“Finding out the truth begins with the question, ‘Who Am I?’ Most people don’t ask that question very well. Even when they do they begin to answer by focusing on their outer qualities or things they’ve been told about in their life.” — Mark Divine
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Commander Divine just finished a rough draft of his new book “Launch,” which was originally conceived as being for young adults. He realized that it was actually useful for anyone, young or old, at the point of launching a new career, a new project or heading off in a new direction of any kind. Today, in this solo episode, he gives us a peek inside his process and his upcoming book.
- More about how your “Background of Obviousness” or BOO can shape your endeavors right off the bat
- The importance of finding a mentor to help you get going in the right direction
- How to connect to your inner witness to unravel all the stories that you think you “know” about yourself
Listen to this episode to hear Mark’s advice to teenagers and to everyone on the verge of starting something new.
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This is Mark Divine with the Unbeatable Mind podcast. Welcome back. Thanks so much for joining me today. Today’s podcast will be a solo cast. Just finished up a very rough draft of a new book that I’m calling “Launch.” I originally wrote this for teenagers, but then expanded it for millennials and then realized that it is actually very useful for anybody trying to launch a new direction, a new career, a new project. Having said that, you’ll note that the orientation truly is toward the young adult who is seeking to find focus in life and motivation. And a way to really pounce and get launched–mixing metaphor here–get launched with a lot of power, a lot of momentum, a lot of clarity.
So today I’m going to read the first chapter for you. I figured I’d dribble it out on the podcast and in my blog that’ll be relaunched soon at the new markdivine.com website. And then I’ll get around to publishing it in a book form when I’m done with that. So I really value you all for listening and for having some interest in what I have to say here. And all my guests… And here’s a little bonus for you. A little treat.
So you get to peek inside my brain before I take a deep breath and throw it out there in book form and in audiobook form.
Which will probably happen later this year or early spring. And to timestamp this show, this is June 15th, 2018.
Before I get started let me remind you if you care about veterans, and who doesn’t? We have a real problem in this country with… it’s not just this country, it’s worldwide… but Post-Traumatic Stress is crushing the vets. 22 a day committing suicide. So we started the Burpees for Vets Challenge and chose a very audacious goal… a B-HAG. Big Hairy Audacious Goal. 22 million burpees in 2018.
And we’re doing it. We are already near 10 million in the bank. I just crossed the 50,000 threshold, I’m doing 300 a day. It’s become quite a daily practice. We’ve raised about 125,000 dollars. My goal is to double that. Actually little bit more. So 22 million and 250,000 by the end of the year.
And we’re going to need help. We got a solid team already cranking away on it, but we need some help. So if you’re inspired, go to burpeesforvets.com and learn how to help us out. And we’re going to use that money to directly support vets who are suffering by putting them through some immersion training and then some coaching support afterwards.
Okay, also I just launched the new edition of my book “The Way of the SEAL.” And if you are interested in some bulk copies go to wayoftheseal.com. And also if you enter your email there you get a PDF of all the exercises, which is a pretty valuable little tool.
I’ve added 2 new chapters, “Leading in Accelerated Times,” and “Secrets of Elite Teams.” Both of which are extremely relevant for today’s leaders.
Awesome. Here we go. First preview of the book “Launch.” Chapter 1.
Be Someone Special
You are capable of so much more. At least 20 times more than you think is possible. Now think about it. You accomplishing 20 times more than you currently can imagine for yourself. That’s a lot.
I call it your 20x. I know this because we are all living a story now that limits us. It’s bounded by our current beliefs. Now for most of you in your early teens or twenties, your current beliefs aren’t even yours yet. They’ve been spoon fed you by your parents, family, pop-culture, social media, peers, education… even your language and culture.
(I’m going to pause and insert that that’s not only true for teenagers and young adults. But most of us at any age. End insert.)
I call this your BOO–Background of Obviousness. We’ll get to more on that later on. Now your current story says that you’re capable of A, B, C because of your body, your looks, maybe your skills. It results in things you say to yourself, and even your emotional states. It’s all because of that story. You’ll say to yourself, “I’m this, but I’m not that.” Or “I can do this, but I can’t do that.” And that’s all bullshit. It’s a limited story.
Now when you wake up to the idea that you’re living this story that’s not you, suddenly you realize that you can do a lot more than you think you can. Because you’re not thinking very well. You’re not thinking about your thinking.
And how do you even do that? I’m willing to bet you that no one has ever taught you that. At least no one ever taught me to think about my thinking when I was growing up.
Now what if you don’t feel so special. Well I didn’t feel special. In fact, I felt kind of lost as a young adult. I didn’t really have a vision for my future. Didn’t grow up in a perfect family, and I haven’t met too many young adults who have. Like you, I didn’t feel completely whole, grounded or clear about my future. And the ones that I have met that claim to get finished usually turn out to be lying to themselves or trying to live an unattainable story of perfection. And that was true with me.
Mark Divine as a young man was me trying to live the story of perfection. To be the perfect golden boy, the great athlete, the straight-A student. There was some truth in some of that. I was a straight-A student in my Podunk high school. And there I was also a good athlete.
But I lacked confidence. I had zero emotional stability or depth. I was a jerk to girls. I didn’t know how to communicate. Went through one relationship after another.
I was told I was an attractive, good-looking guy, but I didn’t even believe that. Those patterns and dysfunctions started at home. Each one of our siblings was treated differently based upon our differences. We didn’t feel like one family. At least I didn’t.
There was emotional chaos, and a lot of anger. Yet at the same time, I loved my parents. They did a lot of great things for me. Got me into athletics. Took me skiing every weekend. To the lake every summer. My mom helped me with my college applications and visits. And the parents paid for a degree at Colgate University. So on the surface, it was an idyllic childhood.
I was set up to go after this great job in New York City. Ready to climb the corporate ladder or step into the family business. And I believed that story for a long time, until I realized that it was leading me to a life where I felt vacant and dead. It would have led to depression and despair. Some of you might be feeling that yourself.
We all start with raw material. My raw material happened to be broken. Maybe yours is too.
The good news is that there’s a way out. There’s a way through it. This is normal. There’s nothing wrong with you.
Some people find this through Jesus or God, but I found the way through tapping into my potential. Serving a higher power in my own way. Doesn’t mean I don’t believe in Jesus or God but this book isn’t about that. And those two aren’t mutually incompatible.
Reaching your 20x
Now I want to help you reach your 20x through this book. Now maybe that sounds impossible, but I’m telling you, it is not. It’s possible for everyone.
Beginning to think about your thinking connects you with your higher self. What I call in this book your “witness.” You learn to curate the quality, quantity and direction of your thoughts. And this allows you to identify where to direct your attention.
Soon you discover your unique skills or passions. Or what I call your “ethos.” And you find the confidence to commit to your mission in life and tap into 20 times more capability and power. And then 20 times more again.
So what I’m saying is that I’m going to help you 1) identify weak limiting beliefs that are driving your story and holding you back. 2) Help you overcome your fear-based internal dialogue and emotional states. You’ll develop a sense of courage and confidence as opposed to false confidence which shows up as arrogance or cockiness.
You’ll develop your whole mind by integrating and developing you 5 mountains–physical, mental, emotional, intuitional, and Kokoro heart–or your spiritual center. And I’ll chart a proven trail map to help you climb those mountains. And you’ll have a compass and the discipline to become uncommon and then someone special.
Through daily habits and drills you’ll take total responsibility for the direction of your life, thoughts, emotions and your own development. And you’ll be able to make decisions that lead to mastery. And the power of service to others.
I’m going to teach you the skills that I began to discover myself in my twenties. And I sure wish I had discovered them earlier. If you learn them now, you’re going to increase your productivity and find peace of mind. That’s true success.
You need a mentor. If you don’t have a mentor that can push, prod and pull you to your highest self, you’re walking in the dark. I found mine in a Zen master masquerading as karate instructor named Tadashi Nakamura. He helped me to slow down, still my mind and challenge myself to be someone 20 times more than I was at the time. When I was ready, I found the Navy SEALs and the way I could serve. That fit with my skills, my passion, and my emerging sense of self. My ethos.
Mr. Nakamura helped me tap into something different. It felt like I was using more of myself when I trained with him. Like I had innate intelligence inside me that I hadn’t been taught to use by school, parents, or any education. It was the work of meditation, concentration, breath training and challenging myself.
All these things that I will unfold in this book. I began, through this work, to sense that there was more to me that the story I was living. Or what I was taught to be all through my younger years and teens. I felt like I’d been locked in this prison. It was the prison of my brain-mind or limited-mind telling me stories over and over about myself that just weren’t true.
It wasn’t until I sat down and learned to still myself and tap into my whole mind–which I would say in parentheses, is my body, mind and spirit integrated into one. Also the integration of the 5 mountains, which I’ll get into more later.
Then I realized I’d been living this false story. When I could connect to that deeper aspect of myself, I finally realized I was capable of so much more.
One day I was walking home from work and passed a recruiters office. Stopped dead in my tracks. There was a poster on the wall with the words written on top, “Be Someone Special.” That was it. It showed Commandos doing Navy SEAL stuff. 3 guys jumping out of an airplane. A mini-submarine and a sniper that I could barely see if I looked close.
“This is what I’d been experiencing,” I thought. “There’s so much more. Here’s an external example of a way that I could prove that I’m someone special.”
I realize the SEALs aren’t for everyone, but it was the way that my unique person could thrive. It’s what I’d felt and experienced sitting in moments of silence with Nakamura.
Who can be your mentor? For the longest time I found solace in nature, and I still do. I would almost call nature my first mentor. Doesn’t have to come in the form of a person, as I alluded to earlier. Some people find this through God or Jesus. That’s very powerful.
But it’s also powerful to have an individual who accepts you for who you are and can challenge you to step up to the plate. To motivate you to do the hard work. Take a look at the patterns that drive your behavior, and hold you accountable to becoming who you’re meant to be.
I found, from my own experience, with other parents and with my son, that it’s difficult for parents to be in the role of a mentor. The most powerful mentors tend to be outsiders in whom you can confide in a way that’s often hard to do with your parents. Or it may be a role model who Provides mentorship with his or her actions.
Mr. Nakamura provided his mentorship through his actions, and the words and the way that he treated me. With stern discipline and urging me to develop that beginner’s mind. He had a lightness of spirit and total trust that I was able to do so much more than I was telling myself. And then he showed me how to do it.
I’ve seen others find mentors through athletic coaches. Especially those who understand emotional development and a psychology of achievement. You might be able to take this book to your coach, present it to him or her and say, “Hey, I’ve been reading this book. And maybe there’s a way that we can talk about it together.”
That’s a way to get that mutual dialogue going.
There’s a saying that when the student is ready, the mentor will appear. That was certainly true in my case. I was looking for someone that could develop me, or who could help me develop as a human being. Been very inspired in college by my roommate–my freshman roommate–David Bowman. And his study of karate. While I swam and partied my way through college, I watched him get his black belt. And he changed. He became a very different, and better person.
I on the other hand, still felt the same. Just a little bit older when I graduated.
When I went to New York and started working in the city, I wanted to get what he had gotten. I wanted to experience what he’d experienced. I was desperately searching for answers, and had begun to learn a little bit more about human nature and reality and spirituality. So I began my search.
And as soon as I began looking for a martial arts studio, I walked past the World Seido Headquarters. The founder–who you now know is Mr. Nakamura–was teaching that day. And he’s still teaching 30 years later. He became my mentor.
Now if you’re listening to this or if you picked up this book–which I have to say isn’t even in written form yet–it’s happening to you right now. You’re eager to learn and grow. Eager to open up to new ideas. There’s something inside you that says you can be someone special, but you don’t know where to go. You’re looking to unlock a direction that’s meaningful. A way to serve powerfully.
Well, you just found a mentor and some ideas that can help you launch into the next level.
What do you need to get started? Well, a journal. You need a journal to write and reflect in. You’re going to write answers to thought exercises. You’re going to make notes. You’re going to jot down insights. Write down the stories you tell yourself. Internal self-talk you discover as you process through this work.
Some of what you write you won’t like, or even agree with. But you can’t unravel it if you won’t admit it to yourself. And you need to commit to at least 90 days of work. Just like in my Unbeatable Mind program. They say this program works if you work it. If you don’t do any work, then reading a new concept or being inspired by a podcast is not going to do a whole lot for you. Gotta do the work.
What do I mean by doing the work? I mean by doing the contemplation, the visualization, the stress release, and evolving yourself by getting clear about these important things, like “What is my ethos?” “Why am I here?”
So let’s make a deal that you’re going to do something about what you’ve learned in this book and in this series of podcasts. Commit to 90 days. Give me that.
And everything else, guess what? You already have. You’ve got your body, you’ve got your mind. I’m going to ask you to move your body. I’m going to ask you to still your mind. You’ve got a pair of shorts and running shoes. You don’t need a gym membership. You don’t need to go to a monk or to some meditation workshop. You just need yourself and you need a journal.
I’ve seen the most success reading straight through a book like this and then coming back and working the exercises in each chapter one at a time. That way you can view the whole landscape before you come back and examine the path.
All right. Let’s get started. First things first.
Win in your mind. Win first in your mind comes from a quote by Sun Tzu in his great work “The Art of War.” That quote loosely says the great warrior wins first in his or her mind and then goes to battle. All the other warriors go to battle hoping to win. I’ve adopted that philosophy.
You wanted to be victorious warriors in life? Well, to do that don’t just jump into the battle. And you don’t just leave the house and hope to win. You gotta win in your mind first.
Winning in your mind is choosing to have an Unbeatable Mind. You’re the one who gets to write your story now. You get to choose to be unbeatable. To make it happen. And to take total responsibility for your results.
In order to do that, you take total responsibility for your training. You have to travel the 5 mountains laid out in this work. So that you can think more clearly. Make decisions in line with your ethos. And the new vision for your future.
That way you’ll step out the door, front-sight focused on the targets, and every principle in this book will come into play when you say “win first in your mind.”
But we have limiting self-concepts. Think about all the different stories you tell yourself. Some of these are limiting. Many of them are. Like, I’m not that good looking. Or I’m not athletic. Or I’m not as good as him or her. Nobody likes me. I’m destined to be a tough guy… a business guy… an educator… etc.
Cause that’s what we are in the family. Or we don’t do these things. There’s a reason for all those messages that got planted in your consciousness. But it’s not intentional. It’s just that you were constantly exposed to this dialogue in the culture of your family or the people you hung around with. Or continue to hang around with.
And they create a story which then leads to an associated set of internal self-talk concepts and belief systems and words. And these are supported by imagery. And then your emotional states.
What holds you back now is these stories that you tell yourself. As long as you’re living out a story based on inauthentic, external factors, like your physical body, your supposed IQ, whether you’re good at Math, Science, English or Art, then they’ll keep you from exploring growth in other areas. Or in those areas. And you get stuck.
Carol Dweck in her book “Mindset,” said you either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Well if you haven’t examined your stories and tossed most of them out to expose yourself to new thinking and new ideas and learning then guess what? You’re on a fixed mindset. You’re not questioning yourself and the stories you tell yourself.
You got what you got and you are who you are. Well that’s a limiting self-concept. You’ll never get to 20x with that.
But the notion that you are a certain way isn’t necessarily accurate. Finding out the truth begins with the question, “Who am I?” Most people don’t ask that question very well.
Even when they do, they begin to answer by focusing on their outer qualities, or things they’ve been told about themselves in their life. A lot of these are pretty subtle messages, but they become clear when you ask and take time to reflect.
So your first exercise when you have time to get back to your journal, is to ask yourself, “Who am I?” and begin to write down everything that comes to mind starting with the external.
Let’s take my 23 year-old self as an example. “Who am I? Mark?” 23 year-old male. 6’1″ Reddish hair. Green eyes. Athletic. Strong swimmer, rower, triathlete, martial artist. BA in Economics from Colgate University.
From the Divine family. Upstate New York. We’re a business family. Own a jeep. I have an apartment on 23rd street. I have a pretty Swedish girlfriend. I’m getting my MBA, I’m getting my CPA. I’ll soon have my black belt. I’m a business professional. I have a career in finance. I’m making 40,000 a year. (That was 1985, so that wasn’t too bad).
Now that’s the outer layer, the material layer that you can touch and see. And you think it identifies who you are. It’s like that country song, “I’ve got a big red truck. With a gun in the back.”
These are things you can see and touch. And other people will easily describe you that way. And you begin to really identify with that.
Look at that now, and say to yourself, “Of all that list, what if I’m not that? What if I’m not those things? And if I’m not that, then who am I? Who am I really?”
Now, you gotta look deeper. You gotta look at your stories. Look at your beliefs in those stories. Why do you hang your hat on those stories?
This is where it goes from a simple exercise to a deeper self-awareness exercise. And I encourage–when you do this–take it seriously. Sit in silence and contemplate. Or do some Box Breathing and sit in silence and contemplate. Who am I, beyond all that other stuff? What stories do I tell myself? And write them down in your journal.
When I wrote them down–when I did this exercise–things that came to me… and they’re not pretty. “I am not confident, but I’m driven. I am motivated by getting my MBA, CPA, black belt. I’m motivated to meet women. I’m very incompetent in communicating with women. And I can’t end a relationship very well.”
And there were a whole bunch of other things, but this is the 23 year-old me starting to gain some little modicum of self-awareness. I’d started to identify aspects of my personality that led me to where I was then. And I began to not like who I was, where I was. You can look at all this and say, “Oh, that’s all bullshit, Mark.” But if you’re not that then who are you? This is where it becomes almost a spiritual experience. If you’re not the outer things and guess what, if you’re not those stories that you tell yourself–especially those negative ones–then who the heck are you?
And that’s where you turn inward even deeper, and you stay to yourself, you know what? There is this sense of self that I experience even behind all that. Even behind all the concepts. And in my Unbeatable Mind training, I call that your witness.
Chapter 2. Your witness. Connecting with your witness–your higher and best self–is where you’re going to find that 20x performance. It’s how you learn to win in your mind first. And it’s not from believing all those other stories you’ve been told. So you’re going to need to unveil and unravel all those stories. And in order to unravel them, you have to view them from the right perspective. That perspective of your witnessing self.
Expand yourself now, and say anything’s possible, just have to decide what’s possible and then draw inspiration from the witnessing self.
Connecting to my witness started when I began to get deep, instinctual and intuitional messages that I was meant to be a warrior and a leader and meant to serve my country.
And I had to examine then, the stories, of the Divine’s aren’t military people. Military is for people don’t have anything else to do. For people who screw up in life.
My witness was telling me a different story. That there was a different way that I was meant to serve.
Had I never done the exercises under Nakamura’s watchful guidance, I would never have uncovered any of that or experienced it.
Asking yourself, “Who am I?” leads to a notion that you’ve got to figure out how to connect to the part of you that’s unchangeable. And watching all of this other stuff happen. Even your glorious screw-ups. When you know you shouldn’t do something, yet you still do it, that’s your higher witnessing self that’s watching you do it anyways.
And how do you connect and that part of yourself? It’s difficult to just go there. That’s why meditation fails for so many people. And when I did it with Nakamura, he had a very distinct process.
The first aspect was to first concentrate on just one thing. Learn how to concentrate. To stabilize the mind. To tame the monkey mind. Anybody can learn to do that, whether your 18, 24, 34 or 54. You can learn to concentrate on one thing and then sustain that concentration for a long period of time.
Ultimately that means that one thing is not going to be the incessant dialogue or chatter of your mind. You will be sitting down, focusing on your breathing and counting to 10. That’s how I started with Nakamura and that’s what we’re going to do right now.
Exercise–focus on one thing. Unless you’re driving find a place that’s still and sit down in a comfortable position. Now inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale slowly. And then what I want you to do is begin to count.
You’re going to inhale, exhale, count 1. And then inhale, exhale, count 2. You’re going to do this until you reach 10.
But here’s the trick. You’re not going to be thinking of anything else. If you notice yourself starting to think about anything else, you have to go back to zero and start over. Try it. It’s much harder than it sounds.
How’d you do? Did you get there? Most people can’t get past 2. And I was the same way. I couldn’t get past 2 for many months. Eventually–and that’s when you’re honest with yourself. A lot of people when I do this in my training, they say, “yeah, I got to 10.” But they’re lying to themselves. They were thinking the whole time. Yeah, they were counting, but they’re also thinking.
I’m asking you to focus on one thing, just the count. Actually, it’s 2 things, the breath and the count. So do it again. Because, guess what? The aspect of yourself that begins to notice that you’re not counting anymore and you’re thinking. Or that you’re simultaneously thinking and counting–that’s your witnessing self.
So this is the starting place for connecting to your witness. When you do this type of work. Any time you think about dinner, or your boyfriend or what you said last night or this morning. Or what you’re going to do later on. It’s the witness that’s watching that thinking. So your job is to disengage from the thinking, come back to the witness constantly.
In time, you’ll acquire the 2nd skill. Which is to be able to slow down your thoughts and focus on 2 things. The breathing and the count.
And then the 3rd skill is to focus on those for a long period of time. This is the difference between concentration and focus. Focus is “Where is my focus?” Concentration is sustainment of that focus.
Eventually you’ll be able to identify and connect with the witness at will. Disengage and watch your thoughts. And then bring the intelligence of that witnessing aspect of yourself, that higher self–the one that’s connected to your spiritual center–into your everyday moment-to-moment thinking and acting.
Ultimately this leads us to always question why things are the way they are. Simon Sinek in his famous TED talk, says it all starts with why. And I ask you what is your why? If you’re not connected to your witness, you’ll never find your why.
Connecting with your witness is the beginning of understanding your why. In one sense you can say you’re not going to experience your 20x if you’re doing something that’s out of alignment with your why. Or your ethos. I’ll get into more of that in the next chapter.
Knowing your why helps you decide what you stand for. And it guides you into what you’re meant to do. What you’re passionate about. Which leads you to your purpose in life.
And it helps you to discover how to stand your ground and to move forcefully in the right direction.
When you know your why and you move closely toward it, you’re going to find that 20x potential and performance. Your witness has the source code for your why. Connecting to it helps you ascertain what it’s meant to do and why you’re on this planet. As you begin to understand that source code, you can recode your mind by changing the stories, the imagery and your emotional states.
You can literally recreate yourself. You’re tapping into the ultimate source of creativity. You’re reengineering or regenerating your entire life story. With a much more powerful vision of your future based upon a new why.
When you do that you can tap into so much more of the latent potential that you’ve got bottled up inside you. Even better than that, it doesn’t matter if you’re not a military guy, not a physical specimen. Or even not a guy at all.
The launch process is universal and applicable to anybody. Now it sent me in the process to the military and the SEALs because that was the path I was supposed to own. And to go down. That was my why.
But it could have easily sent me to the Peace Corps. Or kept me on my path to being a CPA. Or leading me back to my family business.
If that’s what my higher self–my witnessing self–had told me was the right path to do. But it didn’t. And if I hadn’t connected to that witness to find that out, who knows where I’d be today?
Fast-forward to the older Mark Divine, I’ve used these principles with about 10,000 people. In training. Every one of those people has gone in different directions. They’re unique.
That’s because each one has tapped into their higher self, and developed that intuitive, instinctual sense of their ethos, their character.
Men, women, old, young, housewives. Doctors, lawyers, military, athletes, students… I started teaching these principles to help military training succeed and survive in combat. To be better warriors and think from a higher place. But most of the people that have used them–well over 90%–are not military. And this is the book that I wish I had been given as a young man. It would have saved me a lot of trial and error.
And I’m very grateful to have had early versions of these principles through my mentor and through the SEAL teams. And my own exploration.
Now it’s the refinement of these skills that I’m going to continue to teach you that helped me take my performance to a whole ‘nother level.
5 Mountain Map
To launch is a journey. Along the way you’re going to have some terrain and some mountains to ascend. Now it’s not easy. You’re going to have to work hard. You’re going to have to climb those mountains. You’re going to have challenges all along the way.
At the same time, the higher you get up each mountain–or the more advanced you get in your training–the view will be more expansive and more inclusive. My experience is that these 5 mountains tend to be climbed in the manner that we present them here.
First, the physical. Start with your physical body. Regardless of your talents or your concept of your physical capabilities, you can take immediate steps to improve the health of your body through your nutrition, your sleep, and how you move. Climbing that physical mountain will get your physical structure to be healthier, fitter, and more resilient. Physical development, improving your range of motion, eradicating dysfunctional motion patterns, and getting your sleeping and eating patterns lined up will do more than just improve your physical health. They’ll lead to a greater sense of mental confidence. And it’ll profoundly affect your emotional states.
The second is the mental mountain. The mental mountain is far more than traditional schooling. It’s our Unbeatable Mind philosophy to become a lifelong learner and tap into your whole mind. Proper exercise, sleep and nutrition will exert a neuro-plastic effect in your brain to increase your confidence and mental capacity. But then you need to examine areas where you want to learn and grow. And develop a plan and start achieving it.
For example, you can develop a plan to increase and improve your reading, creative expression, drawing, art, grasp of another language or any skill.
And also work in your mental mountain through breath practice, imagery, concentration, focus, memory and all the different ways that your mind processes information.
Next is the emotional mountain. Once you acquire the skills to improve your concentration and focus, you’re going to begin to see that many of the things holding you back are emotional baggage from the past. Developing your emotional awareness will uncover what emotions drive your behavior, positive or negative. You’ll be able to identify the roots of negative behaviors and transmute them into more positive emotions. Now it’s on this emotional mountain that you’ll also learn to understand and eradicate fear and stress.
You’ll use some of the same tools that you used on the physical and mental mountain, breath and visualization. But also add other tools like recapitulation and rewriting the story of your past. Which is still driving your behavior at a subconscious level. These are difficult to overcome, but if you start now, you’ll be way ahead of the game.
The intuitional mountain. The intuitional mountain is both your heart-brain and belly-brain and your enteric nervous system working together. It’s the signals that get drowned out when your intuitive mountain isn’t well developed or refined. Or you haven’t climbed very high on the mental and emotional mountains.
Working on the physical begins to refine the mental which in turn opens up the emotional, so that you can hear and pay attention to the subtle signals of the intuitional mountain. It’s almost like climbing halfway up the physical mountain you find a pathway over to the mental. And once you get halfway up the mental, you find a pathway over to the emotional. They’re like different peaks on the same mountain range.
Through the intuitional mountain’s focus, the belly and heart become part of the whole mind system. These provide additional information to your conscious mind.
Although the science behind this is only starting to be proven, you can learn how to use and tap into and trust and work with that information. When I talk about tapping into your higher self sitting and listening, that’s trying to get into your belly and heart to receive information.
Your mind and body must be still, not bouncing around like a ping-pong ball. And you’ve got to learn to focus.
And last, is Kokoro Mountain. Kokoro. A term I started using for our SEALFIT training which means merge your heart and your mind into your actions, but also means willpower, whole mind, or your spiritual center. This 5th mountain is about applying everything that you’ve learned about yourself and integrating all the 5 mountains through your actions. I call it Kokoro–which like I said, means integrating heart and mind into action. You have to get really clear about where you stand in life and what you’re going to do about it, and then commit to it.
And when you do you’re able to answer your why. So Kokoro mountain really is about defining your why and living it every day. And standing your ground. No matter what comes at you.
This is Kokoro heart. Some of my teammates even to fight to the death, or jump on that grenade to protect their teammates. They’re very clear in that moment exactly what they need to do and why in spite of the consequences.
Kokoro mountain develops your whole mind-body system to work together as a single unit. It connects all the 5 mountains and integrates them. You climb Kokoro mountain through total responsibility. 100% ownership and commitment to your life, your development, your path.
And I’m giving you the tools here to climb that mountain. At the top of Kokoro mountain is a more rarified view of the world, and your persistent 20x performance. When you come down from the mountain to get projects done, you lead from a higher place. And your world-view is more integrated, more holistic, more world-centric. And you find that you’re more peaceful and grounded and happier. You’re less self-serving. Less self-centered. Less ethno-centric. Ultimately you honor all people with humility and respect.
The impact of this thinking. Now it’s profound, I know. So let’s just start by connecting to our witness and trying to improve our performance. But ultimately, I want this to serve as a springboard to help you develop a foundation of radically different thought. To live with an Unbeatable Mindset of integrated whole, and healthy on all 5 mountains. I want to update your mental operating system as you head into new careers or new projects and a new direction.
And I want you to go there with a more world-centric, inclusive and growth mindset. This is a little different than what the West has traditionally developed. Which is basically just to focus on your cognitive, intellectual functions. Maybe a little athletic training on the side. And if something gets you really bad, you go see a therapist. Which most people don’t ever do.
Or maybe you keep everything separate but lean on God when it all falls apart. That’s not integrated. That’s not whole.
To have a real impact in the world–the world that we’re heading into–you need to see success as the mark that you leave on the world in a positive sense. Don’t settle for a limiting concept of success as “I want to be financially successful. Have a nice car. Kids Wife-husband. House.”
You gotta do what you’re meant to do. What your Kokoro heart and your higher self–your witness–says you’re meant to do. You want to do that to experience total confidence, peace of mind, and 20x power. And then you’re going to want to unlock it in other people.
In a sense, the 5 mountains are the 5 capabilities that you want to develop. The witness helps you develop them fully, because you’re grounded in the why of being the best version of yourself possible.
And I bet for most of you an honest assessment of each of these 5 mountains on a scale of 10 would result in a topo map or chart that would look a little bit unbalanced. And it would be different for everyone. A hardcore athlete who’s in a Rocks for Jocks program may be a 7 or 8 on the physical, but a 4 on the mental, 2 on the emotional, 1 on the intuitional. And Kokoro heart might be really low too.
But a PhD who’s been in an academic silo might rate high on the mental. But their body and emotions would be a complete wreck. Maybe they’re emotional infants too. It’s going to be different for everyone.
So at the beginning of this book–the beginning of this process–I’d like for you to assess your position on each of those 5 mountains. And where you’d like to be at the end of 90 days.
Clearly everyone will want to be a 10 on all 5. But guess what? That’s going to take a lifetime of work. So make a realistic and achievable assessment. As long as you’re harnessing your strengths and overcoming weaknesses through your daily training, you’ll be well on your way to becoming someone special.
So your exercise here–again, not when you’re driving–is to write on a scale of 1 to 10 where you are on the physical mountain and where you’d like to be in 90 days. If you’re a couch potato, you’re a 1. Where would you like to be in 90 days? Probably not a 5 because you don’t have enough time. But you certainly could be a 3.
Where are you on the mental mountain? If you’ve never done any of this training and practice, even if you’ve got a college degree, you might be a 2 or a 3.
Emotional mountain. If you’ve never done emotional work or been to emotional seminars. And lived with a therapist family. Chances are you’re down there. 1 or 2. Where would you like to be? Emotional intelligence, emotional development is one of the most powerful skills for you as a leader these days.
And intuitional. Many people are low in this. But intuitional intelligence is one of the more powerful tools as well for leadership and avoiding danger and seeking opportunity.
And Kokoro mountain. Do you know why you’re here? What your purpose is? What you’re passionate about? What are your principles? Can you write them down?
Do you have an ethos? A code of conduct? Are you willing to commit with everything you have? Do you operate from your Kokoro heart? Do you communicate from the heart? Most people are very low on this, and it needs to be developed. So where would you like to be in 90 days?
This is the roadmap. This is where we’re going to go. We’re going to develop our 5 mountains. We’re going to learn to connect with our witness. We’re going to act from our higher self. And we’re going to develop 20x potential so that we can be someone special.
Thanks for hanging in there. I’ll come back to this in the next solo cast.
Till then, train hard, stay focused, and find your 20x.