Mark Divine served 9 years on active duty and 11 years on reserve as a US Navy SEAL before retiring as a commander in 2011. After his decorated career in the special forces, Mark went on the found Navyseals.com, launch US Tactical, and develop a revolutionary workout program known as SEAL Fit. He has also written multiple New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon best-selling books.
Favorite Success Quote
“Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.” ~Patanjali
1. Focus On People’s Character Not their Acumen
If you ever have the opportunity to sit down with any older businessmen or entrepreneurs and ask them the question “What was your biggest mistake”, nine times out of ten they will tell you that their biggest regret in business was trusting someone who they shouldn’t have trusted.
You see, even outside of the realm of business, it’s easy to overlook people’s character flaws because of their other resources.
I see many men fall into this trap in business, dating, and friendship.
It’s easy to ignore the obvious red flags with your new employee because they are a monster salesman and you know that they will make you a lot of money (until they end up stealing it back).
It’s easy to ignore a woman’s blatant character flaws because she’s wildly attractive and great in bed.
It’s easy to ignore your friend’s unscrupulous behavior because he’s funny, rich, and always makes sure you have a good time.
But if you want to mitigate risk and succeed at life, you must adopt a more cautious approach.
Learn to focus on people’s character and their virtues, not just their raw talent.
Because at the end of the day, it’s easier to train a virtuous man to become a good salesperson than it is to train a great salesperson to become a virtuous man.
2. Win the Morning Win the Day
Mark attributes much of his success to the powerful morning rituals that he follows in order to get himself grounded and ready for the day.
Something that surprised me is that Mark’s routine doesn’t take several hours, one hour, or even 30-minutes. He told me that he can complete his routine in 15-minutes on average and 5 if he’s really pressed for time.
Each morning he spends a few minutes in silent meditation, then he will focus his intentions on his life vision and the daily tasks he needs to achieve to move closer to that vision, and finally, he will review the elements of his “ethos” or the guiding principles upon which he operates his life.
And that’s it.
Whatever your goals in life, you need to start your day in a powerful state to set yourself up to win the day and achieve your dreams.
Personally, I try and start most mornings by watching something inspirational, reading a few pages of a classic book, journaling, focusing on gratitude, and incorporating some sort of physical exercise.
How you develop your own morning routine will be unique to your dreams and vision, but what is important is that you have a morning routine and that it helps you get grounded and ready to go out and achieve your dreams.
3. Turn Failure Into Your Greatest Asset
Many people believe that failure is a problem, that it’s a liability. But it’s not.
Failure is actually one of your greatest assets and closest friends… When you use it properly and learn from it.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that failure is fun or that you should try and fail. Failure sucks, there’s nothing fun about it, and nobody wants to see their dreams and ambitions fail.
But when you fail and trust me, you will fail, you have one of two options.
You can whine and bitch and complain.
Or you can dust yourself off, look at your failure objectively, and ask yourself “Ok, how can I do better next time?”
Failure is only failure if you don’t learn from it, if you don’t grow from it, and if you don’t reframe it so that you see each failure as a valuable teacher, educating you about how to achieve your dreams.
4. Realize that Your Growth is Limited by Your Shadow
There is an old saying that “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link”. And in the realm of personal growth, you are only as strong as your darkest parts.
I see so many men today who walk through their lives trying to elicit personal growth by constantly pushing forward, suppressing the pain of the past, and ignoring the emotional trauma that has held them back.
But the harsh reality of life is that you can only grow to the extent that you are willing to address your darkness or your shadow self.
We all have a dark side, we’ve all been hurt, we all have deep wounds and pain whether we want to address them or not.
And most men choose to ignore this dark side.
They try and move on with their lives and pretend that everything is ok when, subconsciously, the pain and hurt of the past is holding them back from living the lives of their dreams.
If you want to move forward in your life, if you want to truly succeed, if you want to open up to true intimacy and love and connection, then you must face your shadow.
You must address the pain, you must conquer your darkness and learn to use it for good.
Because if you don’t, you will constantly be haunted (consciously or subconsciously) by the parts of you that you dare not bring into the light.
5. Detach from the Details of the Outcome & Focus on the Vision
One of the biggest mistakes that many men make is that they are more concerned with the details of the outcome than the outcome itself.
For example, in the interview, Mark discussed his goal of impacting 100,000,000 lives. He told me that, while he is rigid in his vision, he has learned to be flexible in the details of achieving this outcome.
For Mark, it doesn’t matter whether he impacts 10 people who go and change a million lives or whether he impacts a million people who go on to change 10 lives. He is adamant in his vision, but he is flexible in the approach.
In your life and with your goals, you must adopt the same mentality.
Yes, you should have a strong, crystal clear vision and end game, but you must be flexible about how you achieve that vision.