. So I write, but my words aren’t perfect.
Mark. Yeah, so they improve it.
Mark. Yeah, a good editor, writer, ghostwriter, can really help improve… But ultimately when you read it, it’s like “that’s what I meant to say.”
Anthony. It has to be that. Because I can’t put something in the world that I don’t feel like it’s me. Cause my name is on it.
Anthony. Like, if my name’s on it, it’s gonna live past me. This thing better be like me. So I’m not trying to put out there just to like get it sold.
It’s weird, when I think of writing books, it’s not always a matter of I want to sell a bunch. I want people to get them. If I give it away, it’s fine. As long as people get the book…
Mark. Cause you want the book to help people, and also draw people into a process.
Mark. And whether they get the transformation work from you or from someone else… I feel the same way. It doesn’t matter, as long as the book light’s their fire, wakes them up a bit, and gets them on the process… On a path toward a better life.
What’s your vision for the future?
Anthony. Mine or the world’s?
Mark. Both. The world and your relationship to it. (Laughing) That’s a pretty big question.
Anthony. It is. It’s a good question though.
Mark. Only followed by the meaning of life. And then we’ll end it there.
Anthony. I think at this at this stage of my life – what I’ve experienced, and what I know – the big thing for me is for me to have a good lineage of like my genealogy. Like my kids – I want them to be good human beings, and I want them to be very proud of dad.
I want to also have like an amazingly huge funeral… I won’t be there… I will, but I won’t…
Mark. (laughing) You’ll be there. You’ll be hovering over it thinking, “Yeah, this is what I was talking about.”
Anthony. I think like a lot of people focus on trying to have like an amazing business… Which is all good… But the work I do, if I just help you with a little thing because I help fix your shoe or something like that’s cool… But like I want you to really have a connection to me as a human and like “man this guy changed my life.” and have them come see me off.
It’s just kind of a weird… I’ll never be there, but like I know I want to have that kind of impact.
Mark. That’s cool, because having that kind of vision helps you understand what gaps exist still in your own life. For you to be the type of person that’s worthy of that.
Anthony. Yeah. Always gotta keep working.
Mark. So you’re always evolving.
Mark. Do you have a coach by the way?
Mark. Yeah. Everyone needs a coach. Even the coaches.
Anthony. I think it’s weird that people are like, “Do you have a coach.” “No. “Then what are you doing?”
Mark. Right, exactly.
Anthony. When I was in the NFL, I had a coach. One of the best in the world. What makes you think that you don’t need a coach?
It’s odd. But I get it.
Mark. Right. I totally get it. I think that’s going to be one of my next books, is just all about coaches, and mentoring, and the power of them.
Anthony. It should be. I think somebody needs to write that. I’ve had conversations about that needing to be something that people grasp.
Mark. Because people don’t get it. They want to do it alone. It’s part of our self-made, Puritan ethic, I guess. Maybe that’s not right.
But something about our culture causes us to want to be staunch individualists.
Anthony. Yeah. I don’t know what it is.
Mark. They think we can do it alone.
Anthony. Thing is when you do it alone, you celebrate alone. And I don’t like celebrating alone.
Mark. Well, also you don’t get the results that you get if you have a real solid team behind your back, and a family supporting you. And then we have multiple teams and a team of mentors supporting you.
Anyways, I kind of interjected. So vision for the world? Twenty years from now.
Anthony. Vision for the world, well maybe twenty years, we’ll have like AI. So hopefully it’s not the Terminator happening.
Mark. (laughing) I don’t think that’s happening. Between you and me, there’s no way that AI or technology is gonna gain sentience.
Anthony. Yeah, I would hope it wouldn’t. I just don’t know. You look at Google guys… I mean who knows…
Mark. A lot of those guys think it’s gonna happen, but I think they’re looking at the brain in the wrong way. They’re looking at conflating consciousness to brain. And the brain and the mind are not the same thing.
Anthony. I think for me – vision of the world – and this is gonna interesting coming from a black guy – I don’t think equality is a need as much. Everybody wants equality and racism exists to some extent, but like I’m not the guy that like, “yes, so maybe I have to work harder.”
So just work harder, right?
Mark. Right. I’m with you on that. Equality is not the same as sameness, right? We’re not the same. Everyone’s unique.
Anthony. No. Everyone wants you to be the same.
Mark. Like I deeply respect you, and I deeply respect Jeff, and even myself. But we’re not the same.
Anthony. No. And I think it’s okay.
Mark. We have equal opportunity.
Anthony. Yeah, we do.
Mark. And we have equal opportunity to fuck things up too.
Anthony. Yeah, 100% man. That’s the thing I think people are failing to grasp in today’s climate. I think for me I would much prefer our world to have acceptance. But pure, like true…
Mark. Yeah. Heartfelt. From the heart.
Anthony. Cause if you have that, then it doesn’t matter what people do, or say… You accept that that person is angry today. So I’m gonna take your words… It’s like, I live my life in a space of I step out of common boundaries for most people. And yes, some people they don’t like it.
But I accept that they don’t like it. I don’t have to… So I’m not equal to you. And in some areas, I may not have an equal opportunity.
But that’s okay. Like, I have an acceptance of that.
But I think a lot of people want something that they aren’t willing to give.
Mark. Right. They’re still playing the victim.
Anthony. Yeah, so if I can get to the point of like having whatever I do or whatever I live by, be an example, be something that helps change the world… I think that’d be better.
Like the later on world – I don’t know if equality will ever exist – but if acceptance can exist – which is also acceptance of what you<./em> gotta do.
Mark. Right. Your part in it.
Anthony. Yeah. Then it’s a different world you live in.
Mark. Agree. Awesome.
How can people find out more about you, your program, etc?
Anthony. Yeah. Go to @anthonytrucks on Instagram. It’s where I do all my work. And one of the things I look at… You get it, when you’re faced with a challenge – I bet like you fire up and lean into it, right? That’s a where I’m built. And it’s a go identity. And I found there’s other people, they see that, they slow down. And so I have a quiz called “the slow or go identity quiz.” sloworgo.co.
You can go there, take the quiz. It will give you a kind of a feel of who you are, where you stand and how to fix your life. As well as how to shift from a slow to a go identity.
Mark. Oh that’s cool. That’s easy to remember.
Cool. Well we got to go.
Anthony. I gotta go.
Mark. You gotta go. Because you got to go podcast Big Joe D.
Anthony. I’ll tell him to go do some burpees.
Mark. Tell him Mark said he owes me some burpees. He’ll smile and be like “yeah.”
Anthony. I’ll let him know. And I’ll make him knock them out.
Mark. Right. (laughing) Last year we did a podcast together, and I made him do burpees. 200 of them before…
Anthony. Really? Nice
Mark. Yeah. It was a lot of fun.
Alright my friend. It’s really nice to meet you. Thank you for your time.
Anthony. No problem.
Mark. Thank You. Hooyah.
All right folks Anthony Trucks, sloworgo.co. And anthonytrucks on Instagram, Facebook… that kind of stuff. And check out his book. And look for his new book as yet untitled.
Anthony. “Aw, Shift.” That’s the title. It’s just the tag that we’re figuring out.
Mark. And thank you very much for your support of Unbeatable Mind. Do the work and follow a process. That structure frees us in the long run.
Anthony. It does.
Mark. And get a coach.
Join the discussion 2 Comments
Truly amazing podcast when considering the Vice Presidents speech and current administrations focus on ,”Forever Family’s” Truly inspiring and hoping those children in the foster care system waiting to bless a loving family find hope and love in Anthony’s life .
Great job thank you very much