Ep11 - Creating the Unbeatable Mind of a Navy SEAL with Mark Divine

Human performance coach and former Navy SEAL, Mark Divine, discusses how to develop an unbeatable mind through traveling your personal “5 mountain” journey, practicing integrative training, and incorporating a forward thinking morning routine, plus the keys to longevity.

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Human performance coach and former Navy SEAL, Mark Divine, discusses how to develop an unbeatable mind through traveling your personal “5 mountain” journey, practicing integrative training, and incorporating a forward thinking morning routine, plus the keys to longevity.

hello good afternoon folks welcome to another episode of head first with dr.
hill today’s guest is Mark Devine a human performance specialist and also the author of unbeatable mind and way of the
seal I think of a few other things going on welcome mark thanks for being here – thanks dr. hill pleasure so I marked it
up from the San Diego area for those of us who don’t know your rather eclectic
and long history can you give us a sense of what it is you’re doing and how you’ve come to where you are now
yeah sure again thanks for having me here yes so I’m I am a trainer and a
performance coach okay generally speaking I’m also an entrepreneur I’ve started six different businesses and I’m
a retired Navy SEAL a 20-year career retired as a commander in 2011 so I’m a
leader and a trainer of seals and special operators and treating Lee
before my Navy SEAL career I was a CPA however it is and what it collected yeah yeah what do you think of that so a
really hardcore mental effort and really hardcore physically of course I think being a seal is serious like mental
mental yeah yeah interesting me maybe maybe it’d be informative to go back and
explain kind of why I got in the seal that happened so I kind of started my own developmental path in athletics like
most of the most listeners here are you know athletes and there is obviously a physical mental transfer in the tennis
Leduc domain right so your your training your mind through discipline and through you know if I was a competitive swimmer so there are some breathwork there and
and a lot of concentration work and so obviously the spillover and the neuroplastic effect of exercises now a
well understood of course in the in the 70s and 80s it was just experience subjectively sure sure yeah and at any
rate so but I when I went down to New York – NYU to get my MBA and working
with Arthur Andersen at the time oh wow yeah and you know working full time getting my seat the eggs studying and
passing that exam I also got involved in a martial art okay and it was which one it was called Saito karate that’s the
idea oh yeah okay part of that – yes so Saito was founded by Grandmaster Tadashi Nakamura who was
brought the United States by masa Yama who was the founder of Ko Ko Ko can shy
okay OCO tkachuk which is a pretty intense you know kind of tournament fighting and system and nakamura was
more into the developmental aspect that you know the karate dope art which was you know the karate could be used to
develop you know a complete human being one who’s got a strong value said it could be a leader and that it was for
you know is for women he had a program for blind and disadvantaged kids we had a program for
you know for free what he’s nonprofit for those who can afford it and then there were guys like me who were like
really into the karate hardcore aspect but we didn’t necessarily need to go to
tournaments so in a fight I wasn’t enter for that I was in a for the developmental you know aspect of becoming a better person that was
fascinating because he understood the power of combining Zen you know
concentration training concentration meditation with the movement okay so that was very formative for me okay
and so through four years getting my showed on I did practically as much meditation as I did fighting you know as
the hardcore work so he combined the yin and Yan in her in the outer anyway so
during this period I also kind of because of all a lot of time sitting on the bench I had the Epiphany or the
awakening then the CPA path was not for me we finished it though finished CPA finished my MBA great the same month
that I got those degrees and that certificate I was on the train to Officer Candidate School because I
decided that I wasn’t meant for that career path I was meant to be a warrior and leader you know intend you were in
the Navy at the time no Terrell you so you so you would you enrolled and I got a an offer through
officer Kenneth school as one of two people selected that year to go to option in school with a guarantee to go through SEAL training ah
so anyways what’s why this is interesting is so I go to assess but I blazed through that I go to buds when I
show up at bud basic gonna wanted no malicious seal training there’s a hundred and eighty five people there and
you know there was something a little bit different by the way I was navigating myself day in and day out I
couldn’t quite put my finger on it right away but it started being aware of it as people were just
quitting at things that I thought were rather mundane you know what I mean like yeah we’re doing a you know three mile
ocean swim and it’s bitter cold but yeah so what it’s going to be over right and just kick stroke and glide and you know
I was doing all the things I learned in Zen and all the things I had learned and competitive swimming and you know that
events over then you know what’s the next thing I’ll show you get up for that you know prepare for it just get through
it then what’s the no so I was able to like chunk the the process down in these really small tasks and I was able to
control my mind and my emotions because of the training that I had sitting on the bench and through the martial arts
and through that nine month or six months buds and then sqt in my buds class of those 185 19
infested a while and I graduated down a man or number one grad in my class and
it was because of all that planet of training so you bring equanimity into physical training essentially yeah
absolutely out every day was just treated like a um you know just another challenge and I also knew the button
structures were there to try to probe and you know poke for weaknesses and and that if you let them in then you lose
right and so it required a significant amount of mental emotional control that
you know it’s considered an ordinary today even but for those of us who had
trained in the martial art with that then focus it was actually quite
ordinary because that’s what that training does it trains mental emotional control interesting anyway so that that
was a long time ago you know cuz I that was 1990 but that stuck with me obviously such a form an event had
changed you know to mention all the neuroplasticity effect that’s going on when you go through SEAL training every day you’re doing something really challenging
really new you’ve never done it before and you got to master it really quickly here jumping swimming diving shooting
running leading everything extremely uncomfortable and so the accelerant effect on your on your brain’s capacity
to to you know the complexity and recognize patterns was amazing so I came
out of that a different person and the one week in there that was like really amazing was the hell week
right okay Sohail week is a hundred and forty hours is six days straight of training non-stop around-the-clock no
sleep oh my goodness right and so you’re dealing with sleep deprivation you’re dealing with the people i shouldn’ta days in things let’s get weird yeah gets
really interesting and what I found during hell week was the put the power of the mind to start to take over so if
you if you think of you know just traditional wisdom would be that you know you as you get more and more over
tired that your body is going to start breaking down and you’re going to start you know just making really dumb mistake
and that is true you do so the seals are understand that okay in order for this to make sense we’ve got to have the
tasks that the performing be fairly simple like row this boat around the
Coronado Island for sixteen miles okay fairly simple task just do it yeah
stroke stroke stroke but a lot of weird things happen during those you know 16 mile a lot of hallucinations and a lot
of weird things so it’s matter can you control yourself to get through that task up and what I found was after day 3
most of my class was quitting but you know by that time so we had by the time we got the hell week which was week seven for us I think we went from 185
down to like eight ninety eighty or ninety and then by the time we got the day three of hell week we’re down to
like 40 people wow really separating the wheat from the chaff exactly yeah yeah and any rate what was interesting
about that one segment of training was that I started to feel myself get stronger by the third day and then I
started actually put muscle mass on my body by day four instead of decompensating doesn’t mentally
rightfully like that of people were grading at the ambit’s area because I was able to keep energy flowing and keep
breathing and stay focused even though you know I experienced sleep deprivation just like everyone else there was
something going on and because of the way I’d trained that I was able to convince my mind that this was a new
normal and that hey this is all it’s all good yeah and we’re going to just you know we’re going to get stronger we’re going to make it through this and my
body responded one of our sayings is heal if it is where your mind leads your body will follow and it’s actually the flipside of that
is true because if where your body leads your mind will follow when it’s untrained and so if you get an injury
and you and your mind starts to focus on the injury then you go weak no Kenneth Sigerson tells us that we’ll
go week because now we’re thinking about something negative we’re thinking you know we’re thinking energetically
sending signals of weakness and of degradation right so you can overcompensate or counter that by
interrupting that and this you know so pain management pain science has already proven this right you have you if you
don’t focus on the pain you focus on something else eventually the pain goes away because it’s just a just neurological signal sure sure I got a
chemical signal anyways I went quite long in that but that that um that experience of being a seal combined with
being a martial artist and then later on I got into yoga look starting with ashtanga yoga great you know I’m a big fan of that
I know terrific terrific practice and Ashtanga was created to taught to prob
do Pattabhi Jois who was the guy who brought it to America for athletes and warriors oh really I didn’t yeah it was
it was taught to him by Chris Macari and it was taught in a very specific way that’s why I stronger is very militant
like even you know keeping your feet together and standing at attention yep that was to teach young athletes and
young warriors right and it’s a very aggressive mm-hmm you know almost martial artists like yeah it can be
certainly enemy intent anyways so I I enjoyed the physical aspect of yoga but
then once I really understand stood the full scope as it was taught you know by
Patanjali and you know the the ancient Yogi’s Iran mental development as a science of mental development
integration then that that was opened me up to a whole new world as well and so I’ve been able to kind of integrate the
best of best techniques for development in the mind body and spirit from the
martial arts and yoga combine it with my Navy SEAL experience which also you know
had a lot of like hacking tools and we’re always looking for the best and you know what’s the most effective way
to shortcut and to get to get to learn and quickly so you essentially found as you were going through ridiculously
intense training that something was different and you had other resources brought in from other training it done
right assume you’ve taken those perspectives out now into training other
people right so that was a natural progression for the warrior you know first year the warrior ass and then you’re the warrior leader then
the Statesman and then you know you got to be a teacher yep and so I got into teaching in 2007 through seal fit and
that was where I started training seal candidates Special Operations Green
Berets even foreign you know a lot of Brits Canadians and Aussie SAS those
types of helping them learn what I knew to be effective to get through their training and to become better warriors
what I call a world centric warrior and that’s a warrior whose it was not going to get trapped in limited thinking in
even in the midst of a firefight or a mess of a very complex you know VUCA environment volatile uncertain
you know chaotic and ambiguous which that term book means and so I’m I started training them and then also
interestingly enough dr. hill I had a lot of entrepreneurs start to come and say hey you know I wasn’t able to go
down that route or I chose not to go down that route to be a seal but I’m extremely interested so I want to test
myself I want to learn what they learned yeah and it seems like you can teach us that and so I said yes I can and so it
opened it up to entrepreneurs and individuals so seal fit serves pretty
much anyone who wants to come and challenge themselves is it about a decade or so is up yeah ten years and so
it’s very physically demanding though it’s like an integrated training where it’s like you got to start with a physical and then you know end even more
physical but all the mental training is layered through that it’s a very team oriented anyway so um one thing I will
say is that not everyone’s ready for that level of physical sure fitness or
physical channel I spoke at your unbeatable conference last year and and I was invited to come down early for the week and do all the workouts and look at
the schedule is like oh I’m busy oh well sorry yes sorry I’m pretty common things like I want to get ready for a year
before I come to your project Lee I need to work out hardcore before I can handle the workout baking right yeah yeah so I
said I kind of acknowledged that and so I said well I still want to be able to serve you know folks who maybe not think
that ready even though I might think they’re ready because I know how to scale and bring people through that process so we created I wrote unbeatable
mind and created the MBL mind program which is you know the annual conference is the one you cure sure
and so that takes a different approach so that approach so where a seal set approach starts with the physical and
then ramps it up from there and layers the rest of the work in unbeatable mine starts with a mental okay
and then your it’s up to you how you add the physical or or maybe you know you
already have some pinnacles for some people it’s yoga for some people just Taichi for some people they they’re inspired to get off their butt and start
you know a CrossFit program or you know boot camp of some sort but that’s really
on you sure I’ll give you some guidance on how to feel and how to move and stuff like that but I really focus on the
mental development and then the emotional and then intuitive and then what I call the kokoro which is the
spiritual side which is really about grounding yourself and a powerful personal ethos you know defining once
and for all what your spirit soul what your you know what’s your unique offer
to the world is so what sort of things do people do when they come you know become an unbeatable mind or start
engaging with that well we its prime more primarily delivered through an
online course which is self-directed and what we do is and we also have a
coaching program so we’re now later on top of that a coaching program where the everyone will come meet with us once a
month and work with a coach one of my certified coaches during the you know
the months in between those four periods and what we do is we layered what we
call the five mountains and we have them develop a five mountain training plan and that five month training plan is to
make some movement or improvement on their physical mental emotional intuitional and spiritual selves or
lines of development or capacities and and there’s things that we ask them to do weekly monthly quarterly and then you
know annually or every 12 to 18 months and so we kind of develop this whole matrix of what you know what you’re
going to be able to do what you’re going to do in those five mountains physically mentally and emotionally intuition especially every day you know once a
week exactly once a quarter and so the daily might be things like your morning
ritual we have integrated training the integrated training is going to include things like breath work
concentration a little bit of movement integration of movement breath and keynote and sound maybe you know reading
obviously journaling a lot of the things but we bring it together in a nice package and the morning ritual is is
forward-looking so we we help people begin to take control of time and to
look at time differently so the we have everyone focus on the long term and then set the long term aside and then just
focus on the day great and I learn enough in naka morrow one day one lifetime an entire lifetime of learning
at a lifetime a living is exists in that day if you’re president of and intentional enough attention not
momentum right so the morning routine is let’s connect with our five mountains
let’s do something to integrate them and to refine them training training in
practice yeah but do it in a way that’s going to prepare to win the day so we visualize the day so that’s one of
the practices visualization you visualize yourself going through the day all the key inflection points podcast
with dr. hill boom it’s already won in my mind right whatever is next right we
see those we see yourself victorious you see it happening you’ve already you know as you know from visualization training
you’ve already experienced it so once you hit it then there’s a reference point on neurological and I don’t learning in corporation so we have the
visualization is forward-looking the intention is forward-looking the intention is what is the you know one
thing I need to do today to get me closer to fulfilling my ethos which is an align with my vision and my purpose
in life if I can accomplish that one thing that I’m a victorious warrior you know I mean I may end up doing five
other things but that one thing is that big thing isn’t going to move the dial I’m driving for that right anyway so
that’s one example of how we do that now another one is we you know we’re very serious about physical training but we
don’t look at it as physical training we look at it as integrated training okay so when we go to the CrossFit gym or we
do our self at workout or even if you just go to a spin class we’re not doing it because we just want to look good in
the bathing suit or we’re trying to lose five pounds those are really really weak motivators and weak goals and we
so are doing it in a way that’s very different than other people so we’re layering in all the skills I call them
the four big ones are breath training managing your mental dialogue which is a
concentration and a mindfulness tracker in and of itself right imagery what kind
of imagery are you going to use how you’re going to use your imaging faculties of your mind while you’re doing your training before
during and after and then task orientation how are you keeping your mind remember when I mentioned through
buds you know yeah okay on one task at a time chunking nice yes so you chunk it down so every workout you practice that okay
so instead of going like I got I got an hour of you know spin now you’re just going to chuck it down however you want
to break it out depending upon what you do for CrossFit it’s like you know I’ve got to do five rounds of these three
different exercise with it this rep scheme just focus on one rep scheme at a time don’t forget you know forget about
the rounds forget about everything else it’s one rep scammer time give yourself a little you know victory lap in between
that could be just setting the kettlebell down and doing three deep breaths or something like that you know I mean so chunking it down and trying to
state between those chunks correct so now we’re integrating you know breath okay has a mental emotional even
spiritual strain and capacity right you’re managing your internal dialogue right so task you know mental focusing
and concentration you’re focusing on concentration so that’s mental training
shifting where you’re using you know shifting the region of your brain that’s
doing the work right so shifting from cogno cognitive you know analysis to
imaging and being able to go back and forth with that like visualization and right like shifting so I donating I’m
going to project or I’m going to reflect mm-hmm right and then I’m gonna go back
to my you know neocortex and process sure and so being able to be able to
move your attention around to different geographic region to your brain and access very efficiently and effectively
those different aspects are different ways that your brain works is very interesting and then the actual task
orientation helps with your fear management and emotional control because I’m not I’m not allowing the
whole totality of this challenge overwhelming I’ve chunked it down to these little tiny bite-size chunks which
are easily accomplishable and so instead of the gap being huge I have these
little tiny gaps – step over along the way and it really helps with momentum so
this has been informed by your experience of ranking successful through these things than sort of regular eyes in the process for other folks that may
not have had all that foundation going into a stream thing like this right um I imagine you’re still adding in new
things you’re still learning you know your life it’s a constantly learning process and evolving like we want to use
what works we discard what doesn’t and also one size doesn’t fit all so what we with our clients we say okay so I might
you know offer you 25 or 30 different practices you’re not going to do them all you know at the same time it’s just
like what I’ve learned actually with yoga one of the challenges I have in our song is is you do this one right
sequence until you’re ready to move on to the next sequence and it’s one size fits all for everyone who’s willing to
take the challenge but ultimately Krishna Acharya taught that Yoga just
like what I’m trying to teach with on Beal mine is a personalized practice yep and the tools need to be you know
thoughtfully adapted to your lifestyle to your body type to your psychology to
your stage of life to your goals and so that’s what we teach is that my five
mountain training plan is going to be very different than your is going to be very different in someone else’s so the tools have to be you know thoughtfully
adapted and then how you use them for your morning the win for the day it’s different than how you’re going to use them in the evening ritual which is
going to be the seal that went in to learn from your mistakes and to prepare for the sleep cycle that’s great so
you’ve had active high-level performing military and intelligence folks you’ve had entrepreneurs who else engages with
the unbeatable way of doing things for you that you say well I’m really excited to work with young adults I think
there’s a huge opportunity with Millennials and actually teens and yet oh I’ve got some excuse me some partners
that I’m working with that I’m we’re going to try to be you know bring this training we are going to bring this training to a younger population I
already have some teachers who use that philosophy and the methods in their schools and whatnot and through my new
courage foundation we’re working with disadvantaged populations trouble regulation yeah oh yeah
this is something that’s really mind-boggling but there are about 10 million adult aged men who are fully
capable of work who are out of the workforce right now and they’re not even being counted in the unemployment rolls
because they’ve stopped looking right many of these are former former no
prisoners yeah former con people are selling because they can they can’t get a job right they they’re not hired but
hireable by any governmental agency which is a that’s wrong that leaves in change because that’s Hathi employers
and then of course most corporate employers are not going to hire yeah
there’s a push in California not to remove that checkbox I hold on applications that says have you been convicted yeah do you know and either it
needs to happen I’m glad California’s leading the way because now we got 10 million ex-cons who can’t find work and
this is why we have this major opioid addiction and you’re seeing the suicide rate going on for for both white and
black males of middle age it’s a huge problem so I want to we’re working with the Prison Fellowship to get unbilled
mine into prisons and into work with children and prisoners now actually I don’t know how we’ll be able to access
this group that I’m talking about so this is more of a generational thing right I’m sure but I’d love to work with all so those can be you know I mean yeah
this reminds me of what no Levine did the the Dharma Punk’s or against the stream guy even when he discovered
meditation one way that he sort of turned around and brought it back was he started doing mindfulness in the prisons
right to give people more control over that suffering that they’re stuck in something like the same thing for that long-term suffering we leave people in
after they’re discharged from prison with that true but also you know because mindfulness is baked into unbilled mind
you have all the benefits that you know a meditative practice yeah brings but
also the benefits of accelerated learning and what we’re trying to do is
vertical development instead of horizontal just horizontal horizontal development is you know I crew new
skills and then I become more skillful let’s say it’s stress management or something like a vertical development
is not only do i accrue those skills at this stage of development but I also have skills to elevate myself to a whole
nother stage of development where I’m going to see the world and a radically more integrative manner sounds like
agency increased agency is one of the things that would come from that when you start discovering where your
weaknesses are where you have better scaffolding for visioning you know progress more than just maintaining your
life and whatever it is sounds like a degree of agency to give that’s one that’s one word way to look at it so
you’re going to have more control over the decisions you make because you’re going to understand how the brain works you’re going to be able to avoid all
those biases and traps that we’re learning a lot about these days you know because our mind is wired to make a lot
of mistakes and jump to conclusions and this is why a lot of these guys end up in for women to end up in prison because
of one stupid mistake right you know and those are either emotional or some sort
of rutted patent pattern behavior we spend a lot of time in our training SEO fit and undo mind helping people expose
those patterns and those behaviors and then to eradicate them and to override them with that unbeatable mind process
of you know controlling the mind and emotion but not in a way like you know that word doesn’t have you know has a
potential negative connotation like I’m not doing mind control right right right I’m trying to teach people to take
control of unproductive thinking patterned up or even worse downright
negative and destructive patterns yeah yeah in the case of this population we were just talking about and then
replacing it with a whole new community user term a whole new scaffolding for how to use your thinking processes but
also to expand the capacity for what you perceive as the mind
yeah our concept of mind goes well beyond brain you know and now research
is proving you know the heart mind the belly mind the biome yeah we look at the whole body as part of your mind system
as well as kind of the ether around it right there’s an energy transfer when you start to tap into an integrative
approach you know to use your whole brain plus your whole mind well that
requires you will start to look at your emotional life because the emotion is part of your mind system is the felt experience
of mind sure yeah okay and so emotional and mental development we use some of
the same tools we use we use breath we use visualization we use internal dialogue well think about this feeling
state dialogue right yep so we use those tools to try to essentially wire you for
more effective mental emotional intuitive and spiritual integration which then tends to unlock like that
gaseous uh via definitely allows a greater capacity right so that agency you said but then it also allows a
deeper connection with other humans and connections that expand out so you move
through most believe it or not even though it’s a relatively early developmental stage most people I
wouldn’t say most but many people still get stuck in somewhere between
self-centered and ethnocentric let you know mindset and so like my football
team is the best in my country is the best might you know and it’s a rare individual who can expand beyond that to
more of a world centric that doesn’t mean you don’t still love your football team and love your country but you understand that hey this other person
has everybody’s right to love their full team love their country and have their views yeah and so you’re able to kind of meet them where they’re at and still
connect and and even there I say love them as something about empathetic serious my right eyelid ation of someone
else’s perspective right so that and so the word perspective is huge so part of this training is not only are we
expanding the capacity of the mind-body system horizontally but we’re elevating vertically where you can take greater
and greater perspective more integrative perspectives it is really incredible to see people experience breakthrough up to
breakthrough in this training you know and I get testimonials back to me every week it’s very cool very cool this is
the unbeatable mind that’s on the program and sounds like it’s just to recap a year-long sort of training
coaching program it has if a book and you also have this is it a one-week or is it longer every year we have a
coaching program and then we have this annual summit okay which is just three three and half days and we’re you know
contemplating other models one of the my favorite trainings that
seal fit was a three-day Leadership Academy and I spent hours and hours and hours and all to see all unbeautiful
mind was born out of seal set yeah right and so it’s still in seal fit but we’re
taking a feel for this to be more a little bit more simple model to just train physical mental toughness because
I find that it’s really designed more for warriors and athletes and so I’m good on mind I’m taking all that real
rich five mountain integrative stuff out of seals it and it rested on Bill mind but I might bring back you know a deep
Leadership Academy and amazing the very complimentary folks could get a lot out of doing both steals it and the
unbeatable mind yes climbing their five man for sure but like I said not everyone wants to do barbell work and
the hard core in everyone can bility this is one thing that I tend to really
focus on is doesn’t really matter where you’re cut where you’re at you can always make a change and it happen where
you know exactly you can always improve capacity improve goals right of resources yeah exactly and so also
within Bill mind will have the capacity or the structure to experiment with some
of the you know the cool things that are coming out of technology I was talking about halo earlier they’re like yep want to experience that and test that for the
seal community just an electro stem of your movement sure area your mind right
and stuff like neurofeedback and if it fits then I’m okay with a hack as an
accelerated developmental tool but it doesn’t replace the training in the practice right that’s a great point so I
you know I’m involved with neurofeedback mindfulness yoga and nootropics and I always think nootropics sort of falls at
last category more palliative more short-term and they can mask deficits
but not necessarily change you over time right so when folks come in working one-on-one they’re always saying you
know they sort of know me as the neurofeedback and nootropic guy and I tend to tell you let’s hold off on in tricks for a couple of months let’s see
where we can shift your bottlenecks baseline capacity and once the baseline is obviously different then you can
cause medical ego in and ensure equal nootropics and things yeah and I look at neutral because I take a product called
quality oh sure yeah Daniels Martin perhaps he was here a couple days ago yeah it’s probably like the Cadillac yeah the
mercedes-benz of nootropics at any rate I just look at it more like um you know
like if you’ve got a highly functioning automobile like let’s say you’ve got a vintage you know Mustang or something
like that yep you’re you’re going to be tweaking it practically every day right right you’re going to constantly
changing oil we’ve been constantly you know making sure that it’s polished up if so to me the nootropics are kind of a
long term you know maintenance program for the mine sure it’s not going to is
not like it’s not going to build a new engine for the mine right right and then the legislation is going to help you
kick from the grading because you’re keeping all the synapses and all the true I’ve said true nootropics are
neuroprotective and have a good long-term safety and tend to be anti aging a lot of things out there that are
labeled nootropics that i think are not that are that are more yea marketing driven caffeine would be in castings not
even modafinil I’m not a big fan I think it’s a it’s marketing more than reality
that’s nootropic and I already took it for a while hiding HD and I took it for a couple of weeks and ended up in the
hospital with head-to-toe hives as a systemic reaction from a daffodil it was very mild cognitive effects turns out
looking the literature but a Finnell with people who have ADHD the side effect profile is several times the
background risk okay so if you have some attention that soft and you’re using things that aren’t really suited for you
you may provoke side effects and to me that’s exactly the wrong thing to get out of a nootropic it should only
provide long-term health so right so we’re getting now into another topic that I like which is aging I’m on a
gerontologist and I tend to focus on aging throughout the life course you know prenatal to grave so to speak um
are you seeing some older adults come through your programs and get you Devon yes it’s unreal like we I think the
oldest has been 65 who made it through our 50 our course oh wow I’m not sure I
could do that yeah and we had one guy who 63 who did it twice he made 25 hours
the first time and then guy simply his body just said no more yeah and then he trained some more you know these guys are training hard though you
know it’s not something you just jump into but right in it you know these guys are on the outer edge of capacity for
that age I would say but more and more you know and the 65 year old guy who came through you know you look at them
and you said you think 50 yeah ya know right and so I think you know probably
50 is the new 65 right nice let’s hope I’m just 7950 46 so let’s hope fifties
and yeah right everything exists you know I’m sure you’ve talked about this before longevity is you know
self-management of the mind-body system yeah and yeah there will be nanobots
someday that kind of help that you know there I’m fascinated with technology and you know the prevailing wisdom right now
is if you’re 50 and you can hold out for 30 years you have a good chance of extending your life for another 30 years
of spying a third and at least where the technology got be but you know because
of my yoga background I also have a slightly different take on longevity because I have seen you know 105 year
Yogi’s and martial artists who look like they’re 50 yeah and you’re like how the heck yep now they’ve eliminated all
stress from their lives any meditate for six or eight hours a day they have a daily movement practice how you eat
extraordinary light yep yeah something that’s kind of evolved with me because we have you know we teach some nutrition
and stuff and people always ask me so what’s your what are your fuelling plan like and I said well I don’t eat that
much yeah right I think my training and all the work I’ve done is just like my body has gotten to this point where it
just knows what it needs and doesn’t crave anymore right right right so I have an ample in the morning now that’s
a funny there’s on facebook add some things yeah this basically food whole food in the hob how does it taste is
very good yeah yeah yeah I mean nice it’s not like you know chocolate cake or
anything like that but it’s actually good that’s great just add water shake it and you got a full meal with carbohydrates protein that all from
things like macadamia nut rice and really healthy kale and whatnot so that’s become my go-to for like my
morning slash meal and it carries me throughout the day that’s great we’ve been and now I might have a snack in the
afternoon like an acai bowl there’s my amendment super light dinner not just some salad or something so you try to
get to that and I have 30 40 50 years of yeah just don’t eat that much and I do
intermittent fasting so my last meals at 7 p.m. gotcha I don’t eat again until like 10:00 a.m. okay next day of course
caloric restriction is the only documented proven life extension that seems to work right now what are the
rats and you notices rat seals or lab rats basically for government you know only about 10 percent of mouse and rat
studies translate effectively to humans but never a caloric restriction has been documented now in human humans one of
the few things that we can show that activates a cert one gene and causes that hormetic where you stress the body
and it responds with a healing sort of response is that long-term or fasting or
both it’s it was long-term caloric restriction it was over a decade or more they showed some decreased age markers
decreased inflammatory cytokines like been telomeres things like that you know I think the reality is that we eat more
than we need to simply because of our culture and they held their food and this was something that that been talks
about Ben Greenfield and my friend Rob Wolfe is that the bioavailable food and the tastiness of it we were you know
we’re wired to want that well it was it was rare you know 20,000 years ago that we had rich sources of free
carbohydrates that gave us energy at will we had to sort of you know exert to get carbohydrates okay and now we’d walk
into Whole Foods and even even a good supermarket you walk out without horrible not much exertion to very
little fighting fighting through all the soccer moms in LA maybe and Whole Foods but beyond that it’s not not too bad
yeah so caloric restriction intermittent fasting you know making sure the sleep
is really sound all these things of course what you eat is important as well so I’m more ketogenic you’re not kind of
flow between ketogenesis and glycolytic avoid spiking that insulin basically right exactly and then daily training
daily movement if there’s I don’t think there’s a day goes by that I don’t move my body in some capacity I’m not always
doing some hard core thing you know cores four times a week and then the rest of the time is now yoga Marshall
movement you know yep paddling I’ve got an outrigger canoe or long walk in the beach with my my if you
know sir and every one of these training sessions is integrated and so I’m looking at like I could talked about
earlier from the standpoint I’m not just getting out I’m actually doing I’m stacking mm-hmm I’m stacking benefits
that’s great and and then of course the main thing is the mind youthful mind yeah you know so I there’s
times where because I don’t focus on it where I forget how old I am how old are you Michael my ass by 53
okay great that’s great but I’m 53 years old and I can routinely smack down that you know the the 18 or 19 year old
candidates who come with reminded me I did a Aikido for many years and one of the teachers teachers at Kenai sensei
was this little old Japanese man in his late 70s and he had a stroke and so he had some spasticity is bounces off and
come in and teach for a you know two day conference or something and he’d kind of stagger up to the mat and then the
moment he put his hands on somebody he’s flying through the air gracefully and all that learning that you know 50 60 70
years of his life over learning all these movement even with impairments he still had a lot of resilience and so
it’s not we aren’t going to get brain injuries or you know some age-related
cognitive decline or some loss of muscle mass or decrease of bone density as we get old but to some extent we can offset
those things and sounds like a lot of the things you’re doing would shore up and and I think so I mean some of the key things because it’s such a
fascinating subject for me as well as probably listeners I believe that resistance training is really important
muscle you know if you have muscular mass you want to maintain that absolutely right because that massive it
means blood flow yep nutrients energy right so that’s one is being them you
know doesn’t matter whether you’re doing a 400 pound deadlift but just move some weight yeah you know several times a
week another is energy management pranayama
mm-hmm okay so learning to work with the breath as lifeforce
instead of as just oxygen and carbon dioxide okay same where my time okay so the way the way that I do this and when
I was taught is to add in tension and visualization so that because you are every time we breathe you’re drawing in
life force so there’s like the electricity in the air right we can
breathe poorly and without awareness and that life force will still come in but
it’s not going to come in in a rich you know kind of energizing manner or we can take time to like slow down and
literally try to connect like a Tai Chi master with with the energy and then to imagine a visualizing to see it coming
into your body and stimulating through the you know the Nadi’s and your you
know your energetic system all your chakras and our energy centers and
moving out throughout your body so this is a visualization practice that I do and what it looks like is so inhale and
I’ll see like a white light kind of coming in through the crown of my head and then heading down my spine and then
flooding my entire body right and then exhale kind of collapses to like this
orange light and then it heads back up and then that that’s like exhaling toxins Eric talents stress and you
combine this with a mantra okay so you’re in pretty low in mindfulness practice very much of it well it would
be more of a concentration practice where I’m using a an internal dialogue
you know anchor as well as the visualization a Samata yes kind of approach is an integrative approach
breath mantra visualization three things going on and with that structured
breathing you’re probably getting some vagal tone activation kind of like it doing Jeff your own HRV without devices
I would absolutely because you’re breathing with diaphragmatic aliy which is going to trigger the vagus nerve in the person that nervous system so you’re
getting all that so it’s very calming so five minutes of this breath is extraordinary because you should begin
to feel with every breath like oh this tingling and this rush of energy coming in huh and this is you know I found this
for unbelievable benefit for recovering quickly from workouts or you know long workup
and for just energizing myself you know during the day when I feeling fatigued and these are one of the things you teach in these programs and people live
and yeah it is in your book this this breath were known in might I might put it in my new book this is something that
I’ve just been toying with and playing with the last five years Mike I think it’s like a Holy Grail for youth you
think about what were these Yogi’s doing every day and their meditation they’re not just often the void they might be
for periods of time but a lot of it is charging their body with energy I have a
glowing energy in yeah I remember one thing I’ll say about this I read
recently the guy who founded the rebreathing not rebreathing Network but
um rebirthing yeah yeah the over breath yeah yeah birthing Network I forget the
guys name at the top notch area he wrote it like a Lamoni is really the weird
little book that he’s talking about immortality you know because there is this notion out there that there are
deathless Yogi’s sure I’m familiar with the type of concept I read bottom I’ve
never met anybody and he’s made it his mission to go find some of these people any claim that he’s met by four or five
of these guys and one of the guys he met with in India he went the guy wouldn’t meet with him you know he literally was
like 50 feet away and and so the guy the guy wrote the book just asked him said
it how do you you know what is your main practice he goes well I avoid other humans
Jason point here it’s like well that probably would work you think I’m negative humans are okay vampires in
suck you know energy interesting anyway so I guess one way to do it is to drop out of society and go be a monk in a
cave but I don’t recommend that for most people right it means it’s not sustainable for most folks you have to do things like pay bills and you know
for eat and things like that so unfortunately I’m not everyone can can be the the the spiritual guru full-time
right right and I don’t be interesting to see and I think you know a lot of people think with technology that we’re
going to get that right I don’t know be interesting to see whether whether the human being I don’t sure what the heck
that would mean for human culture if all of a sudden we live for five hundred or thousand years you know
I be a bizarre experience I bet one thing it would do would eliminate language barriers I’m of the opinion
that if we all spoke bro understandable to each other conflict would be much
less thing sometime I mean you’re really just nationalism this ingress is out group identification there’s real
reasons for that from an evolutionary perspective protect your genes against you know unlike your genes but now in a
modern culture we don’t really have to fight for survival of our genes the same way and so I think it’s time to you know
put the tower Babel back together and limit and remove the communication barriers I think that’ll remove a lot of
the nationalism a lot of the yeah I mean II go over attachment Google will create a universal translator and you just pop
this thing you didn’t swallow it or you know it’s right and every word that comes out of your mouth will be
understood here they’re their translator it’s an algebra that’s an AI and they told it a few months ago to come up with
a new way of translating and without telling anyone it created another language it created a lingua franca that’s
intermediate with all the languages it’s exposed to on the planet really so it created this almost like an esper on
general language yeah and it’s a scaffolding layer between all other languages so a few months ago suddenly
Google Translate went from being man okay accurate to amazingly accurate it’s not phrase based translation meaning
based translation and they looked at how it did it it created this entire other translation layer and another language a
google language that the machine created that was intermediate between all the concepts and words it was being exposed
to and a fascinating so things like that are starting to emerge and this is of course is probably kurt weill
singularity at least the more you know reasonable claims on that i’m not sure i believe all the deep claims he’s making
these days but um things like that are happening so you and i are you know just just south just north of 50 we can
manage other you know 30 40 years will happen we’ll get a little bit longer so yeah i do i agree with you on that i’m
reading kurz Wells book right now how to make a mind mm-hmm and then there’s another the
next one on my docket is called the emotional machine or something something
along those lines I can’t remember the exact title but the idea is that there’s also an AI movement
to create an emotional yeah experience yeah and so could that was
always been like so emotions you know you know the machine seemed to be devoid of emotion but if a I can you know learn
to feel now we’re getting somewhere interesting but my idea is that you know
of course a lot of people will agree with this and then the hard scientists and proof Louie is that you know the
mind is not the brain you know the a eye movement to just recreate the brain or
the function the brain is missing the point sure your mind as consciousness is something different the brain is just
the organ that’s the meaning makers Gathol did or calibrator provides the structure so that we can translate like
google translator wasn’t going on our consciousness isn’t just hanging out but able to have a human experience that’s
what the brain does yeah but you know what raises is no that’s not true consciousness is just more complexity
yeah add a recognition and complexity and that there’s a point where that complexity gets expansive enough in a
you know interconnected enough that it becomes self-aware right yeah I’m not sure I get what I sort of believe Chris
well in that way I’m a bit of a reductionist plus he is although I do think the best thing that Kurzweil has
given us is still the Kurt Weill organ in the 70s and 80s we would not have music in this in this modern world
without kurtzweil given us the organ so I still think he also invented voice recognition software did a yeah
interesting so he’s is pretty dark crazy history considering that we know them as the as the exponent guy these days so
it’s wonderful so mark what else are you doing what else you bring it out into the world whether projects are you getting into 20 folks about a couple
exciting ones one is you know I the way I talked about seal fit it sounds like holy that’s like you know the
double PhD and functional yeah it is and it is so and it was very hard to scale
our business like that sure we can train maybe a few thousand people a year in person so we’ve created something called
seal fit boot camp ok which is kind of a get started here program and it will we
filmed it for the first time we actually filmed me leading and actually couple my coaches leading you know a small group I
think three in a studio setting so sort of like p90x right right but it seals it
and we they’re all the mental training those four big skills we layer it through and we’re doing you know yoga at the end of
it and breath control and practicing mental you know dialogue and realization all through the physical training and
the training is very simple but hard meaning anybody can do it if you’re willing to work hard yeah so like 9tx
there are millions of people did it what I loved about those programs that is Beachbody is kind of proved that hard
exercise actually sells not sure there’s going to pave the way for us so we’re launching that April 15th brand I’m
really excited about that because it’s going to allow us to help a lot more people get functionally fit and mentally tough and then if they love it then they
can come into the lifestyle of seal fit and maybe attend one of our events like scrawny acts and whatnot the other thing
is is I’m writing a new book now this book is kind of writing me okay
the next and here that’s the right kind of book to write that’s the next generation of the unviewable mind
philosophy and it’s going to take me probably the rest of this year to get it
done and conversations like this and all the other people that I’ve had are starting to really have an impact and so
the book is broken in the fight and this will become our next training program as well see the evolution of the training
is broken into five major sections and I title them wake up grow up clear up open
up and show up okay and Brad it’s going to be cool I won’t go into all the details but each one of those sections
is it is like a mini training program in and of itself right waking up is like exposing yourself to the capacity for
your own potential growing up is essentially the tools that we’ve been talking about how do you how
do you do integrative training to expand your no capacity use your whole mind clearing up is the part where most
people need to spend a lot of time that’s the emotional work getting in touch with the emotions especially men clearing a past emotional baggage of
releasing all the energy of regret and shame and anger and all the stuff that you know stopping some resilience it is
developing an emotional resiliency through self-awareness and social awareness and that one is a doozy
because most people might be you know super cognitive and get all that stuff but then they keep torpedoing yeah not
most people a lot of people will agree with me even myself you know this is born on my own experience you know and I
was top Navy SEAL in my class and everything still as a leader I would torpedo myself with some emotional baggage
from my youth you know so that’s clearing up opening up is is learning to use the intuition I call it
the seal belly the Buddha heart in the yogi mind okay so instinct intuition and insight
hmm how do we tap into that it’s a part of the whole so you see we’re getting into that whole mind first cognition and
then emotion and then intuition and then spirit and then the and and then the
last section is showing up is how do I take this new me that’s upgraded me that’s able to deal in this VUCA world
as a leader how do I build a team around that and have the team experience the
same sort of accelerated development and growth and just go out and kick ass and take names but for the benefit of
humanity right not just for my own pocketbook or for my own ego sounds great well mark it’s been a lot been
wonderful having you here a lot of stuff to think about I’m sure listeners are furiously googling the internet right now trying
to figure out all the different things we’ve we’ve touched on thanks so much for showing up and coming on the show today where can our listeners track you
down and find out more about you and what you’re doing yeah well guess if you type my name into Google run by Mark
Devine div ine then seal fit will show up okay so and unbeatable mind calm will show up and of
course Facebook we have a Facebook thing and you know all that kind of stuff if what we talked about was interesting my
leadership book the way of the seal is really people find that to be really useful for taking and leading like an
elite Navy SEAL sure and my philosophy of living and a lot of the training we talked about is in the book unreal mind
both those are available at Amazon or great Barnes & Noble alright folks to check out marks books come be a near fit
seal in in Southern California check out the online training programs and all the books mark is pumping out throughout the
rest of the year so again thanks so much mark and folks this has been another episode of head first with dr. he’ll
take care of your brains and we’ll see you soon [Music]

Mark Divine

Mark Divine is an expert in human performance as it is displayed in mental toughness, leadership and physical readiness. His work is based on an integral warrior-leader model that he developed and tested on over a thousand special operations candidates worldwide. The integrated training, which involves physical, mental, emotional, intuitional and spiritual training, has resulted in over a 90% success rate for the Spec Ops candidates. 

It is now taught to executives and corporate teams, tops sports teams, top athletes, professionals, first responders and warriors from all walks of life.

Mark is the founder and leader of several highly successful enterprises including SEALFIT (Physical and mental training), Unbeatable Mind, LLC (Executive Mastery Development), NavySEALs.com and USCrossFit. He also co-founded the Coronado Brewing Company in Coronado, CA.

SEALFIT developed out of the Navy’s SEAL candidate Mentoring program, which took the pass rate for Navy SEAL candidates from 33% to over 80% on the Physical Screening Test at Navy Boot Camp. This program was instrumental in helping the Navy grow the size and quality of the SEAL force.

Mark’s other professional experience includes 20 years as a Navy SEAL officer, retiring as a Commander in 2011. Also 4 years as a CPA with the firm now known as PriceWaterhouseCoopers prior to his joining the Navy. As a reserve SEAL he led several prominent projects, including the Navy’s internal study on whether to support the invitation of USMC into the Special Operations Command.

Mark served as Adjunct Professor of Leadership at the University of San Diego and has authored four books: “The Way of the SEAL,” published by Reader’s Digest Publishing, “8 Weeks to SEALFIT” and “Kokoro Yoga” by St. Martin’s Press, “Unbeatable Mind” and the “SEALFIT Training Guide,” both self-published.