In the world of leadership and personal development, the concept of peak performance can be a game-changer. In the Peak Performance Leadership podcast, host Scott McCarthy explores various facets of leadership, resilience, and success with high-achieving individuals. In this special episode, we revisit a thought-provoking conversation with the incredible Mark Divine, a former US Navy SEAL, author, and leadership expert who brings a unique perspective on leading, achieving, and excelling in today’s fast-paced world.

Meet Mark

Mark Divine is a former Navy SEAL and the author of the acclaimed book “The Way of the Seal,” a guide to thinking like an elite warrior to lead and succeed. His insights and strategies have been instrumental in helping countless leaders, professionals, and athletes optimize their performance and tap into their full potential. As the founder of SealFit and the Unbeatable Mind program, Mark Divine continues to inspire and mentor individuals worldwide to harness the power of their mind, body, and spirit for exceptional results.

Timestamped Overview

Here’s a detailed overview of the topics covered in our insightful conversation with Mark Divine, complete with timestamps for easy reference:

  • 06:23: Mark Divine’s morning and evening rituals for maintaining focus, improving performance, and sustaining positive momentum.
  • 12:45: The compounding effect of daily improvement and the significance of incremental progress and learning for long-term success.
  • 17:58: Mark Divine’s take on fueling oneself on demand throughout the day and the benefits of spot drills and physical fitness for mental clarity and productivity.
  • 22:10: Insights on the process of learning meditation and practical tips for beginners to incorporate mindfulness into their daily routine for enhanced focus and awareness.
  • 29:15: Mark Divine’s journey from a young age practicing Zen meditation to his time as a Navy SEAL and the profound impact of Zen principles on his leadership style and personal success.
  • 35:40: The concept of 5 mountain integrated training and its role in developing emotionally mature, intuitive, and purpose-driven leaders.
  • 40:52: Mark Divine’s introduction to box breathing, its numerous benefits for stress relief and mental clarity, and its widespread adoption among professionals from various fields.
  • 46:20: Mark Divine’s perspective on great leadership, highlighting the importance of taming the ego, authentic servant leadership, and the value of teamwork and accountability.

This insightful episode offers an in-depth look at Mark Divine’s philosophy on leadership, mindfulness, and peak performance, providing invaluable guidance for individuals looking to elevate their leadership skills, optimize their potential, and thrive in today’s fast-paced world.

Remember, you can check the full episode for even greater insights and wisdom from Mark Divine, and don’t miss the special release of the new edition of “The Way of the Seal” with two additional chapters.

As we wrap up this episode, Discover more on Mark Divine’s books and training programs at and SealFit. We hope you enjoyed the revisit of this enlightening discussion with Mark Divine and are set to conquer your goals with renewed determination and focus. Stay tuned for more empowering leadership lessons and be sure to share this episode with fellow leaders and high-achievers. Thank you for tuning in!

Guest Resources

If you are interested in learning more about Mark and his resources, then check them out:

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The following is an AI generated transcript which should be used for reference purposes only. It has not been verified or edited to reflect what was actually said in the podcast episode. 


Scott McCarthy [00:00:01]:

Good day, ladies and gentlemen. It’s your chief leadership officer, Scott McCarthy, here. And I wanna let you know we’re doing something a little bit different this week. For the 1st time ever, we’re actually going to do a redo episode, one that I recorded quite some time ago. In fact, this episode originally aired July 18, 2018, so, like five and a half years ago. Crazy to think. But I wanted to do this for a couple of reasons. One is that I’m actually extremely busy with my day job right now, working 12 hour days and so forth.

Scott McCarthy [00:00:45]:

So but I still wanna bring you great content. So I figured why not go ahead into the archives and dig out some of these great episodes that maybe you haven’t heard. And if you did hear, you know what? It’s a great time for a refresher. So today’s episode is with Mark Devine, former US Navy Seal and top BUDS candidate. And we get into all kinds of amazing things right now such as, mindset, meditation, how to control your physiology for success, how a morning routine can achieve focus and success, how learning to meditate actually times takes time and practice. And, actually, you know what? That is something I personally need a reminder for as well. How you can focus on breathing for stress relief, and great leaders tame their ego and care for their team amongst so many other great topics. And so much of this is pertinent as we get into the holiday season, and there’s lots of stress out there for sure.

Scott McCarthy [00:01:55]:

Maybe you’re traveling. Maybe you have family that coming that maybe you don’t necessarily get along with all that well. It’s okay. It happens to all of us. Or perhaps this is a stressful time at the work front for you. Totally understandable. This is a great episode for all of it. And that’s why I dug it out of the archives for the 1st time because There’s just so much great content in here.

Scott McCarthy [00:02:21]:

Mark is a fantastic speaker, and this is one of 2 episodes we have of damn, so who knows? Maybe I’ll break it out and we’ll do a back to back for next week. Actually, you know what? Let’s do it. We’ll do a back to back Mark Devine, next week. And what this is going to help you do is set you up for success going into the new year. So. With further ado, why don’t you sit back, relax, enjoy this redo episode with former US Navy Seal commander, Mark

Scott McCarthy [00:02:53]:

divine. Mark, man, welcome. Moving forward Leadership podcast. It’s great to have you here.

Mark Divine [00:03:09]:

Scott, thanks for inviting me. Nice to meet you, man.

Scott McCarthy [00:03:11]:

Yeah. Ditto. You know, I every now and then, I throw out, random awards for my guests, and you get the, award of the 1st special forward former special forces

Mark Divine [00:03:20]:

guy. No kidding. Yeah. That’s awesome. Yeah. That’s Pretty cool to note that I was up there, in Canada train training the guys out out of Shiloh. Yeah. Princess Patricia Brigade.

Mark Divine [00:03:31]:

What a great group of guys. We had them all doing yoga, by the way. I got a picture of us in, in their, you know, big bay where they had all the Amtrak’s, What we call ManTrax. And, and there were, like, 75 guys doing Kokoro yoga with me. They loved it. Awesome.

Scott McCarthy [00:03:48]:

I saw yeah. So I don’t

Mark Divine [00:03:49]:

not a picture you see very often, Ron.

Scott McCarthy [00:03:51]:

No. No. Actually, we had almost a whole base in my last base in Borden, which is just about an hour north of Toronto for, CaneForce’s fitness day or health day or something like this.

Scott McCarthy [00:04:02]:

And it it was yoga. Nice.

Scott McCarthy [00:04:04]:

Almost the entire base. So almost about, you know, about probably about 2 to 3000 people. It wasn’t the whole base, but it was pretty close to it. 2 to 3,000 folks out on a big o big sports team.

Mark Divine [00:04:13]:

You know, I’ve I’ve been teaching yoga to seal trainees since 2007, and, they love it and they use the breathing obviously for focusing concentration That’s where we developed our box breathing practice, and, it got them developed, you know, doing concentration training and visualization, And it’s totally natural to them, but I couldn’t really call it yoga. I I had to call it, like, navy seal mental tactical training that, You know, that’s what my new mind training kind of all evolved from, but I knew it as yoga.

Scott McCarthy [00:04:45]:

That’s awesome.

Mark Divine [00:04:45]:

Isn’t that cool?

Scott McCarthy [00:04:46]:

Love it. So one of the first things I like to do on my show is to get the guest, give, you know, quick background about them, who they are, where they come from, anything interesting. So why don’t we start off there, and then we can talk about your life, in in the seals and that jazz.

Mark Divine [00:05:01]:

Sure. You want me to just give give you a synopsis of who I am? Is that you?

Scott McCarthy [00:05:04]:

Yeah. For

Mark Divine [00:05:05]:

sure. Okay. Well, I’m, from a small town in upstate New York, actually pretty close in the Canadian border. We used to crossover into Montreal from, like, classic to to get Radour’s beer when I was a teenager. Nice. I mean, it had, like, 8% alcohol and it was we just thought that was the bomb.

Scott McCarthy [00:05:24]:

Love it.

Mark Divine [00:05:25]:

So I I probably grew up a lot like you did, you know. It’s like small town, upstate New York, rural farming community, spent my summers up in the Adirondacks roaming around the, you know, the woods and the mountains Always in and out of the water. Developed a keen interest in nature and in hiking and in swimming, which led into kind of like an endurance athletics career through high school and college. I swam competitively at Colgate University where I went College is also in upstate New York. Long cold winters. When I left Colgate with a BA in economics, I followed my, you know, kind of my teammates and my friends down to New York City where I got a job with, Back then, what they call the big eight accounting firm, which are the 8 largest accounting consulting firms in the in the world. They’re now the big four because they’ve all kinda merged. But, I started the you know, my 1st career was essentially, honored, you know, and I became a certified public accountant.

Mark Divine [00:06:31]:

You’d probably call them chartered accountants or something up there. And, went to NYU Business School, Stern School business. Got my MBA in finance and all that happened, you know, 20 graduation, you know, around 21 years old until about 25. And, You know, I tell this story in my book, The Way to Seal, but during that time frame, I had a major shift. It was like an early midlife crisis, you know, without it being midlife. And I think that yeah. Quarter life crisis, Which I am super grateful for because I didn’t have to go through it in midlife or later in life even. But I just had this kinda, like, existential crisis, and It it came about, I will have to say, because I started studying Zen meditation, through, I got I was studying karate with a grand master, Zen master, who’s gonna masquerading as a karate instructor.

Mark Divine [00:07:26]:

He was also a master karate instructor, but he’s, You know, he was teaching us zen, zen principles, zen warrior mindset. He had us practicing zen meditation every day and then for an hour on Thursdays, And we would go to these retreats. 1st, they were voluntary, you know, not not not everyone did them, but I jumped on every single one of them. We would go up to the Zen Mountain Monastery in Woodstock, dark New York and, you know, spend the whole weekend there with the monks. And what happened, Scott, and this is kind of like a a a good jumping off point, you know, for some other conversations. But what happened is at a very young age, my mind really changed dramatically from all the meditation and all the, No. All that work I was doing, you know, as you as you know in Nils, young men don’t really fully develop their brains till, like, 25, sometimes even 26. And I was getting that massive neuroplastic stimulus through the zen training, at a very young age, and it opened me, like, open me wide eyed.

Mark Divine [00:08:28]:

And and what I saw, I didn’t like initially. Right? Because what I saw was that I was I was kinda living this lie. I was living someone else’s story for me. You know, the whole grub for money and climb the corporate ladder and Having to be in business, this wasn’t really me. And when I looked inside through the Zend training, what I saw was something else. I saw a lawyer, I saw a leader, I saw someone leading other people in, you know, risky and dangerous environments, and that’s what’s inspired me. And, Every time I get off the bench, I’d be super excited about that, and then I would go back to work and I’d be super miserable, and I was like, okay, I gotta do something. So I left corporate America at 25 and joined, the navy, US navy.

Mark Divine [00:09:13]:

Went through Oscar Kennedy School. I was 1 of 2 people selected that year, then I went seal training. And, seal training, I found my new home. I found my brotherhood, and I went to seal training in 1990, class 170, Graduated this honor in my class. Out of a 185 students, I graduated number 1. And, you know, I credit the zen training, of course. You didn’t heard that I was a great swimmer, And, okay with a lot of pain. You know, I was I was pretty good at taking pain.

Mark Divine [00:09:42]:

So spent 20 years in the seal teams, 10 of it active, 10 reserve, and As a reservist, as you know, I could, you know, get out and kinda have a norm somewhat normal life, except, you know, when I got recalled to executing. And that’s when I got into entrepreneurship, and I wanted to really get back and teach what I learned and, you know, Not only what I learned from the SEALs, but also from my lifelong, training in the martial arts and yoga, and so I began to train other SEAL trainees And through my business Seal Fit, and that was, you know, that’s a whole another journey that I probably can stop here because there’s some you know, it’s just extraordinary. The impact we were able to have with these young warriors, and now I teach everybody, you know. I teach corporate execs and teams and Soccer moms and kids.

Scott McCarthy [00:10:31]:

Uh-huh. No. That’s that’s wow. Yeah. That’s amazing. So much in there. That’s pretty crazy to think of how you were, you know, on that whole stereotypical corporate world and corporate life on plan and and, glide path to use a a flight term. And then all of a sudden, you just got into, meditation and one eighty.

Mark Divine [00:10:52]:

It was a one eighty for sure. I mean, I’m not sure if you’ve called it one eighty, but it was certainly a a a serious departure from the norm.

Scott McCarthy [00:10:59]:

Right Absolutely.

Mark Divine [00:11:00]:

On the standard. And, man, did I was I heavily criticized and questioned except by my closest friends. I mean, my parents literally thought I, you know, just literally lost my mind. And, you know, because here I was, like, quote, unquote, throwing away my MBA, CPA. Depth. This perfect white collar career. You know, we have a family business, that all my brothers, my 2 brothers and sister work for and have worked for forever. Of course, my dad expected me to come back and work for it and, you know, kind of be the golden boy who with his MBA and CPA would guide it into the future, and I just had no interest.

Mark Divine [00:11:35]:

But if I hadn’t Sat down on that bench with Nakamura and over that 3, 4 year period really done that work, I probably would be there today. You know, Scott, it’s, and a lot of people what I found, a lot of people kinda find themselves in that situation where they’ve never been exposed to these these things. That’s why I think it was a huge blessing. And part of my, you know, calling in life was to get exposed to these things early on so that I could live it and then teach it, you know, while I was still able to reach a lot of people because, you know, you might have someone like like my instructor, Nakamura, you know, He threw karate. He was able to impact a lot of people, but certainly not enough to affect, you know, global society. You know what I mean? And I’m not saying that I’m going to, but I have a goal of of affecting, transforming a 100,000,000 people. Now, those 100,000,000, you know, if they could each then through the way they live impact 10 people. Now we’re talking about a 1000000000 people.

Mark Divine [00:12:31]:

You know what I mean? That and I’m not the only one out there doing this and I’m not training and certifying people to teach these things, you know. Generally, I think that everyone is capable of so much more Then they that that they’re aware of. Right? They don’t know how to access their full minds capacity Because they’ve been taught the wrong things and also they’ve been taught a very limited view of what the mind is. And we have a conflationist, view of the mind being just the brain. When my experience in through my All of my meditation and yoga and the Navy Seals was that your mind power is in mesh throughout your body. You as a warrior probably appreciate this, like, your brain is your body, and so your mind is the experience of your brain, which is your body. So body, mind, spirit are all 1, but we experience them in different ways. We experience them as physically, Our physical balance, our our mobility, our fitness, you know, our health, our, you know, our weight, you know, our strength, power, We’ve we’ve experienced that how we show up in the world.

Mark Divine [00:13:45]:

We also experienced it energetically and, through our balance or, you know, diminishment of energy or replenishment of energy, and then we also experience it through our mind, but To be honest, to be fair, those are all part and parcel of the same experience. And so what I try to teach people is is start up. How to look at their their life as the optimization of their mind, And then it it affects everything else they do. It affects their body. It affects their emotions. It affects their intuition. It affects their spiritual spirituality. It extra relationships.

Mark Divine [00:14:29]:

And but the mind, I don’t mean brain. I mean, your mind as a As a collective whole.

Scott McCarthy [00:14:36]:

Yeah. Completely.

Mark Divine [00:14:37]:

Body mind system, you know?

Scott McCarthy [00:14:38]:

No. It’s some seriously deep stuff, Mark. I love it. I really love it. So here’s, I guess, a follow on question is, how did you or, you know, how did you use meditation and this mindfulness dang in your leadership style, your leadership approach when well, you know, I guess you’re both while you’re in the seals in the team and since you’ve moved into the business world.

Mark Divine [00:15:01]:

Yeah. It’s a great question. So I didn’t really know when I was in the seals that I was using it, but I was using it all the time. Dash you know, even in SEAL training, you know, one of the reasons that I I was so successful in training and honorment of my class was because I was able to control My mental and emotional states, using the skills I had learned from Nakamura, had trained with on the Zen bench of breath control of also, managing my internal dialogue of mindfully noting when my brain started chatter and lose focus on the task at hand and being able to redirect it back to that task. Being able to appreciate by that some of the biased decisions that were creep that could creep up and to be able to, you know, interdict those and to find my way to a better decision. And I would say probably the most important was the ability to be really present, to to realize that, you know, being right here right now where I could really listen to my teammates, really think through and listen to, like, the admission orders, the instructions, and and really be able to ask myself what exactly is being asked of us here, What’s the mission? You know, how are we gonna best accomplish this mission? And then the capacity to visualize the mission outcome in my mind And to also visualize things that are likely to go wrong and to visualize options for overcoming those. Now these are skills that are now starting to be top back then. You know, what I just described was I’ve never heard another seal instructor Tell me or anything.

Mark Divine [00:16:43]:

It was just happening because I had trained it through Zen and through, you know, some of the experiences that Nakamura put me through. So those are the things that that I think are are helping leaders or will help leaders today Really breakthrough and understand how to lead in what we call the VUCA environment. In the in the military, in the special ops since particular. We used to say that the environment is really volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous, VUCA. And who cares? We still gotta optimize our our attack plan and really get the job done in spite of all that. And so we don’t let volatility and certainty, complexity ambiguity, stall us or or set us set us off track. We use our skills to be really effective in that environment. Well, business leadership is starting to look a lot like combat.

Mark Divine [00:17:39]:

You know, everything’s moving and changing so fast. I understand. Yeah. Everything’s gotten we moved from from complicated to complex in the last 5 years where where where there really is no well known or definable answer to a lot of things. You just have to try things out and iterate, you know, this, You know, very well. So

Scott McCarthy [00:17:55]:

Yeah. You

Mark Divine [00:17:56]:

can say it’s putting

Scott McCarthy [00:17:57]:

its own overlay, as I say, and and and Yeah. Best. Right? You can’t just use the cookie cutter solution, which people have gotten used to for years.

Mark Divine [00:18:05]:

And we were trained both in business and in school, and it’s just it’s a linear kind of industrial age, and it’s compartmented. Stove piping. Stove pipe and kind of flat way of looking at the world. Now we have to kind of step out of that and look at it holographically. Bit We have to look at it as a complex system to systems. We have to be able to take multiple perspectives simultaneously, And this requires us to really kinda upgrade our whole entire operating system and people are saying, how do we do that? And what I’m saying is You can do that, but you gotta slow down, sit down, learn how to meditate, learn how to visualize, learn how to control your physiology through the breath, and Recharge your energy body, learn how to use your whole mind, which includes your heart mind, your gut biome mind, you know, your whole mind, brain mind, And your body’s central mind. Right? As well as the energetic field of intelligence that that surrounds you, we will call that intuition or instinctual. Probably not so much instinctual, because that’s mostly epigenetic, but, like, your intuitional mind is how your how you relate to the world immediately near you and outside of you to gain information.

Mark Divine [00:19:20]:

So, like, the way a lot of soldiers and seals over in, Iraq and Afghanistan are are, like, getting Sensations and imagery of

Scott McCarthy [00:19:29]:


Mark Divine [00:19:29]:

Roadside bombs planted before they even get there. That’s what I mean by that. That’s the mind that extends beyond your body. So we wanted to train people how to tap these skills and how to begin to use these skills through a process of integration. I call it 5 mountain training. Train yourself physically. We have a lot of different tools to train how to really be different in the way we move and the way we look at We look at movement and moving with the breath and moving with proper alignment and mobility and all that. So it’s physically, Physiology, nutrition, all that fits in that category.

Mark Divine [00:20:04]:

And then mental, so we have physical, mental. Mental includes both rational skills as well as non rational or Not irrational, but non rational, nonlinear, you know, things like, visualization and sensory development. And then emotional development. That’s one that really, really is important for leaders is to learn how to be emotionally mature and You still with me?

Scott McCarthy [00:20:31]:

Yep. Yep. Well, I’m I’m I’m I’m like I’m in, like, in a zone here just

Mark Divine [00:20:34]:

listening for you. Yeah. You’re gonna have to edit that out. Sorry, because Something popped up and I couldn’t see anymore. Yeah. So the emotional development is really killer. That’s what, you know, takes a lot of time in and of itself for just become more emotionally aware just to see what we call what boo, what background of obviousness things from their childhood are, You know, are really tripping them up and causing them to make bad decisions. And then the intuitive part, I’ve already kind of addressed that.

Mark Divine [00:20:59]:

That’s really when things start to integrate and you’re able to feel your body more, the sensations. You’re not, you know, the sensations aren’t corrupted by false ideas or false beliefs, Which is what, you know, a lot of times emotions are. So and you’re able to actually transmit information to and from others through your body, like Empathy. Right? It’s actually your heart communicating with another person, and your biome, you know, reacting to the danger is that gut check. You know what I mean? Or fear. So we learn to appreciate the power of that intuitive, and insightful and instinctual Intelligence that we all have. And then the last of the 5 mountains, so we we we have physical, mental, emotional, and then instead of saying spiritual because that, No. That’s kind of a that term has kind of been hijacked by too many people.

Mark Divine [00:21:53]:

We use the term kokoro. Kokoro is a Japanese martial term that has deep significance and it means whole mind or heart mind, and also merging your heart and mind into your actions. So this is like going out in the world and doing something important like a warrior would serving his country or her country or being very clear about, you instead of just going to work and earning money like I was as a CPA, you know, trying to, through your business, help change the world in some way that’s meaningful to you, that’s Cora. Right. That’s like living your your purpose with your hair on fire. No one’s ever gonna, you know, get in your way or cause you to quit. You know, this you know, you might have bad days, but it never deters deters you from your mission. There is no quit.

Mark Divine [00:22:40]:

That’s heart, mind, and action, and you also are really deeply connected to your team and to a broader team of humanity. So you’re doing, Yeah. You’re you’re inspired to do good for good sake for the humanity and for the earth and not just for your piggy bank or, you know, just for your Club your tribe or even your country. You know what I mean? This this type of thinking is really, in my opinion, is is utterly necessary for us as a human race to move on to the next level, you know, and even to be able to understand and and to navigate the technological change that’s coming on us. I see now, you know.

Scott McCarthy [00:23:17]:

No. We’re, we’re not even near anywhere near the beginning, and let alone

Mark Divine [00:23:22]:


Scott McCarthy [00:23:23]:

Into the deep of it. Wow. Those yeah. Those those 5 elements that that’s a that’s a awesome philosophy for sure in

Scott McCarthy [00:23:29]:

a way to look at it. Just

Scott McCarthy [00:23:31]:

to keep with that theme though, How could leaders use this in in in their decision making style, cycle and decision making process so that they can make, you know, better, quicker, sounder decisions in your mind.

Mark Divine [00:23:45]:

Well, there’s gotta be a starting point, and for us, the starting point is, creating a daily routine. So you here’s the thing, we we’re warriors. When I wanna teach people to think and lead like warriors because that’s super effective and necessary for this period of life that might change, you know, in 20 years or something like that. But right now, you know, warriors step into the, you know, in into the gap and solve the problem. So every day that the warrior lives is a precious day, you know that. Right? Especially when you’re in combat. We have this saying and Nakamura used to say this in the Zen talks, one day, one lifetime. What that means is today might be my last, so bit Let’s let’s make it our best.

Mark Divine [00:24:28]:

The other way to look at it is every day is a lifetime of learning. It’s an opportunity for a lifetime of learning if you pay attention. In order to do that, you’ve gotta start simplifying. Right? We gotta we call it the kiss principle. Keep it simple, Sally. Start simplifying and and say no to most things and say so you can say yes to the right things. So in order to do this, we have routines and rituals. So we start our day with what we call morning ritual.

Mark Divine [00:24:55]:

That morning ritual, we’d be we do 5 mountain integrated training, So that means we do some box breathing or breath work. Mhmm. Then we do some light somatic work. If you have time, you might squeeze your workout into this period too. Then we, we do some concentration and work on our mantra for positivity, feeding the courage, wealth, then we do some visualization, and we visualize ourselves 3 years out and 25 years out. And then at the end of this full morning ritual, we check-in with our plan for the day in our ethos, our stand, and we ask ourselves, is our is our plan in alignment with our stand? A lot of times, it’s not, and so it’s an opportunity before you step put out the door to make some changes to your, you know, your plan for that day, to what your focus was, to what your main thing is that you’re you’re you need to accomplish that’s gonna move the dial forward to obligations that you may have committed or others may have committed you to. Now it’s time to say no to keep it simple so you can focus on the right things. That whole process, that unreal mind ritual, that morning ritual, we call winning in your mind before stepping into the arena.

Mark Divine [00:26:03]:

It’s a famous Sun Tzu quote. Victorious warrior wins and then loses his mind first and then goes to battle. Whereas, The average warrior goes to battle hoping to win.

Scott McCarthy [00:26:15]:


Mark Divine [00:26:16]:

So we do this in the every morning wake up, win in our mind, And then you go and kick ass and take names. And then at the end of the day yeah. At the end of the day, we have an evening ritual, which kinda is a more of a look back. We call it recapitulation. We learn from Everything that went wrong, you celebrate the few victories, so you maintain that positive momentum. You do some more box breathing and maybe, like, a recovery pose, prepare yourself for sleep, that kind of thing. And so those 2 act as like bookends so that every day becomes a one day, one lifetime opportunity to really put forth your best self and to learn and grow, you know. So every day you do this and you get, like, let’s just say, 1% better, 1% more clear, on why it is you’re here on this planet and what you’re supposed to do about it.

Mark Divine [00:27:06]:

1% better at making decisions and staying focused 1% better at working with other people and being able to take their perspectives and to really gel on the lead team. And all this stuff, the compounding effect of that is extraordinary for me. Yeah. That’s just such a simple thing, but it’s hard to do. So we give people the tools and the motivation and the kind of the framework for for doing those types of things. And then during the day, we also to have spot drills and and ways to stay really connected and in the moment and energized and to activate all 5 of those moments. New. So it’s a no excuses program because I’m always at work.

Mark Divine [00:27:46]:

You know, that takes a lot of time, and I said, well, not really because, you know, you can do the whole morning ritual in 15 minutes. The evening, we’re training for 2 minutes for 30 minutes. Yeah. You can do a lot of this training. It’s part of your workout. So instead of just working out, you’re gonna train yourself with 5 mountain training during your workout, and and we teach people how to do that. And then, you know, during the day, you’re gonna do all these spot drills, you know. And also the way we teach people how to fuel themselves is important.

Mark Divine [00:28:13]:

You know, we we think three Where sit down meals a day is a is a is a myth. Human beings were not meant to to feel that way. So, you know, it frees up a lot of time. I don’t have sit down breakfast. I don’t have sit down lunch. The only meal that I actually bought ever sit down for is with my family in the evening, and then that’s just a light meal, you know. It’s it’s it’s not the heaviest meal, it’s the lightest meal Because I’ve been fueling myself throughout the day as needed on demand with the right stuff. And, and it gives me a lot of energy and it frees up a lot of time.

Mark Divine [00:28:47]:

So the rest of the thing, Scott, I I had that all the way back before I went to the seals. I didn’t like using lunchtime for for eating lunch.

Scott McCarthy [00:28:56]:

I I think I watch that workout.

Mark Divine [00:28:58]:

Yeah. It’s a great time to train, you know. It’s, like, essential time to train, actually.

Scott McCarthy [00:29:03]:

I find it I find I I I it it basically puts a break in my day. You know, the midpoint of my day, we’re all I I I work I forget about the the morning crap that went on that I had to deal with. And the stuff that’s left over, it’s still hanging. During the workout, I become much more clearer. And then, also, suddenly, I know the way forward on making those decisions. And then I’m ready to roll for the afternoon. Once again, I’m a shower and a a small luncheon today, and I’m ready to go again.

Mark Divine [00:29:29]:

Awesome. Yeah. I hear that.

Scott McCarthy [00:29:31]:

Alright, man. This is, this has been my quietest podcast ever because and that is

Mark Divine [00:29:39]:

That’s funny. Well, I’ve been, you know, talking 303 100 words a minute with a few gusts up to 4:50. Sorry about that. No. No.

Scott McCarthy [00:29:46]:

Bit Don’t be sorry because it’s it’s really good. I I kinda hit it like, wow. We were talking, like, time has flown, but I do got 1 more last question for you. Well, actually, I have a couple of last questions. But if someone hasn’t been into meditation, has been they haven’t really been into being more mindful in mindfulness in connecting with complete body and their mind and all those and thinking like a warrior and kicking ass like you’re talking about this whole time. Where’s the you know, a couple tips, you know, 2 to 3 tips on where they can begin to start being more that way.

Mark Divine [00:30:17]:

Sure. I’ll give you one important one. There there’s a whole process to learning how to meditate, and it and it takes a couple years. That’s why most people fail when they meditate. They would think, you know, I’m gonna sit down and I’m gonna not think or I’m gonna sit down and I’m gonna really concentrate on this guided this guided audio, and then their mind just starts racing off. It takes a while to cultivate that stability to be able to concentrate on one thing or then or even to, be able to drop in into the state of pure presence or what they call touching the void. It’s really difficult to do. It’s precious when you do that or if someone listens are like, yeah.

Mark Divine [00:30:55]:

I’m sure There’s people who are listening to your podcast. Yep. He’s right. And I I I’ve experienced that. So I’m there. Great. Because it takes a couple years. So the starting point, we start with the breath, because the breath is you know, some people we say will start with movement, but movement with the breath.

Mark Divine [00:31:13]:

Right. So, like like, tai chi or yoga. It’s a great way to start, because now you’re you’re still physical, you’re still outward focused, but now you’re getting closer to having an inward focus because you’re concentrating on the breath and you’re moving. Yoga is not exercise. Right? Some people in the western most of the western inflated yoga exercise. It’s not. Yoga is concentration training for busy people, active people who have to basically continue to move until they’ve really cultivated stillness in action to where then they can sit in meditation. So, we do we do start with mindful movement, somatic movement, and then we go the 2nd step is to do what I call breathing.

Mark Divine [00:31:56]:

This is our gift to the world. I started box breathing many years ago, and I’ve been teaching it to seals and everyone else since 2007, and now it’s It’s kinda like word is becoming like Kleenex. It wasn’t something I could trademark. I tried and it’s no. But, you know, but that’s fine. It’s my gift to the world, but it’s so simple, you know, and I didn’t invent it. Yeah. It came out of yoga.

Mark Divine [00:32:17]:

Also, I’m saying is you you wanna sit down and for 20 minutes a day, but start with 5 minutes a day. But eventually, you’re gonna get up to 20 minutes a day. You’re gonna just breathe in that pattern, a 5 count inhale, 5 count holding of the breath, Five count exhale and 5 count holding the breath. And ideally, you’ll do it with your eyes closed, and so it has a lot of the features of concentration training. Because you’re Concentrating on that pattern, but, what an incredible experience because it what it does is it it keeps you in a state of of balance. So it’s triggering your parasympathetic nervous system. It’s massaging your vagus nerve. It’s stimulating all the relaxation and recovery hormones.

Mark Divine [00:33:00]:

So you get the bleed off all the stress that’s build up in your life, both acute and chronic. And, and then because your brain, and your heart, and your belly are all part of your body mind system, It’s calming those aspects of your of your mind down and so that results in a real state of clarity That, you know, you can make better decisions in that space. So boxed breathing now is being used by doctors during surgery, attorneys, you know, during their courtroom, you know, appearances, business people during board meetings, you know, I I talk to read multiple times a day. I use it before everything that I’m gonna do that’s important, and I do it every day in the morning. So I think that’s that’s one of our secret reference. Our training at unbeatable mind, we actually layer in we consider box breathing to be kinda like the foundation, Then on top of that, like an app. On top of that app, we build in other tools. So on top of the Box Breathing Foundation, then we’ll build in the tools to cultivate the positive, powerful warrior dialogue, that internal dialogue.

Mark Divine [00:34:08]:

We call that feeding the 3rd world, And then to create mindful awareness so that you can have great situational awareness. Everything is going on around you and inside of you, then to learn to visualize powerfully. Both the practice of skill and the practice becoming the kind of person that is worthy of stepping up to some of those big audacious goals that we wanna take on. And what we call task orientation, which is chunking things down to the smallest arc that’ll lead to success, which helps keep us really radically focused and present. All of those we train through this box breathing practice. This this is money skill for any leader. So start, you know, adding this to your morning routine, right when you wake up. So when we wake up, grab a glass of water, sit back in bed or on your stool or in your chair, straight spine, and just begin that 5 count inhale, 5 count hold, 5 count exhale, 5 count hold.

Mark Divine [00:35:03]:

And when you’re done with that, get up and do some, you know, some light yoga or worse. Something that’s gonna move the spine and kinda reintegrate your body, and, you’ll be off to the races.

Scott McCarthy [00:35:15]:

Awesome tips. Awesome. Awesome. Well, the whole show is fantastic. Wow.

Mark Divine [00:35:19]:


Scott McCarthy [00:35:19]:

I’m gonna have to re I’m gonna relisten to this one. So I don’t know if you know. I do a key takeaways portion at the end of the show. Or usually, I’ll recap 2 to 3 of my key takeaways from from

Mark Divine [00:35:30]:

this. Great. I’m

Scott McCarthy [00:35:31]:

gonna have to filter because I’ve been taking notes this whole time.

Mark Divine [00:35:35]:

I get it.

Scott McCarthy [00:35:36]:

I’m gonna be redoing the whole show. Mark, it’s been a pleasure to have you on the show. I do got 1 last question which I ask all my guests, and that is according to you, Mark Devaughn, what makes a great leader?

Mark Divine [00:35:49]:

You know, I think a great leader is someone who’s taught themselves that it’s not all about them. So they’ve tamed they’ve tamed their ego And they generally care about their teammates and the mission, and they’re willing to suborn their own victory or their own need to, you know, for the applaud and for the success to be theirs to to the team. And that that is that needs to be trained. It’s not No. Very few people actually have that without let me put this a authentically. Right? It has to be authentic, because if you’re If you’re pretending, like, if you read, you know, servant leadership, you know, or or, like, there’s a lot of books like, you know, out there like this, sweet from the heart or something like that. If you read it, you’re like, oh, yeah. I gotta be like this.

Mark Divine [00:36:35]:

And you try to be like that, but you’re not like that, then everybody knows.

Scott McCarthy [00:36:39]:

It certainly comes across easily Yep. Fake. Right. Deep.

Mark Divine [00:36:42]:

Right? So you can really work on

Scott McCarthy [00:36:45]:

it. I always say that, I’m the reason for my guys’ failure, but they’re the reason for our success. Right?

Mark Divine [00:36:50]:

That’s awesome. Down. Yeah. And the military is a great place to learn this because, you know, you truly have to rely on your teammates for your life, for survival, for the mission. Different. You train together. You suffer together. You sweat.

Mark Divine [00:37:02]:

You bleed together. And ultimately, it develops great respect. Just, you know, when you check your ego at the door, what you’re really saying is I respect you. I trust you. I care for you. Let’s go get it done. You know what I mean? That’s why you see a lot of military guys hug and And people like, you know, you don’t ever see that in the business world. Right? And and guys were able to call themselves out and call each other, you know, when someone screws up to call them on their shit, you know, but to do it in a way that, you know, it’s not.

Mark Divine [00:37:30]:

It’s like, okay, you’re right. You know, when people come when my teammates called me out on my true up. So I was, like, thank you. You’re right, you know, and you develop, you know, you would you call the thick skin, but it’s really a big heart. You different.

Scott McCarthy [00:37:44]:

Definitely another level of trust. Right?

Mark Divine [00:37:47]:

Yeah. Absolutely.

Scott McCarthy [00:37:48]:

Awesome, Mark. I thoroughly enjoyed the show. I know the audience all too. So this time where I flip the mic over, although you’ve had the mic the whole time. But, you know, feel free to you know, where people can find you, give yourself a still say the shameless plug. You are releasing another edition, a new later edition of your your book as well, so you feel free to talk about that too.

Mark Divine [00:38:11]:

Okay. So I’ll start there. The one of my books is called The Way of the Seal. It’s just I just love this book. It’s so much fun to write, and It’s kinda like my tree ties on how to live the warrior way. You know, we chose this the way of the seal because I was a seal, navy seal for 20 years. A lot of what we talked about, you’ll find in the book, but the book is really for leaders. The subtitle is think like an elite warrior to lead and succeed, And I’ve got a I had a, opportunity with my publisher to do a new edition for the 5th anniversary that it’s coming out on Memorial Day.

Mark Divine [00:38:42]:

So 2 new chapters, 1 leading in accelerated times, and 1 building lead team. Key takeaways for every chapters and edited and updated. It’s super cool book, and the cool thing about this book, Scott, is it’s getting more and more relevant every year. So I’m excited about that. That, you can find more about that and also get a free. Workbook PDF is, like, 40 pages with all the exercises stuff by going to the, way of the, And you can preorder it there. SealFit is our our rigorous, physical mental training program for warrior athletes. Unbelievable programs we have there.

Mark Divine [00:39:19]:

One’s called Cocoral Camp, which is our 50 5 0 hour nonstop Training program that’s modeled after the seals hell week. And we do custom programs for private, groups, you know. We do a lot of high schools and College teams and professional teams and not as well as corporate teams. And then Unbeatable Mind is our executive coaching program, and, we’re getting into business developer. Not this developer, business coaching, teaching people all the skills that we talked about. So undoing is that. And then my and I have a book by that name. I’m doing mine, which is really where this all started, and that’s available at Amazon.

Mark Divine [00:39:57]:

Thanks for letting me do that.

Scott McCarthy [00:39:58]:

Yeah. No worries. For the audience out there, again, things are always made easy for you guys. For everything regarding Mark, all the links and stuff, you just go to show notes, moving forward, and we’ll ship.comforward/ by 4 is in 54. You’re gonna find, the links to his websites as well as links to his books, and they’ll be also listed on the Moving Forward Leadership, resources page too. So, Mark, again, man, thank you for your time. I know it took us a little bit to get this, off the ground, but, I truly appreciate you taking time, out of your schedule and, from the hotel room that you’re in. Right.

Scott McCarthy [00:40:32]:

Vacated from your house. For the audience, stick by, and, I’ll have my key takeaways after I figure out which ones I’m going to use. That’s awesome. Today.

Mark Divine [00:40:40]:

Scott is awesome. Thank you, buddy. Oh, yeah. Cheers.

Scott McCarthy [00:40:57]:

And that’s a wrap for this episode, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening. Thank you for supporting the Peak Performance Leadership podcast. But you know what you could do to truly port the podcast, and no. That’s not leaving a rating and review. It’s simply helping a friend, and that is helping a friend by sharing this episode with them if you think this would resonate with them and help them elevate their performance level, whether that’s within themselves, their teams, for their organization. So do that. Help me.

Scott McCarthy [00:41:29]:

Help a friend. Win win all around, and, hey. You look like a great friend at the same time. So just hit that little share button on your app, and then feel free to fire this episode to anyone that you feel would benefit from it. Finally, there’s always more. There’s always more lessons around being the highest performing leader that you can possibly be, whether that’s for yourself, your team, or your organization. So why don’t you subscribe? Subscribe to the show via moving forward leadership.comforward/subscribe. And until next time, dump, boss, and thanks for coming out.

Scott McCarthy [00:42:12]:

Take care now.