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Commander Divine on His Unbeatable Mind Operating System

By September 12, 2018 August 17th, 2020 One Comment

 “We’re at a juncture of humanity in our evolution where it’s time for an upgrade. We need to become Homo Sapiens squared.” — Mark Divine

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After years of deep work and thought, Commander Divine has developed a model for the Unbeatable Mind Operating System. His system is derived partly from the AQAL integrative system that was developed by the philosopher Ken Wilber combined with his knowledge of Eastern philosophy. He stresses the importance of needing to upgrade our “Operating System,” to deal with the world as it currently challenges us.

Learn how:

  • He focuses on the four circles of Core, Commitments, Competencies and Capacity
  • We generally use our Mana or lower mind and our subject to material cravings because of that. We need to use our Buddhi or higher mind more effectively to focus on more important things.
  • We can develop our internal “witness,” so that we can understand ourselves and utilize the OODA loop to make decisions

With hard work and training, you can make all the circles of the “Operating System,” work for you.

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Hi Folks. Welcome back. This is Mark Divine with the Unbeatable Mind podcast. And I’m coming at you from Carlsbad, California. And we are in September of 2018.

And today I have a solocast for you. We’ll talk about upgrading your Human Operating System. Or H-UM… Unbeatable Mind… MAN operating system.

Before I get started, let me remind you that if you’re interested in coming to our annual summit… this is the 5th year we’ve run it… then don’t hesitate and if you use the discount code “POD300″ you’ll get 300 dollars off. If you go to Check that out.

There’ll be about 150 to 160 of us coming together in Carlsbad, at this beautiful hotel called the Park Hyatt Aviara and we’ll be doing a lot of training. Kokoro yoga, little bit of SEALFITish stuff.

But mostly we’ll be hearing from some amazing speakers. One of my mentors, Gary Kraskow. The ancient philosophy of yoga. Bob Schoultz–Captain, leadership expert, who’s in charge of the human performance program with the SEALS.

Course myself. I’m going to be presenting on what we’re talking about today, actually. The Unbeatable Mind Human Operating System model. Which I’ve just recently developed and been running by some of my coaching clients.

And Fujitsu last week. Forty billion dollar Japanese company. We ran through it with them through an interpreter, and it really landed well. So I’m looking forward to talking about that and introducing it at the summit.

And we’ve got some other great speakers as well. Christine Hassler who’s going to talk about emotional development. And others. So go to to check it out.

It will be the last year we run the event in this format. I’m moving more toward the experience of deep, immersive training in the Unbeatable Mind system going forward. So that’s that. Thanks very much.

And just a quick update on our burpees… So I surpassed 70,000 burpees in late August. Had a little issue with my back, which surprised me that it took 70,000 burpees to get there. So I missed three days. And now I’m back on track, making up for the lost time. And we’re gunning for a World Record attempt on Veterans Day to do the most burpees in a 24 hour period, by a 6 person mixed team. How’s that for an esoteric world record? Most of them are.

Anyways, this one is just again to give us an opportunity to come together and to raise awareness and money for veterans who are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress. And all the burpees we do will go toward our goal of doing 22 million burpees total as a tribe this year. And that’s in honor of the 22 veterans a day who are ending their lives. So we’re really suffering to help those who are suffering. And we need help.

So if you’re interested in jumping in the Veterans Day Challenge, then just pay attention to the emails coming out, or go to the website and get on our email list. Or join the cause. It’s really important.

And we’ve raised about 200,000 dollars already. That money’s going to go for direct support for veterans for a long-term mentoring and team program that’ll help bring them back to health.



Okay, enough on all of that. So the last month or so I kinda went and did some deep work, and I came up with the next generation of what I call the Unbeatable Mind Operating System. And the Unbeatable Mind training I launched in 2011, and it was heavily based upon my work with the Navy SEALs and other elite athletes through SEALFIT. And then over the years since then, I’ve really been evolving it and working with other populations. In particular, leaders, business executives, entrepreneurs and people really trying to go from good to great in terms of their own human potential and performance. And as that work has evolved, the program has evolved and my own thinking and research into it has evolved.

And so what’s come out of that is a pretty interesting model which is like a total life operating system model. And so if you really want to upgrade your life, you gotta upgrade your internal operating system–to use kind of a computer metaphor. Which doesn’t work really well for how the human being operates, but it does serve to at least get your attention. And we all kind of have this model of the brain and mind, and the whole point with this is to kind of shatter that and get you thinking really differently about what it means to be a human, and how to optimize your potential. Optimize your performance. Optimize your ability to connect to other human beings and optimize your ability to serve in the world.

So, I’ve got the model in front of me. And you don’t, because you’re listening to this. So that’s a disadvantage. So I’ll try to speak in visual terms and paint you a picture of where we’re going with this.

So imagine 4 concentric circles, expanding out from a center circle that looks a lot like a target. And these four circles represent…

The first… the center or the closest in. The target is what I call your core.

The second are commitments.

The third are competencies.

And the fourth circle… or the outer edge… is capacity.

And these are all “C”s just because. It seemed like a cool thing to do. And it just so happens a lot of words that I really like start with “C.”

Like Courage, and Commitment and Competence and Capacity. And Consciousness.

So one way to look at this is an expansion of human consciousness, which is driven or allowed by an upgrade, or an expansion of your operating system’s capacities. In the realms of potential performance, connection and service.

Now if you’re familiar with the work of Ken Wilber and integral theory, you’ll recognize that potential, performance, connection and service also relate to the 4 quadrants. Potential is the quadrant of the inner domain of self-awareness. Performance is the outer domain of the self, so peaking performance biologically and through your actions.

And then the realm of connection is the inner domain, the experience of our relationship to others. So that would be the “we” sphere, or the “we” quadrant.

And then the domain of the capacity of service or serving the world is related to the “Its” quadrant of the outer domain of our relationship with others. Systems and structure.

So that was probably a little confusing, so I won’t get into the details of all that. Highly encourage you though to check out Wilber’s work. He’s a mentor of mine. Did a podcast with him a while ago. You can search on iTunes for that. What a brilliant, brilliant man. And one of my mentors.

So at any rate, here we have core. At the essence of our lives is this thing we call our core. Core is from the root word “coeur” or the French word that means “heart.” And ironically it’s identical in concept to the word “Kokoro,” which we’ve used for years in our training at SEALFIT and our 50 camp is called “Kokoro camp” which means essentially, “Get to the heart of yourself.” Do this crucible training to burn off your mental fatigue. Burn off your emotional blockages and get to the Kokoro. The heart -center of who you are and meet yourself for the first time.

And one way to do that is through extraordinarily difficult challenges. We know that. And a lot of times, life throws those challenges at us. And our model at SEALFIT is, “Hey, bring the challenge to you.” Don’t wait for it to come. So do a structure challenge like SEALFIT or even a tough Spartan race, or a silent retreat. Do something that’s going to make you face yourself so you get to your very core. Otherwise life will have its way with you. And it may not be pleasant.

So that’s your core. And I’m going to come back to that. Your core essentially is experienced in those 4 quadrants of potential, performance, connection and service. And I’ll explain that more in a moment.

Now outside of that core are your commitments. And when you commit to something, it brings your core to life. Now if your core is the essence of who you are, and it is inside your core you’re going to find your purpose. You’re going to be able to develop greater presence. Your spiritual center. Your ability to radically focus. All this is in your core.

But it comes to life when you make commitments, right? And those commitments are also expressed or experienced or committed to in the realms of developing greater potential, performance, connection and service.

And that leads us to the 3rd circle expanding out from your core, which are your competencies. And these are essentially the core competencies that your upgraded human operating system will need to develop in order to reach your fullest capacity.

Which is the 4th circle, or the outer edge. And the capacity then begins to explode, in an accelerating growth manner. In these 4 realms.

And so what we have here is this holographic model of accelerated vertical growth, with each element of the model becoming a self-reinforcement mechanism or self-reinforcing system. So each one strengthens the other in a spiraling, upward, developmental way. So you don’t really… you can’t predict where the growth is going to happen.

Sometimes it’s going to be unbelievably transformative. And then you also have the slow growth. And everything transcends and includes in this kind of holographic manner.

Which is a really cool way of looking at your life, when you consider the human being as an energetic being, it’s almost more of a hologram as opposed to some linear sense of what it means to think and to do things well, and to perform and whatnot. And a lot of the thinking and training is based on more of stagnant, linear model.

And horizontal development, and accruing just skills as opposed to transforming our sense of self. Time and time again. And then becoming a self-referential, self-transforming human. Where every day you are a different person. Every day you have the potential to really break through to new perspectives and greater connections–deeper connections–and peaking your performance. And serving more powerfully.

The Higher Mind


So those four circles represent kind of the unfolding from your core to your outer edge of your maximum capacity, and we say find your 20 times potential so you can perform at 20x. But also you want to have your 20 times your ability to connect, because that’s where you’re teaming and you’re serving your teammates and the morphogenic, energetic field of being an outstanding elite team will take off. And then you’ll be able to serve at a 20X level. And then you’ll 20X that 20X and do the math. Doesn’t take very long before you’re having a profound impact. And it feels effortless because it’s coming from your core. You’re not struggling with things because it’s flowing out of you. It’s your life essence. Super-neat.

Now, let’s back up visually with me back to that target–that center target of the core. And we’ll spend a lot of time here talking about this. The core essence of you as a human being… I like to think of it as coming from your heart center because this really… the word “heart” and “Kokoro” means heart/mind, merging your heart and mind in action. And you experience wholeness when your heart is open and your thinking mind–your brain–is actually using information from your heart center.

Now this lines up from my study of Eastern philosophy in that especially yoga and Buddhism says that we have this lower self–or this lower mind–that’s called Mana which is really the realm of desires and cravings. And identifying with things that aren’t necessarily healthy but are attractive to us.

And then we have a higher mind. The yogis call that the Buddhi. And the Buddhi… not the Buddha. The Buddha’s a manifestation of maybe God in a human being, or enlightenment I guess. But Buddhi and that is your higher intellect. What you might call your consciousness in the West.

When you reach for that cookie, or maybe it’s the 5th cookie, and all of a sudden your consciousness says, “You know what, Mark? Probably shouldn’t have that.”

And then your lower mind says, “I want it. I want it. Gimme it.”

And then your higher mind says, “No. You know what? We’re not going to do that. Because we committed to being balanced as a human being.”

So our core essence comes from our heart, and our heart is basically the residence of the higher mind–the Buddhi. And the brain is the residence or the home of the lower mind. Interesting.

Now of course, it’s not completely accurate, it’s more metaphoric. But it does line up also with our Native American metaphor of the Courage Wolf residing in the heart. Courage is another word that comes from that root of “coeur” heart. And so courage means having heart.

And the Courage Wolf resides in the heart, and the Fear Wolf resides in the mind or the brain. And the brain basically that linear thinking, rational cognitive brain is full of biases and subconscious patterning’s I call those fear loops and stress loops.

And it’s the heart that allows you to intercept those loops and to inject the higher mind into the conversation to change your story about what’s real and what’s not real. All of that comes from your core, which is your heart-center.

So biologically we’re talking about really having a healthy heart and a balanced body/mind system so that you can begin to experience that.

Now let’s overlay the core… your core essence with the 4 quadrants. When you look into your core from the perspective of your self-awareness or your inner domain… and for those of you who know the Wilber 4 quadrant model, that’d be upper left or the “I” sphere… we’re talking about your core as a witnessing element. As your witness.

Now the higher mind and the witness are very closely related. But I would say the way I perceive this is your mind is the intellectual capacity of your witness. Your witness is really your pure conscious self. The conscious self that is slightly beyond thought but can watch thought.

And then can activate the higher mind, which is really aligned more with universal truths than with your desires or afflictions. Or attachments.



And so witnessing is one of our core practices, or core commitments in Unbeatable Mind. Our online training and our immersion academies… is to first learn… that’s like our first premise. When we learn to win in the mind, what we’re really saying is learning to connect with your witnessing self so that you can begin to disengage from the thinking self. Because the thinking self is biased, and we know that now from all of the research like Kahneman‘s and whatnot into bias. And how the subjective programming and epigenetics and all these different things are really driving reactionary mental models that aren’t necessarily serving us. And that’s part of the old operating system that we need to override.

So when we connect to our witnessing self, then we inject space between the thinker and the observer. And we can activate the OODA loop. We can Observe, we can Orient, and we can make a new Decision from that spaciousness or that pause. And then we Act decisively on that in a way that’s going to be more in alignment with our purpose and our peak performance.

So without being able to witness the thinking then we are merged with the stories. And those stories are heavily driven by a false perception of our past. And a weak perception of our future.

And so witnessing is a critical, critical skill so that we can change the story of our life. And when we upgrade our human operating system–Our Unbeatable Mind HUMAN operating system–then we can create an entirely new story of what it even means not only to be us… who and what we identify with as ourselves… but also what it means to be a human.

And my perspective is that that’s critical. We’re at a juncture of humanity and our evolution where it’s time for an upgrade. We need to become Homo Sapiens squared. And I’m not the first person to say that, obviously. I love Harari‘s work. And he wrote a book called “Sapiens” but he followed it up with a book called “Homo Deus” which I highly recommend. Which is really his look at memes and how the human being will orient itself from a thinking perspective for the next few hundred years or more. With technology descending upon us the way it is.

So if we don’t get in control and connect to our witness and change our story, then we have a very good chance of destroying ourselves. Like, the threats to humanity are so extreme right now. We’ve never before had so many existential threats that are our own creation. That we know of… in the history of humanity.

And it was all created by this operating system that was being driven by the Mana mind or the lower mind. Over the last thousands of years. And so the upgraded human operating system is operated by the Buddhi mind, or the higher mind. And that requires us to connect to our witnessing self, or our deeper self. And to reorient our lives in that direction, and to change our stories.

All of that is just the first domain of your core. And that’s the domain of your potential or your upper, left self quadrant.



All right so now let me shift focus to the domain of performance, which is your upper right. Which is your individual body as opposed to your individual mind. And your core needs balance, right? And so think about this in terms of your body’s core. They say if you develop your core, then you’re going to be balanced. You’re going to have more strength. I can’t tell you how much I’ve worked on my core to protect my back which I injured when I was 17.

And it was because I didn’t lift from my core. My dad asked me to lift this large log onto a wood chopper and my ego got in the way. And I lifted it with my back and not my legs. And you know the deal.

It just wasn’t pretty. I popped a hernia and crushed a vertebra simultaneously. And I was out of balance for a very long time, and so getting balanced there is really important. Now balancing is also… it comes in the form of balancing our physiology and we do that through breath. That’s why one of the most important practices of Unbeatable Mind is Box Breathing. And that brings us back into physiological balance.

Of course, since the brain is part of your body, that brings your brain back into balance which allows your mind to operate more effectively in that other quadrant that we just talked about. In the quadrant of the self. And you’re witnessing.

So when you’re balanced, you’re able to witness better. When you’re unbalanced your witness is going to be blocked or you’re going to be agitated and your brain isn’t going to be functioning very well.

So your core, when expressed from the second upper right quadrant, the realm of performance is all about balance. And balancing and committing yourself to a disciplined lifestyle where you’re going to have balanced fueling, balanced sleep, balanced recovery, balanced movement and balanced physiology through breathing, training or practice every day.

And that’s critical. And that’s also a large aspect of our training in Unbeatable Mind. And the whole hacking and peak performance industry really is focused on that quadrant or that domain. That domain of peaking performance.

For us it’s just one fourth of our model–of our holographic model here.

Now let me shift focus to the realm of connection. For those who know the AQAL–the four quadrant model of Wilber–this will be the lower left, or the realm of the inner experience of being connected to others. We might call that the team’s culture or organizational culture or societal culture. And culture essentially is the felt experience or the perceived experience of the collective.

And the key aspect of that is to deepen your connection, like the key way to grow 20 times potential with your team is for the team to experience greater connection, and greater commitment to the mission. And so when you’re deeply connected like we were on the SEAL teams, we actually had a lot of disciplined practices to create deeper connection. Which is unusual.

And so think about how do you expand your ability to connect? Well that has to come from your core. Both yours and the other teammates that you’re working with have to commit to developing your ability to be more present and to be more authentic.

So the aspect of your core that relates to connecting is being. And learning how to be instead of just do. Performance is about doing. Connecting is about being. Potential is about witnessing.

So how do you be better? How do you be more authentic? How do you be more trustworthy? How do you be more present?

Well, you have to commit to practices or disciplines that deepen those things. Well, what would deepen those things? How about mindfulness meditation? Or active, authentic listening? Or our Unbeatable Mind practice of speech in terms of how and when we speak?

And the clarity and authenticity and the integrity of the words that we choose. And of course, these all relate, because if you’re out of balance physiologically, then you’re not going to be very present. You’re going to be agitated. And you’re going to say and do things that instead of deepening connection, sever connection or lessen your experience of connection with other human beings.

And we’ve all experienced that, where you’re like, “Holy crap. I’m super-fatigued. I’m out of whack. Maybe I was up to late, or drank too much, or ate too much.”

And then when you’re with your team or your family, you’re just not there. You’re not there 100%. And so your being is shortchanged. Remember I said earlier that all these become self-reinforcing or self-destructive. And so if you’re out of balance, then you’re not going to be able to be, and your witnessing is going to be stunted as well.

When you’re in balance, and you’re witnessing your own thoughts in relationship to your connection or to the people in a relationship with. Or talking to. Then you’re going to be more present.

And when you’re more present, you’re going to be more connected, and the individuals are going to feel more connected. And this is how an elite team really 20Xs their performance. By 20Xing their connection.

All right, more on that in the future. IN fact, I just engaged with a new book with St. Martin’s to write about teaming and connection, so I’m excited to dig into that.

And I’ll probably be writing that through my new blog, which comes out, which I’ll start in September.

Anyways, that was a little sidetrack.

So let me close this off by looking at the last quadrant, and that is the realm of service. Lower Right. So the lower right is the outer or objective of the collective. Of the realm of others. So in this quadrant we’re talking about organizations, systems, structure, rules, roles, stuff like that. Anything that is having to do with organizing multiple people in some sort of meaningful work. So, you know, organizational development would be in this realm. And also you basically taking your team and focusing a team on a mission and of course, with that comes some org structure. Legal entities and accounting systems. And money raising and that kind of stuff. Execution.

And so again, this is the realm of how do we serve in the world? Well, we serve in the world by having a mission. And that mission is tied to some unique offer that only we have. That only we can bring to the world.

Now there might be many of us with similar unique offers, but to be honest–if you really were to compare notes with these individuals, you’d find that there is uniqueness there. And the way you bring your unique offer to the world is going to be different than them.

So all of this, of course, comes from what? It comes from that first circle, the core. Your core has the answer to what it is that you’re meant to do in this world. Your purpose or your calling.

And if you’re connected to your witness, and you’re balanced… and you’re deeply present in being, then that core purpose will be revealed to you. It was revealed to me when I began my practice of Zen meditation at 21 years old. And it took some time, but 6 to 9 months after beginning the Zen practice and committing to it every day, my core purpose was revealed to me. And I write about that in my book “The Way of the SEAL.” That’s what turned me away from my path as a CPA or back to run the family business. Toward the warrior arts and becoming a Navy SEAL leader. And then to become a teacher later after that. And that type of thing.

So all of that came from my core. It wasn’t me trying to be clever and think about what career would make me the most money. In fact, the money has trailed by quite a long ways. But it’s catching up.

But it’s because I focused on my core, and allowed that to define my focus. And then that focus allows you to express your unique offer in a mission to the world, so that you can serve boldly.

So to summarize, we have this core essence. The core essence is really at our center–our heart center–but it’s also kind of the core essence of our life. If we look at our life as having kind of a mind operating system, and that mind goes beyond our brain. Our whole body is our mind, and the mind expands or is also a conscious field of energy–then we can expand that consciousness by taking a look at committing to expanding our potential, our performance, our connection, and our service to the world.

And we can 20X each of these and then 20X them again. And there’s no limit in my opinion to our potential, our performance, our connection, and our service capability.

All of that comes from the core. The core is experienced at least in a limited sense–it’s probably in many more ways–but as far as I can get it in a place that I can clearly articulate it in this holographic manner–it’s experienced in 4 domains simultaneously. The domain of the self–self-awareness–the domain of our self-actions and behaviors–that’s performance–the domain of the self in relationship to others–that’s connection–and the domain of our mission–which is our work with others in service to the world through organizations and through structure. And that’s our service.

So in order to expand our potential performance, connection and service, we come back to the center and we work from the center out. By connecting with our witness, by balancing our body/mind system. By learning how to be more authentic and more present. And by learning how to focus on our uniqueness as a human being. And to bring that uniqueness into the world through a powerful mission.



Wow. Can’t wait for you guys to see the model in its graphical form. And I hope that is interesting to you. And that it translates well through audio.

Some of you maybe were taking notes. You can find out, of course, tons more about all this at unbeatablemind. I’ve just spent the last 18 months upgrading the Unbeatable Mind Online training. We’ll be launching that this week actually, or next.

And that also includes a coaching program. We just certified our first group of Unbeatable Mind coaches. Who will be supporting transformation along the lines of this operating system model that I just walked through.

It truly is a transformative, integrative, holographic model. There’s nothing else like it.

The work is not simple. It’s not quick. But it is effective. And right now the program–the foundation course is 12 months long. People who’ve committed to that have had total transformation in their lives.

And then we have a 24 month kind of advanced training, which will be also updated and upgraded. So by the end of 3 years you’ve essentially earned yourself a Black Belt in Unbeatable Mind. But you don’t have to do all 3 years. You could just do a few months. Or you could just give it a try.

And even just dipping your toes in can be a really inspirational and transformative experience.

All right. And if you want a look at the original genesis of the thinking, then my book “Unbeatable Mind” is available at Amazon. And my upcoming book “Launch” which is for Millennials will take this philosophy and training and bring it to our future generation of leaders.

Okay, there you have it. Thanks so much for listening. I hope this solocast was worth your time. And as usual we’ll be back on our guest programming next week. I like to do these solocasts… by your request… not maybe yours, but by the audience’s request… every 4 to 5 weeks.

So next time I’m going to get back on track and read the next chapter of the “Launch” book. So we’ll keep working through that.

Thanks so much for your support. You guys rock. Remember that it’s up to us to change the world one person at a time. But through our example and through our practice we can dramatically influence those around us, so we’ve got an entire ecosystem out there–entire tribes that are transforming themselves, and transforming their communities in the process. And this can happen in–like I said–the holographic manner. And within a very short period of time we can together influence a billion people. By training 100 million. Because each of those will influence 10 people. That’s pretty powerful.

I’m giving myself 25 years for that, but I think we can do it a lot sooner. And I think time is of the essence.


I will see you guys… Or talk to you. And visualize you. Next time.

Done here.


Join the discussion One Comment

  • Caroline Hart says:

    Mark the reason I’ve chosen you as a mentor is because I can relate to you. Robbins is great but there was always something missing there… You have the capacity to evoke and lead but you are also so grounded and down to earth. It always makes me smile when you use the term ‘and whatnot’ – the way you write is as if you’re actually in the room having a real conversation… many thanks to you and the UM team for your constant inspiration. With kindest regards, Caroline (Humanitarian Relief Worker and Single Mum of Four Amazing Human Beings)

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