Chadd Wright talks with Mark about BUD/S, life after the military, and how he personally faced adversity. Chadd is an ultra-runner, former SEAL, and co-founder of the 3 of 7 Project dedicated to the completion of people through the body, soul, and spirit. Chadd also goes into detail on the power of the spoken word and becoming a spiritual warrior.
- You must “embrace the suck” and turn it into an opportunity
- The power of the spoken word can eliminate negativity in your life
- Submission can take you the next step toward your purpose
Listen to this enlightening conversation and gain insight into how you can navigate through this current world of VUCA.
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Hey folks. This is Mark Divine with the Unbeatable Mind podcast. Welcome back. Thanks so much for your time today. Super appreciate it.
It’s raining cats and dogs outside here in California. Which is unusual, but we welcome the rain. It’s raining coronavirus around the rest of the country, so hopefully you’re hunkering down and dealing with the fear virus, while the regular virus passes you by.
At any rate, I have a super cool guest.
Chadd Wright’s a former Navy SEAL teammate. Retired recently. Ultra-marathon runner. He is a badass in many ways.
Also, interesting – I can’t wait to talk about this – served as Obama’s bodyguard basically, on a security detail. And now he’s a business owner, entrepreneur and out there doing some really interesting things. So super stoked to talk to Chadd.
Chadd, welcome to the Unbeatable Mind show. Thanks for your time today.
Chadd: Mark, I couldn’t be more honored to come on your show brother. I’m a huge fan of what you’ve done with SEALfit and the podcast. You have undoubtedly made an eternal impact, and improved many lives on so many different levels, brother.
So, thank you for having me. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your continued service and what you do for our community, man.
Mark: Man, that is awesome to hear, Chadd. And I appreciate that so much.
And you never know, from another SEAL to another, what they think, right? Because I’m certain that not everyone shares your perspective on my work in the SEAL community. How that is, right?
Chadd: Well, look Mark. This is what it’s all about, man. So if you have some value – if you have something that you’ve learned – whether it was during your time in the SEAL teams or just life in general – , if you just hold on to that and you don’t share it with anyone else, I feel like you’re doing a disservice to the rest of humanity, man.
So no, what you’re doing man is just absolutely amazing.
Mark: I agree, and I appreciate that very much.
So, let’s talk about I always like to start – when I have a guest – kind of understanding the formative years. What forged you as a young man? And kind of led you into the SEAL teams? That’s always very interesting to me, because other people, whether they recognize it or not, everyone is really heavily influenced by those formative years. And the beliefs and the modeling that kind of shaped us.
And then sometimes we wake up, and we have to rebuild ourselves, because that’s not working for us anymore.
So, tell us about your early years and how that played out for you.
Chadd: Yeah, brother, so I mean there’s not a ton of value as far as what I did in my early years. I mean, I was basically just an old country boy, growing up around here in north Georgia. I never played sports, never really ran for fitness… just wasn’t into that kind of that kind of stuff.
I spent a lot of time in the woods, hunting and fishing, and family life was good. I had a great mother and father, they definitely nurtured me and provided for me. So, I was pretty healthy, but had no clue what I was getting into with the Navy SEAL stuff, man.
Mark: So, did you join the Navy out of high school? Or what brought you to the Navy to begin with?
Chadd: So, I graduated high school by the skin of my teeth, man. (laughing) I remember going around asking each one of my teachers to change my grades, so I could graduate… like, two days before graduation.
And I guess they saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself, and they knew that I needed to get out of that high school environment and get out and start living life. So, they helped me out.
And I worked a construction job for a very short period of time. Right out of high school. And I can remember a distinct moment here in this small town… and now I live back here now in Georgia – I came full circle – but I remember a moment thinking that if I don’t step outside of my comfort zone and if I don’t aspire to be someone special I guess – I mean that term is for each individual, whatever you consider special to be. I’m not putting a label on it.
But if I didn’t step out of my comfort zone then this was going to be my lot in life. And I was gonna been here in this small town. And never really be able to have much more than this.
And for a lot of people, Mark, that’s fine. For a lot of people. I mean, I know some great men and women that have lived in this community their entire lives, and never left. And they are just the most complete, wholesome, happy humans on earth.
But for me, I just had different aspirations. And to be honest with you, I don’t know where that exactly came from. I’ve tried to put my finger on it for years now, because I get this question all the time.
But yeah, joined the Navy and had never actually even swam in a swimming pool prior to taking the PST.
Mark: Can we pause here for a second? Because it’s probably stunning to a lot of listeners… because we always hear… I have a lot of our teammates on and most of them are like competitive athletes and wrestlers into martial arts or triathlons or… I was a competitive swimmer myself.
And I always kind of come back to this fact that in BUD/S you might be training on one side of you against an Olympic swimmer – and the other side of you against a farm hand.
Mark: And you were more like the farm hand even though you weren’t a farm hand. But hunting, fishing just kind of living life prepared you somehow for BUD/S. You never swam or ran? That’s unbelievable.
Chadd: Totally brother. I mean like the furthest I had swam was across the pond to unhook my fishing lure off the log. So, it was not formal… it was like dog paddle was the extent of my knowledge.
And to be honest with you, Mark, I mean I’m an open book, man, but to be totally honest with you, I think that if I would have made it through or if I would have made it to the start line that first time that I had joined the Navy – I don’t think that I would have made it through SEAL training. So, my preparation for SEAL training really happened in that period of time after I was disqualified, and I had to go through this furnace of adversity to even get on the start line.
So, by time I got to the start line finally, I had so much invested in this dream that there was no such thing as not pushing forward. I mean, just took quitting off the table.
Mark: How long was that process? And did you fail? Or get disqualified in boot camp? Or did they have BUD/S prep back then? Probably not.
Chadd: So actually, it was boot camp. I was in boot camp and it was the last day, actually. We had just finished up our final training exercise and my drill instructor pulls me out of the formation as the rest of the class is going off to get their Navy hat. , you get the Navy hat – it changes from recruit to Navy – and he says “hey Chadd, you got to go to medical.”
And I go to see the dive medical officer. And he tells me that they found what’s called a pericardial cyst on my heart. This was a very rare condition. It’s actually the first pericardial cyst that’s ever been found in a naval special warfare candidate.
The interesting thing about this cyst is – and if you want to know more about it you can read the medical journals online that the dive medical officers wrote about my case – but it’s totally asymptomatic. The dive medical officers were afraid that when I dove as a combat diver, that the pressure change would burst the cyst. And that was really the only thing they were worried about.
So, he disqualified me and basically said “hey man, we’re going to send you out to the big Navy. You will never be able to be a SEAL.
And I said “well, that’s not where I have set my goals.” And I cut all ties with the Navy and took an administrative discharge.
They wouldn’t remove this thing from my heart again because it was totally asymptomatic.
Mark: Mm-hmm. So, did you go find a civilian doctor who could then take it off? And then you reapplied for the Navy, and got back into boot camp?
Chadd: Yes, yes. I took a big gamble when I got out of the Navy the first time. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to find a civilian surgeon that would even touch this thing.
But luckily, I did. We shopped surgeons for about a month, and I think it was the fourth one – his name was dr. Cooper here in Atlanta – he was one of the leading heart surgeons here in Atlanta. And he understood what I wanted to go and do. And he accepted the risk that I was taking. And he removed this cyst from my heart.
And yeah reapplied for the Navy. Luckily, they didn’t make me go back through boot camp, so I was standing before the same dive medical officer that had disqualified me less than a year after that heart surgery.
Mark: Wow. Fascinating. I’m surprised that they actually allowed you to do that. But I mean you went all the way through boot camp to the last day, so that makes sense… but it’s just knowing the bureaucratic quagmire that the Navy can be, that is actually interesting news, that they didn’t require you to go back to boot camp.
And I’m also really surprised that they gave you a medical waiver for that. That’s incredible. Obviously, it was your destiny.
Chadd: Well I think you understand this better than most people. I tell the story quite often on podcasts, but you can understand it Mark, because you’ve been in that world and how the Navy works. And I don’t think people understand that part of it, how much of a gamble it was for me let it go and pay for this heart surgery out of my own pocket.
Not only did it cost nearly a hundred thousand dollars, but it was also a dangerous and kind of just a risky surgery, because it was so rare. And it was a total gamble, man. Because – like you said – when I went back in the Navy, there was no guarantee that they were going to give me a waiver to then push forward with my dream of becoming a SEAL.
And yeah, man, all this sounds crazy, but – like I say – the details are spelled out very clear in those medical journals and actually just made a post on Instagram about a month ago with those journals. It’s pretty interesting seeing it from the surgeons’ perspective.
Mark: So, during that time “off” – quote-unquote – when you return the heart surgery, were you able to train? Like did you do any swimming and running at that time to continue preparation? Or were you kind of at the same level that you were when you left the Navy the first time.
Chadd: Yeah, obviously once the heart surgery was complete and obviously, we had to let the incision heal up. And all that good stuff.
And then once I was able to get back… started training again and the muscles were healed. Yeah, man I picked it up, and I started training, and I don’t know the exact timeframe, but I had three to four months there before I went back in the Navy to really hammer down.
So that’s what I did, brother. I hammered down and again – I don’t feel like it was… obviously that was a great opportunity to train… but it was more of that having my dream taken from me… having society place this mountain in front of me and realizing then how much I wanted this thing. That was the driving factor man.
And it’s the same when you get when you get out of the SEAL teams for a lot of guys. I was medically retired about a year and a month ago, and you don’t realize what you had until you lose it. And so that’s kind of that’s kind of really that furnace of adversity like I said – is what really purified my intentions and why I wanted to go do this thing.
Yeah I love that term by the way the furnace of adversity, because when we face adversity and we use it like that as a way to forge our character, and to strengthen our resolve, man, it’s really, really powerful. In fact, it’s the best – and maybe even the only way to truly grow and evolve as a human being.
And I see how you used that, and so there was no going back. Once you got to BUD/S finally – like you said earlier – you had already invested in your success so much that you couldn’t say no anymore. You weren’t gonna let anyone else say no either.
Chadd: That’s right. That’s right, Mark. And in that adversity, you develop these tools, mental tools and spiritual tools that you can then use and utilize in BUD/S, in really the thick of stuff. So really, we could have a whole talk around adversity – whether it being self-inflicted adversity – but that’s the way I view it brother, it’s a blessing.
Mark: Right. And those tools – which I do want to talk about in a bit – those tools then become a self-reinforcing growth kind of mechanism. Because you use diversity to develop tools to deal with adversity. Then you bring those tools to even more adversity, like a self-induced one or other-induced one like BUD/S.
And then you become even stronger and the tools get more refined right and then the next time around you can handle even more adversity until actually adversity is nothing to you it’s just another thing that you have to deal with and you embrace it. That’s where that term “embracing the suck” comes from, right? You just embrace it, and enjoy the growth that comes from it, right?
Chadd: Well you get to a point where you see it as an opportunity. People talk about people talk about ultra-running… so everybody asks me “well why do you do this ultra-running? Like what is this thing?”
And it’s so simple, man. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone. Nor do you. Like I don’t need anyone to think that I’m that I’m tough or that I’m hard. None of that matters to me.
The reason that I ultra-run, brother, is to inflict some adversity upon myself. And to bring my flesh into subjection. And to – like you said – to hone those tools in a controlled environment so when life inflicts adversity upon me that’s outside of my control those tools are honed.
That’s what ultra-running – and I don’t mean to change the subject we can talk about ultra-running later – but that’s what it is to me, man. So, you learn to view it as an opportunity. If you find yourself just all comfy in life and you’re not struggling against anything, you need to create something for yourself and train during times of peace, so that you can handle the situation when you’re on the actual battlefield of life.
And that’s what we did in the SEAL teams, man. We trained for two or three straight years, before we actually ever stepped foot on a battlefield, or before we ever actually went on a deployment. What we were doing… We were training in times of peace, so then we would in turn have the tools that we needed when the situation was real.
Mark: Man, I feel like I’m talking to myself. That’s awesome. You even use a lot of the same language that I do. I love it.
In my book “The Way of the SEAL,” I have a section where I talk about going to the challenge, so that when the challenge comes to you, you’re ready. Which is exactly what we’re talking about.
And most people are stuck in comfort, because we’ve been taught that comfort is good and everything. It seems like all commercialism is designed to remove obstacles remove pain, remove discomfort… and then it traps us in mediocrity, doesn’t it? The average person doesn’t get this, so we gotta help them understand that you can inch your way toward adversity and get comfortable with small doses. And then you pick up a little bit bigger dose.
Like you started… you didn’t even have any running in your history, then you went to BUD/S, right? So, you had to inch your way up. And then you got full on in SEAL training, and now you’re running 100-mile races.
Like, obviously you didn’t just start one day and run a 100-mile race, you had to work your way toward that incrementally.
Chadd: Yeah, yeah. Totally. And of course, being a SEAL for 12 years gave me a really good base.
But, let me put a caveat on the discussion we were just having. You made a comment, and you said society tells us that comfort is good.
And, you know, comfort is good and I subscribe to the program that… be hard when it gets hard, man. Comfort man, it’s good. What’s unhealthy is perpetual comfort.
Chadd: So, our flesh is self-seeking. It’s always going to try to preserve itself. It’s gonna whisper to you in the morning to not get out of bed and not go train. It’s gonna tell you to get a little more sleep. It’s going to tell you to eat a little more at mealtime than is necessary to sustain itself.
So that perpetual comfort is what you have to really worry about. But man, when the hard stuff’s done, you got to be able to go home and love your family. You’ve got to be able to maintain healthy relationships with other individuals. You can’t walk around with this freaking angry look on your face all the time… like that’s cool for some people, but let me tell you right now, that is not sustainable.
You take that to your grave, and when you lay down for your final victory – that final finish line – and you look back at your life. And if you see that you were just angry and trying to be hard all the freaking time, you’re gonna regret that. I promise you.
So that’s the only caveat I got today. And I try to throw that in there, because I think that there’s a lot of influencers out there that are putting out a message that is not sustainable and you’re just setting yourself up for failure man.
Mark: I couldn’t agree more. And I would also posit that mental toughness isn’t about being hard, right? It’s about being hard and soft. The yin and the yang. Finding that absolute balance between effort and surrender. And if you can find that then you have what the Japanese warriors would call Shibumi. Effortless perfection. Where you’re operating at that level where it’s not hard anymore. And you don’t have to be hard. You’re just there doing it.
Chadd: Amen brother. I love that a hundred percent. Man, we’re on the same wavelength right there.
Mark: So let’s go back to BUD/S. Cause everyone loves to know what were some of the big insights you got in SEAL training from the instructors who are all these geniuses at exposing human frailties and shoring up confidence and stuff. So, BUD/S, a big lesson there.
And then in your operating years, what was the most interesting thing you did? And what can we learn from that?
Chadd: Yeah, totally brother. So, BUD/S the thing I tell everybody about BUD/S is no single evolution in BUD/S was all that difficult. Like your average athlete could just crush nearly every single evolution in BUD/S.
Mark: Right. If that’s all they had to do, you mean.
Chadd: Yeah. If that’s all they had to do. Yeah man.
And so, the biggest lesson that I take away from BUD/S is the number one reason that people quit. And it’s blatantly obvious to me. And it’s because they look at the big picture, man. They can’t be present and focus on the singular tasks that they have to accomplish in that moment.
And you take it back to an evolution. There’s an evolution during hell week where all it is, man… it’s one-mile repeats. We run one mile down the sunny beach there on Coronado island, turn around and run one mile back.
Well, the only thing is the instructors don’t tell you when it’s going to end. So, we lost more guys on that single evolution in hell week than any other evolution. And it was the simplest evolution that we did. Like, you could run at your own pace, dude. You just had to look like you were running.
And nobody would bother you. But the guys that quit on that evolution, they could not focus on that single mile that they had to run. All they could think about was the potential of all the miles that they might have to run. And that crushed them, man.
And this applies to everything in life, man. It’s the same reason that anyone quits a business. It’s the same reason that people quit marriages. It’s all… it’s a universal principle that I think was born out of that block of my life.
Mark: Yeah, wow, that’s an important one to learn. And you’re right. And I love how the instructors are masterful at that… because they’ll do an evolution like that, where they just don’t give you any information about any end point. And it immediately gets in most people’s heads. And then they wait for like a certain quantity of guys to quit.
And even they don’t really know when it’s going to end. They’re kind of working with the energy of the class. Interesting.
Or the other version of this is like surf torture. And get to like really the breaking point, and they’ll be one instructor says “okay, the first person to quit, we’ll secure the class – or something like that. And they’re just waiting for that one person who can’t appreciate that this thing will actually end.
Chadd: That’s it, brother. Yeah, yeah.
Mark: So, we would call that… chunking things down in the micro-goals is kind of a simple way to look at it… but really, we’re talking about learning how to maintain presence, aren’t we? And just focus on what’s in front of you. Don’t worry about what’s behind you, or what’s in the future. Just right now.
Chadd: That’s it, man. That’s one of my main tools that I use in life now. And maybe it sounds cliché to some people but look I’m not here to tell you anything… anybody listening to this, I’m not here to tell you anything that you don’t know. I’m just here to remind you of things that you might have forgotten about. That’s all I’m doing here.
So that’s a big tool that I use, man. And it’s very simple and the power of the spoken word and other tools are other ones I think that were fostered in that SEAL training, man. That’s just the… SEAL training is the one thing in life that I tell everyone it lives up to and exceeds what your expectations were.
Mark: Absolutely. What about your internal dialogue and stifling the fear and doubt? What tactic do you use? And how did you hone that?
Chadd: Whoa, so there’s a couple different… first of all we’ll hit fear and doubt or maybe fear and anxiety. How do I stifle fear and anxiety when I am getting ready to step off on a hundred and twenty-mile-long run? Or some massive challenge?
Look man it’s so simple. You just take quitting off the table. Just take it off the table, man.
And what happens when you take quitting off the table? It takes fear out of the equation, because it takes the power away from anxiety. Because what taking quitting off the table means – it doesn’t mean that you’re some super tough dude and that you’re unbreakable – it means that you are going to continue to press forward towards your goal until something outside of your control either stops you, or changes your direction.
So, once you make that decision, brother, you no longer have to worry about the 15 different outcomes. And you no longer have to worry about how you’re going to perform. You don’t have to be anxious, you don’t have to fear the outcome because you know that you’re going to continuously move forward until that thing – whatever it is – you’re either going to reach victory or that thing that’s totally out of your control takes you out of the game. Or changes your direction.
So that’s the number one way that I stifle that fear and anxiety. And as far as the negativity, and the negative thoughts, man – that’s super easy for me, I’ve developed this tool and it’s all based around the power of the spoken word or the power of the words that we speak.
Mark: Right, yeah, I agree with that. And positive internal dialogue – what it initially does, in my experience, is basically drowns out… so if the positive is louder than the negative, or more forceful, or you have more quantity of positive internal dialogue – it kind of drowns out the negative.
It masks it initially but over time, it almost overrides it. So, the more you have positive internal dialogue, positive self-talk, the more you start believing it, the more you kind of drown out the negative or override it. And that becomes a daily practice, doesn’t it?
Chadd: Yeah, it does, and you know, Mark, I’m not a huge advocate for the self-talk. I’m more of an advocate of the actual spoken word. I’ve found that a thought… you talk about self-dialog whether it be positive or negative, it’s what’s going on between your two ears. That’s what that is.
So, when that thought stays contained within your head, it’s only real to you. It’s not real to anyone else.
But when you speak something out of your mouth, it becomes something that’s part of this reality that we all live in. It becomes these waves that can then in turn be measured.
And so, to me, I found that the spoken word – the actual words that come out of your mouth, out into this reality – are actually more powerful than any internal dialogue that you can be having. But it takes courage when you’re having a negative thought to in turn come and say or make a positive affirmation. So, this tool takes courage man.
And you talk about the power of words, Mark… I’ll give you a simple example of what this means to me. On our old job, our rifle was our tool, right?
Chadd: So, if I handed you a rifle, Mark, you would be very, very conscious of how you handled that rifle, wouldn’t you? You’d be very cognizant of where you pointed the muzzle, and why is that?
Mark: Because I’ve learned the power of that tool.
Chadd: You’ve learned the power of that tool, brother. And you know, Mark, that when that bullet leaves the barrel you can’t get it back, right?
Mark: That’s right.
Chadd: And it can bring life or death. It can literally… in battle, it can bring life to the people that you’re protecting. Or it can bring death to the enemy.
Well, let me turn this back around to the spoken word. That bullet it’s eternal. You can’t get it back.
Those words are also eternal. When they leave your mouth, you cannot get them back. And would you think I was crazy if I told you that the words that you speak, can also bring life or death into your situations, into your relationships, into your business… they can bring actual physical life or death to another person.
Mark: Absolutely. I totally agree with that.
Chadd: So, if that doesn’t tell you how powerful your words are, then there’s just no other example that I can use to convince you.
Mark: Mm-hmm. I totally agree. And I would also submit that an internally spoken word has – I’m not gonna say equal power – but a commensurate power. Which is different than just a rumination or default mode thinking.
Because first that thought that you’re going to speak into the world is formulated in your mind. And then you speak it to yourself – you may even play around with the arrangement of words, and the quality or the energy you’re putting to that word.
And if nobody’s there to hear you, whether you speak it to yourself or speak it out loud, you’re still putting it out there into the world. And a thought – whether spoken or not – still has a vibrational quality to it. And it can be measured.
So, it’s just a more subtle form of spoken word.
Mark: That’s been my experience anyways. It all starts with the thought, and how you talk to yourself… and then what you choose to share as spoken word will flow from there. So, they’re related, but I agree with you once you put it out there, you can’t take it back.
Chadd: That’s a really great point, Mark. The thought the thought life and by no means. I guess want to take away from how powerful thoughts are. Because they are all so powerful. And how do I control my… or help, I guess, guide my thought life? It’s being constantly aware of what I feed myself with.
I think that’s the one thing that we can all do too improve our thought life – is be conscious of what you’re allowing into this vessel of yours. But again, that takes discipline, man.
Mark: Yes. Let’s talk about that in the context of this coronavirus… fear-virus. Fear virus and the coronavirus that are linked. How could people from your point of view control the input? And then also manage their internal and spoken dialogue? So that they navigate this gracefully and not get trapped in fear, like seems like most people are rushing into.
Chadd: Yeah, I hear you Mark. And you know, there’s so many different things, but I kind of take this stuff to the extreme, brother so… I don’t have television in my house. If I listen to radio, it’s a podcast like Unbeatable Mind, that is feeding… I’m feeding myself with information that’s going to advance me toward my goal.
So, to be honest with you brother, I don’t know anything about the coronavirus. Like people may think that that’s ignorant. Yeah.
And all I know about this virus is that it more than likely, if I get it, it won’t kill me. And that’s all I needed to know.
Mark: (laughing) if you’re strong, you’re fine. Good. Check. Move on, right?
But if you’re not strong… if your immune system is compromised, then be wary, right? Be very wary and wash your hands a hundred thousand times a day. I mean that’s pretty much it, right there.
Chadd: That’s it brother. That’s it yeah. And I have some amount of faith also in my creator. My God – that I worship – and I lean heavily upon him, not only to sustain me but to give me courage to continue with the mission that I’m currently on.
And, you know, I’ll fly out to California next weekend. And there’s not even a thought in my mind that I’m not gonna go on this trip. Because I’m going to do good work, man.
Mark: Right. Agree.
So, what is your mission now? How would you articulate that?
Chadd: My mission is evolving very, very rapidly. For me, I believe that we are composed as human beings of a body, a soul, and a spirit. And when you gave your little intro earlier, I kept hearing the word “emotion” a lot. And we would classify the “soul” as your mind, will and emotions. Your body is easy, it’s this vessel that we walk around in. And then your spirit is the thing that connects you to something bigger than yourself.
For me that’s the God of the bible and I have just found that in my life, you have to master, nourish and maintain those three aspects of you as a human – your body, soul, and spirit on a daily basis – to live a complete and wholesome lifestyle.
So, I think that my mission now really revolves around that. Revolves around just passing the word, man. Just becoming the teacher and sharing with anyone who will listen what I do on a daily basis. And the tools that I have learned – and all the tools revolve around that body, soul and spirit – in order to live a complete and wholesome lifestyle, man.
Because I’m going to tell you right now, people are hungry in this world. People are hungry for a complete and wholesome lifestyle. And there’s a lot of noise out there. And people don’t know what to believe, man.
Because go on Instagram, bro. Every third person is a life coach.
Mark: (laughing) it’s crazy, isn’t it?
Chadd: It’s like there’s so much noise out there and everyone has their own experiences. And everyone has their own testimony – and by no means am I devaluing that. But if you’re searching for something, how do you know who to listen to, man?
So, I’m just trying to be a beacon of light and a servant. In order to help people, reach this place of just a complete and wholesome lifestyle so they can enjoy their lives and accomplish their goals, man.
Mark: I love that. It’s so much in alignment with my mission, which is to train and inspire a hundred million people to become integrated, world-centric warriors and leaders. And integrated means whole – like whole person – like you just said. And we train people physically, mentally, emotionally, intuitionally and spiritually to integrate and to evolve. And to tap their potential.
And to serve in a way that’s uniquely relevant to them. Just like you’re doing, Chadd. I mean, the way you’re serving is uniquely relevant to Chadd – there’s no other Chadd in this universe – that we know about anyways. And so, the way you serve is completely unique and everybody has that potential to serve in a unique way.
Chadd: 100%, brother. 100%. I think that’s another thing that you unlock with SEALfit, Mark. You’re talking about they have that potential, so that’s something that I see in society today. Men and women have forgotten what their potential is. We have forgotten how powerful we are.
Mark: They’re not trained. We’re not trained in school at all to tap our potential. We’re basically told what to think, not how to think.
Chadd: And Mark, look at what we’re surrounded with brother. Every time you go out on the road, what do you see? You see a sign that tells you how fast you can go. It’s called a speed limit sign. You’re surrounded by these rules and these parameters and people are telling you how fast you can go and what you can and can’t do.
And I’m not saying – we have to have rules as society, okay? That’s a no-brainer. But don’t let those rules that you’re surrounded with – don’t let them stifle your belief in how powerful you are. And I feel like that’s a lot of what’s happening in today’s society, man. I mean, good gosh dude, our government has so much control over us right now. I mean, I can’t even get in my truck without… I mean, I would wear a seatbelt regardless, but how is it my government’s job to tell me to wear a frickin’ seat belt?
Mark: (laughing) I know. It is gonna get way worse before it gets better. Trust me. You probably already know that.
Chadd: I’m not political.
Mark: Neither am I, but I can’t stand that either, so I just kind of like tune it out and pretend it’s not there. And also, freedom’s found within so regardless of the rules, they can’t take that from you. They can’t take your soul and your spirit. Or your body – I mean, I guess they could take your body – but…
Yeah. That’s a challenge. And people have outsourced their thinking, and their willpower and their power to the government. Because the government has taken it in the guise of being the good guy to solve your problems, right?
Mark: It’s not just government, right? It’s commercialism, and academia, and everyone who puts out there that they’re there to solve your problem. Then the human being, the American or wherever you are says “okay, well then I don’t have to think for myself. I don’t want to take the time… I’m too busy to actually sit down and really learn how to think for myself.”
Chadd: Yep. And that understanding your potential is key, Mark. And that’s why I love your mission so much, man.
Look and I think too, Mark, that people are a little misinformed on how… people like you and I, that might be what society calls an influencer… I think people are misinformed on how we how we live our lives. People may think that I’m something special or maybe you’re something special… and it’s like no, brother. Like we’re all made of dirt.
Like dust to dust, man. I live in a little 1,200 square foot brick ranch-house in the middle of frickin’ nowhere, and drive a beat-up Toyota truck, and I have to work 70 hours a week creating things. I have to create…
So, don’t think that I have anything you – listener – that you don’t have. We have the same amount of potential and power as humans. It’s just remembering that, and learning how to lean on, man?
Mark: Yeah, I love that. And I agree with that idea. And I’ve thought about that a lot that idea of remembering. And I honestly think that when I talk about leading people to their full potential as a process of integration, it’s really actually a process of re-integration.
Because we’re born whole and then we spend 40 or 50 years of our life becoming unwhole – or maybe unholy – because we separate everything in these little compartments. And then we ignore that individually we’re all interconnected – body, mind, spirit, soul – like you said – but also between and amongst us we’re all connected. We are not separate from other human beings. We are all connected. Our thoughts, our words – like you said – the spoken word, all influence people in our field of awareness. And our field of being. And ultimately everybody, like the butterfly effect.
Chadd: Hmm. That’s so true.
Mark: If everyone could then think and realize that everything you think and everything you say is affecting every other human being at some really subtle level, then boy. Wow. Wouldn’t we want to have a positive impact on those human and a positive impact on society? Could you imagine what the world be like, Chadd, when our leaders, become like wise leaders? Like are truly embodying the wisdom that we’re talking about? The world would change very quickly.
Chadd: You talk about having a positive impact, man. You keep just hitting on such great stuff. You talk about having a positive impact and then you bring it back to our leaders, man.
So I found out the best way to have an impact on the things that you hate or the things that you found to be untrue, or the things that you might not agree with – the best way to impact those things, are to promote the things that you love, and promote the things that you have found to be true. And to promote the things that you do agree with.
But instead, society has flipped it to where they think that the best way to have impact on the things that you hate, are to war against the things that you hate. And in reality, you’re not having any impact on those things, man. You’re making it worse.
It’s the same with a cold, Mark. You remember when you were laying in the in the surf zone in BUD/S there on Coronado island?
Mark: Oh yeah.
Chadd: And as long as you fought against the cold – which we all hate being cold – and as long as you fought against it, the cold would just gain traction. It would gain power over you. It would become stronger. It almost fed off of your contention, off of you warring with it.
But as soon as you accepted the cold as part of your reality, it would free up this well of energy that you could then use when you got out of the cold water to promote the thing that you love, which is being warm.
You would use that freed up energy then to move and generate body heat. Well, if you got out of that cold water and all you did was stand there on the surf zone jackhammering, and just thinking about how cold you were, and hating life, you would never warm back up. So, you would have no impact on the cold.
So, look, man. Divine revelation is irrevocably intertwined with the things of nature. And that’s why I keep bringing these examples back to things in nature, because – like you said – we’re all integrated but we are also integrated into nature. The things that we see and the things that we experience outside, can apply to the things in life, because it’s all intertwined man.
Mark: It is. I agree with that. In fact, one of my stands is to be in harmony with God, nature, and humanity. And because they’re all – like you said – you cannot separate the human from nature. Ultimately, he’ll die. And I was in the big apple last week, and I was thanking God that I did not live there. I lived there for four years.
And no offense to all people great people who live there – but wow – talk about these big cities that we wall ourselves off from nature. Not recognizing how much harm that does to us and to nature, because we’re meant to be integrated and in a harmonious relationship in nature.
If you want to solve the ecological disaster that has hit this planet, then every human being should just grow a plant and a tree and begin to reconnect with nature. And the world would transform really quickly.
And then the more close you get to nature, the more it changes your thoughts on eating plants versus animals. And treading lightly on the earth. And recognizing that everything needs to be in balance…
I’m not saying, “don’t eat meat,” I’m just saying be thoughtful about how you eat meat. And be more thoughtful with how much food you consume. And the quality of food you consume. And the quality of the water around us, so we don’t poison it and throw garbage around…
You know what I mean? It’s just… it just makes you more thoughtful to know that we have to be in balance with nature and with other human beings.
I went off on a little bit of a rant there. Sorry about that.
Chadd: Well, and I think the word, Mark… for me the word is sustainable. So, you become more sustainable, because that’s the thing – since we are a part of nature, we are created to utilize the things of nature.
Mark: And to steward it as well. Not exploit it, steward it.
Chadd: That’s exactly right. So, like you said, brother – there’s nothing wrong with eating meat, there’s nothing wrong with harvesting food there’s nothing wrong with all these things that we do – but it’s being sustainable is what counts in my book.
Mark: I agree.
Mark: So, you went into the Navy, and you had this cyst on your heart. So, you had a medical issue just to get in the Navy.
And it looks like from my notes here you battled post-traumatic stress and TBI coming out of the Navy. And is that why you were medically retired?
Chadd: Yeah, yeah. That’s why. I mean, it was a laundry list of things, man. TBI being kind of the number one thing. And to be honest with you, man, that was I would say the majority of that was from breaching.
So, I was a breacher in my platoon. Actually, breaching school was the first school that I went to. The culture around that’s changing a lot and I’m so thankful to see… they’re making guys now wear sensors on their kits that detect the amount of blast they were exposed to. And they’re implementing a lot of things now… just here recently, like within the last year or two… to kind of help this epidemic, man.
Mark: I bet you there’s not many military or special operators at least who do a lot of shooting and blowing stuff up who did not have some form of TBI. I’m certain I did.
Chadd: Oh yeah.
Mark: And if it weren’t for my yoga, and breathing, and meditation practices, it probably would have gotten worse. Because you can self-heal that stuff.
But how did you come to find healing for those things?
Chadd: Man, brother. Look, I got to go deep with you if you want to talk about that.
Mark: Yeah. Let’s do it.
Chadd: So, when I was medically retired, I was definitely struggling, man. And I’ll be straight up with you brother, there’s some days now that I even still struggle.
But I think the biggest struggle with me was losing the mission. I no longer had a mission. And so, I’m in this place where I’m thinking “okay, man what am I going to do next? Like, where do I go from here?”
You’re performing on this high, high level and then it’s like literally the next day, you’re sitting on your couch. And you’re like “holy smokes, man. I’m not surrounded by a team. I don’t have anything to train for. I don’t have a mission.”
So, what I did for a long time I’d say probably three to four months is I was depending upon the things that I had done as a Navy SEAL to propel me into my future. Or into my next mission. So essentially, I was limiting myself with the things that I had done in the past. Because I was basing all of my future decisions upon the skills that I had built in the past.
So, it wasn’t working. It wasn’t working, man. I just wasn’t going nowhere. I went and worked for blackwater for a little while. And did some stuff with them. But it just wasn’t what I was looking for, brother. And I was really, really frustrated.
And I was actually – and this is kind of where it goes deep man – and I was laying in bed one night. And I was wide awake. And I was frustrated. And I was trying to pray.
And I really was just so frustrated, I couldn’t even pray, man. So, all of a sudden in my mind’s eye – I have my eyes closed, but I’m wide awake – I have a vision. And this vision was very clear and very real to me. Very, very real.
So, in the top left corner of my vision was everything that I owned. All my material possessions. At that time, I owned a 10-acre farm in Virginia, a beautiful brand-new home… all this stuff. And it was all in that top left corner. And God said, “give it to me.”
And you know what I did? I argued with him.
Mark: (laughing) probably not a good thing to do.
Chadd: That’s right. So, I said… I kept arguing with him and I didn’t want to lose all that stuff, if that’s what he wanted. But finally, after a while – he didn’t argue back, all he did was kept saying “no, give it to me.”
And I gave it to him. And when I did that, I said “God, all of it’s yours anyways. Go ahead. Take it. Do what you want to do with it. And when I did that, it really took a load off my chest, man.
Mark: Amazing. Lightening the load and stripping everything back down to its simplest element.
Chadd: That’s it.
Mark: So, did you actually like sell them and give whatever proceeds to the church? Or like practically what did you do?
Chadd: I’ll tell you where that story ended up. So, the second part of this vision, immediately after I released those material possessions, my mind’s eye came to the center. I was focused on the center of this vision. And in the center of my mind’s eye was a scroll and like an old parchment.
And on this scroll was written everything that I had ever done as a Navy SEAL, as an ultra-runner, the thing with Obama, the deployments I had done… dude, we’ve rubbed shoulders with some of the most powerful men on earth. Like all that stuff, I told you I was depending on to push me forward into my next mission in life was written on the scroll. It was like a resume.
And these clouds started to build around this scroll and as the clouds built, the scroll began to shrink and I all of a sudden, I had a revelation that those clouds that were building represented the presence of God. And as the presence of God built around this scroll – my resume – it shrank until it got so small, I could no longer read the writing on the scroll. Okay, I could no longer read it. I it was like and what that was…
God revealed to me what that meant in that moment, and that was his way of telling me that what I can do is so much more powerful, and so much bigger than anything you have done.
And so, in that moment, I realized it had to start with submission. My next mission had to start with submission. So, I submitted in that moment. And from that point forward God has launched me – or however you want to put it, man – I mean, I’m not trying to preach to anybody this is how I believe. I feel like I have a right to tell you how I believe.
So, I’ve been on this mission man and, dude, I have… everything has been in like hyperspeed, man. I got to travel and share with the world. God has really given me a message and allowed me to clarify the things that I need to say in order to pass this message along, man.
And so once again, once I submitted, I go off on this mission, dude. And I’ve lived in a basement for the last 6 months of my life. My wife and I just bought this house, and this house is like built in the early ‘80s. Like the whole thing needs to be remodeled like – it ain’t nothing special man I kind of like the basement better to be honest with you… but yeah, I’ve stripped everything down to the necessities.
And it’s just such a beautiful thing. And it’s so fulfilling to now be on this new mission. And I still have days, brother, that I get in a funk… I still have days that I think about stuff that happened or buddies that we’ve lost and stuff like that.
But you know what, man? Roger that. Emotions are a part of life. Like I have a day, dude, where I’m just feeling depressed… like, I’ll be totally honest with you, if I have a day like that, I’ll just sit on the freakin’ couch and bask in it.
Mark: (laughing) allow it to happen and just… I agree with that.
Chadd: That’s it, man.
Mark: That’s part of being human, right? You’re gonna have the highs and the lows. And if you resist the lows, and only move toward the highest then you’re just gonna be out of balance. Those lows will come back harder and harder. Just let it flow, right?
Chadd: That’s it, brother. That’s it. And I haven’t done… all this stuff that we have going on right now, man, I haven’t done any of this by myself. Like when this mission started, God put people in my life… men like Jesse Itzler and just mentors in my own community that have just supported me to the max. And really allowed me to come on board with their resources… social media, dude. I didn’t know what freaking Instagram was until eight months ago, like, right? It’s all brand new to me and I haven’t done any of it by myself.
Mark: That’s why we all need a team. Jesse’s an awesome guy. Tell him I said hi. I love Jesse.
Chadd: I will, man. I will.
Mark: So, you went from being a real warrior on the real battlefields of life, to being a spiritual warrior on the spiritual battlefields. And in both cases though, isn’t it interesting that we had to learn that simplicity is the mother of moving forward, right? As a SEAL we had to have a kit bag ready and then the beeper went off, or you got the call… you got up and left. And you were leaving everything behind.
And you were willing to leave everything behind for your teammate. I mean, ultimately your life.
But then when you get out, most people – like you said – they don’t have a mission., and then they also fall into the materialism, and think “okay, now I got to catch up.” I mean, so many of our teammates have to play catch-up and they take jobs just for the money, right? Or they start businesses or government contracting, and they do it just for the money. And then they start accumulating things. And then they get trapped, because they get attached to that crap.
And I love that you discovered that. That the spiritual warrior travels light. And leaves a soft impact on the earth and leads with the hand and the heart, and not the weapon or the fist.
Chadd: That’s so true brother.
Mark: Well done. Well done.
Well, I could talk to you forever, but we’ve been going on an hour, so let’s wrap this up. You and your brother have a project called 3 of 7. I’m super intrigued with that. I didn’t have time to look it up, so I’m anxious to hear what that is myself.
Chadd: Yeah, no worries, brother. So, it ties all back into my mission – the number 3 means or is representative of the body, soul and spirit. So, the three aspects of us as humans.
The number 7 is the universal or the divine number for completion. So that’s what the number 7 represents.
And we call it “project,” because this is something that’s ever-evolving for us. So, I don’t put any parameters on it. Like I told you earlier – I’ve learned not to limit myself with my own aspirations.
So, this thing has really evolved. We’ve got a podcast. It’s just called 3of7 podcast, and we interview people that we think are complete, or at least nearly complete about how they master, nourish and maintain their body, soul and spirit. In order to reach that point.
We’ve got some products that we sell online. That have mantras that have really been born in that furnace of adversity for me. And have helped me through hard times.
And then we’ve actually got some leadership school type stuff going on. That’s based around outdoors and that’s a very intimate product… we only offer very limited slots in that. But I call it the “finishing school.”
And so yeah that’s what we got going on with 3 of 7 project right now. And if anybody wants to dig more into that, they can check it out at 3of7project.com. That’s where everything is at.
Mark: And people can find your Instagram handle and all that at that website?
Chadd: Yeah, I think they can. So, my personal Instagram handle is just @chadwright278 and then 3 of 7 handle is definitely off of the website there. It’s linked there.
Mark: Was that BUD/S class 278?
Chadd: Yeah, man. That was it.
Mark: I was 170, so I beat you by a hundred and eight.
Chadd: That is really cool, Mark. I can’t wait till 378 comes around. That is a really cool brother.
Mark: Well, Chadd, it’s been an honor to speak with you. Super appreciate you for your service, both on the battlefield and now as a spiritual warrior.
I’d love to meet you in person someday, so when you come out to san Diego or we find ourselves with that opportunity, let’s do a workout together and break some bread together.
Chadd: I think it’ll happen, Mark, and continue mission, brother. You are making an eternal impact with the work that you are doing. Thank you so much and obviously if there’s anything that ever I can do to support you or your mission, please feel free to reach out, brother.
Mark: I appreciate that. Just keep doing what you’re doing one day at a time. One day, one lifetime.
Chadd: That’s it.
Mark: Awesome. Hooyah.
All right folks. Chad wright. So, @chadwright278, is the Instagram and 3of7project.com. Check it out and support Chadd and all the great work he’s doing. His mantra never give pain a voice, and never, ever die in the chair.
Love it. Awesome. Well that’s it for me folks. This is Mark Divine. This is the Unbeatable Mind podcast. Stay focused, train hard, and be whole.
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Takes very strong and fully developed people to have such a deep conversation. Amazing does not come close to discribe this conversation. What an amazing story and deep insides