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Flip the Switch Episode 18: Mark Divine Part 2

January 5, 2018
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SOPHIA: Today on flip the Switch, we bring you part 2 of our interview with Commander Mark Divine. We discuss the process of goal setting, the necessary steps to take in order to hit your goals, and a variety of techniques you can use every day to improve your focus and overall mood heading into the New Year.


Let’s get into it.


00:46 AUSTIN: Welcome to Flip the Switch presented by Power Digital Marketing. We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and we are happy to have you back.

00:54 PAT: Yes. We have part 2 today of Mark Divine. Very excited to share the rest of this leading into the New Year.

01:00 AUSTIN: So if you didn’t have a chance to go and catch part 1, stop right now and go and listen to the episode directly before this one. It’ll be just under where you just clicked. It is very important that you catch that one. We get the intro of who he is. And then also, he leads us into his philosophy.

This part is going to cover a lot of how he applies that. So a lot of his teachings, what his classes are about. And then also goal setting for 2018. So we’re almost there. The New Year’s coming up in another week and we really want you to set goals that are going to be. Something you can hit. Something that you can keep in mind the whole year and something that you can be successful in.

So without further ado, let’s hope into the interview with Mark Divine.

01:40 AUSTIN: So it seems like visualizing is very good for problem solving and truly unlocking your potential as a human being. Do you have any techniques or certain processes that you do on a day-to-day basis that help you work on visualizing? Or what’s that look like for you to make that an action item?

01:58 MARK: You know, it requires a… there’s a process to learn. First of all there’s practice visualizations. When I want to learn how to… or when I want to improve a performance, like an athletic performance, then we have to have an image in our mind of what a perfect rep looks like. So you could watch videos of other people that are really good. You could videotape yourself and get course correction. Or have a really powerful moment, and just lock that in as the image.

So it’s usually a combination of these. Like the top sports teams will videotape the individual performing but then lace it with amazing performance of others. So then over time you just get this mental image of what perfect practice is.

And then, you know, you can play that over in your head. And when you practice perfect practice–it’s going to have a neuro-physiological effect on your body. To where all of a sudden, you’re just… repetition.

03:03 AUSTIN: That’s the way it is.

03:04 MARK: It’s the way it is. And so you’re getting repetition without exerting the energy. It would have been really hard for me to spend that extra hour in the pool every day. Cause we’re already doing 5 or 6,000 meters. It wouldn’t have gotten me anywhere because the law of diminishing returns with physical… you need the recovery. But in recovery time, you can visualize…

Cause the energy required is pretty low compared to the physical output. And it has a certain recuperative effect in that there is a very relaxing component to visualization practice because you are in a different mind-state. And your body’s very calm and the way you use your breath is different. And so there’s a lot of physiological recovery that’s happening while you’re practicing. So it’s an incredible complement to training.

So that’s the practice visualization. But you can’t go from zero to hero on that either, because the reason is most people can’t concentrate long enough. So…

04:04 PAT: That’s personally an issue that I know that I have…

04:05 AUSTIN: Most humans…

04:06 MARK: Well, most humans, right… We’re very distracted. And…

04:13 AUSTIN: And getting more distracted…

04:14 MARK: Yeah. Compared to… We’re much more distracted nowadays compared to my little 375 person no-cell phone, no Internet, Jalopy days right?

04:24 AUSTIN: Yup. Colgate cap.

04:28 MARK: Yeah, screwing the caps on the Colgate. That was like “wax on, wax off” you know?

So, think about how distracted we are. While your brain is getting distracted and it’s getting a little dopamine hit every time you check your email and your Facebook page. And so now someone says, “Hey, I heard this podcast and this navy SEAL Divine was saying you gotta sit down and meditate. And then I can learn how to visualize.  And then I’ll reach 20X performance and my life’ll be great.”

And so I sit down and like my brain is all over the place. Thinking about this and that and then my phone bings and bongs and dings, and I pick it up and check it out.

So, first–in order to begin to learn how to visualize, we gotta learn how to concentrate our mind. And to do that, we gotta learn how to focus on just one thing. And imagery is not great to learn how to focus. Even though, imagery and visualization is concentration, by definition, because you’re just concentrating on that imagery. Until you learn to hold your attention on one thing, imagery… there’s too much going on. And so it can be very distracting. You’ll find yourself veering into fantasy very quickly. And fantasy is just unstructured visualization. Spontaneous. But it’s not going anywhere. It’s not helping you improve your skills at all.

So this is the beautiful thing about the Zen training is Nakamura, he understood this. And so the basic, 101 Zen practice was just to concentrate. Don’t do anything else. Just concentrate on a count. So sitting on the bench, and you’d inhale, exhale and count 1. But don’t think about anything else. Inhale, exhale, count 2. But don’t think of anything else.

So by the time you get to 2 most people are thinking about something else, so… and then they don’t realize it for a long time. And so then the practice is then, “Oh shit. I’ve been at least… spent a minute and a half thinking about my girlfriend and the date we had last Saturday night. And wishing I hadn’t said those things…” Now I’m in a past state, right? Reflecting back.

Or I’m fantasizing about where I’m going to take her next Saturday night. And what we’re going to do. That’s the future state. So I’ve just gone way away from the present. And then, you know, I could linger there for a long time. Some people will linger there for the entire meditative practice, and be like, “I feel more relaxed, but I’m not sure what that accomplished.”

So the Zen practice… this is a very disciplined practice. Literally, it’s the Navy SEAL training of meditation. As soon as you notice that your mind has wandered, you literally snap back to the breath, but go back to zero. You don’t get any credit.

07:11 PAT: Right. You’re starting over.

07:12 MARK: You start over. Do not pass Go, do not collect the $200. Just start over, back to zero.

And it’s one of the most frustrating things. Until you get to like 3 or 4, and you’re like, “Holy shit!” And then you have to go back to zero, because “Holy shit,” is a thought.

07:31 AUSTIN: (laughing) Because you realized you got to 4…

I think  that something that a lot of people have a hesitation about is they have that fear of trying something new because they know it’s going to take… there’s a learning curve. They know that it’s going to take time for them to master something, and we’re living in an age of increased immediacy, and kind of like instant gratification. So when you’re helping people… let’s say you’re helping business owners overcome some kind of mental block or something. And they have a lot of pre-existing distractions going on. They have other things competing for their attention…

And a lot of them are past that 23, 24 year-old developmental state. Where do you start with that individual to help them realize their goals in a more actual way?

08:20 MARK: Yeah. Let me start with a little story first. So there was this king once who wanted to know the world’s information… wanted to know everything about the world. And so he sent his wise men out and he said, “Listen. I want you guys to travel the world and bring back the meaning of life to me. I wanna know about this thing.”

And so, they’re like, “Okay.” And he said, “You got one year.”

And they’re like, “Oh, okay.”

So they didn’t have a choice, because they would have lost their heads and so out into the world they go. They come back a year later with 17 volumes of information. And the king just takes a look at that, and he goes, “You know what? I don’t have time to read that shit.” He goes, “Please reduce this 17 volumes into 1 volume.” And there was much gnashing of teeth. “We can’t do that. Oh my God, it’s impossible. It’s too much information.” He goes, “Do it. You have a month.”

And so they went away and banged their heads and a month later they come back with a book. 1 volume. And so the king’s like, “I can read this.” So he reads it, and he goes, “Man, this is awesome. Incredible. I gotta get this information out to the people. So can you reduce it to just a paragraph?”

And they’re like, “It’s not possible. No way.”

He goes, “Do it. You’ve got a week.”

So they go… you see where this is going? (laughing) They go and bang heads–they come back and they bring a paragraph.

He’s like, “This is great! This is great.” He goes, “Now, I need a slogan that encapsulates that meaning of life. So bring me back 1 sentence. And you got 24 hours.”

Course they didn’t think it c0uld be done. They went and banged heads and finally one of them was meditating probably. “Boom!” There it is. Wrote it down and they brought it back to the king expecting their heads to be chopped off.

And he said, “This is it. You’ve distilled all the world information into one sentence meaning of life.

Isn’t that cool?

10:27 AUSTIN: it is, really cool.

10:28 MARK: You wanna know what it is?

10:30 AUSTIN: Yes. Badly.

10:33 PAT: Austin is sitting on the edge of his seat right now. “Yes, tell me!”

10:39 MARK: For 10,000 dollars I’ll tell you the meaning of life.

10:44 AUSTIN: Writing a check right now.

10:47 PAT: Yeah, exactly. Don’t cash ’til Friday though.

10:48 MARK: (laughing) There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

10:56 AUSTIN: Oh man…

10:59 PAT: (laughing) I was going to say, that is an Econ major right there…

11:02 MARK: Everybody looking for a free lunch these days. Everybody wants… Tim Ferris interviews all these cool people. He writes a book about it. If I buy that book, I’m gonna have all the world’s information. I don’t need anything else. I’m going to try this hack and I’m gonna try that hack. And I’m gonna do this, and I’m gonna do that. And if I do all these things then, all of sudden, I’ll obtain enlightenment. And I’ll be a millionaire. And I’ll serve the world boldly… And blah, blah, blah, blah. “Aanh”


11:27 AUSTIN: turns out you have to do some work.

11:29 MARK: You have to work hard… Meditation is hard work. That’s my point. Meditation is hard work. You’re literally changing the way your brain was taught. So if you’re 20, it’s going to be easier than if you’re 40 or 50. But it’s not impossible. It’s not impossible at all.

First we learn how to concentrate, and then when we learn how to concentrate, we use imagery to begin to take that concentration in a directed stream. And we use that imagery to either practice a skill or to imagine a different future. Or to re-imagine a different past.

This is so we can cut the energetic ties to the future/past so our mind can be in more present-perceiving state. Tapping into that perceiving mind.

And that’s where your wisdom and intuition and spontaneous fulfillment of desire and joy comes from. Is in that present. Not in always rationally thinking or judging or compartmentalizing.

And I would say that that process… and then meditation which includes breath-work, as a catch-all term, meditation is like saying “leadership.” there’s a lot to it. But there’s a specific linearity to the process of learning it. And the way I teach it is we start with breath… the breath gets control of our physiology. The brain is part of our physiology. So that changes our brain state to be more into what we would call a receptive or meditative state. So I teach Box Breathing.

Then we have to take control of our internal dialogue and our emotions because they’ll trip you up while you’re trying to meditate. Trying to get into that perceiving state. So we have a process for basically managing our internal dialogue and our emotional states.

And then we work with our imagery. So that we can both project into the future and into the past more powerfully and cut those energetic cords so we can stay more present. But also use our imagery for practicing a skill. And also practicing becoming the type of person that we are beginning to see as possible.

And so now there’s a lot there. So we’re curating a new story, which is changing our destiny. We’re seeing a vision for our future–tied to a much bigger purpose–associated with our passion and principles. And so the image of who we are and what we’re meant for in this human existence changes and then our image of who we are changes. We changes our trajectory.

Right? And so we become the arbiters of our own destiny through this meditative practice. And then–kind of the final stages begin to where… when you allow yourself to then let go of all that and drop into what I call the Sacred Silence. Everyone’s had those experiences. Usually at the end of a hard-core workout. I think it’s one of the reasons why people like extreme sports, it’s like radically focused. Like laser beam. Because of the risk. And then your just drop out of any rational thought at all. And you’re in a moment of pure flow. And some of the training that we offer that flow state can last for hours.

And Hell week for me… my experience in Hell week where I was up for 120 hours… people think, “Ah, you should be falling down physically just spent. Completely useless.’

And I was laser-focused and getting stronger and in a flow state for a very large portion of the latter half of Hell week…

14:44 AUSTIN: And is flow state different than an adrenaline state? I perceive them as different things.

14:50 MARK: Absolutely. I think you can… in a sports performance or extreme sport, I think they can co-exist. I think there is some neurochemical activity which can trigger experience of flow. But it also happens…  I consider flow state to be trainable. Not something that we just hope to have happen if you set the conditions right.

I felt like… my buddies Kotler and Jamie Wheal wrote “Stealing Fire” which is all about flow state and they talk about all these external triggers. All these things that can happen that can get you in a flow state. And that’s all true.

But what I teach is that we basically begin to manage our mind to a point where then we can trigger it ourselves. It becomes an internal skill and so that’s experienced differently depending upon the circumstances.

So if you’re in a sporting event you trigger it but it’s also triggered… so there’s a double trigger, you know? You trigger it internally and then wait for or set up the conditions so that that external experience requires it and you’re there. You meet it head on. You don’t have to hope or wait that you’ll be in a flow state.

16:07 AUSTIN: I think, you know, thinking about my own experiences with this mindset… now that you’ve put it in tangible words, I think where I found success is with a passion of mine. And one of my passions is the ocean. And you really feel the connection to your environment in that moment where all that truly matters is what’s around you. And that’s the ocean and what’s occurring near you. And you’re not thinking about the past or the present. It’s just the connection to all the molecules around you. Your current environment and it’s truly an experience of being that place and that time. And that’s a wonderful feeling as a human.

16:38 MARK: Yeah. I agree with you. An ocean and surfing, being in nature. Rock climbing is another place that I’ve experienced it. I experienced it in Navy SEAL training and doing things that you love to do.

Like I said, if you’re passionate about it and you challenge… this is what two of the triggers are to increase the challenge level to slightly above your competency level. You know? And then to take yourself there, so that you have to perform at something you’re already good at and passionate about, but at a slightly elevated level than you’re used to.

17:20 JOE: You’re more engaged with it at that point.

17:21 MARK: Yeah. You get much more engaged and you have to be much more focused because what you’re putting into this is…

17:27 JOE: You’re not just going through the motions.

17:28 PAT: Right. Cause the bar is set so high or there might be so much risk associated with it. Like in the extreme sports example. That it requires it. The situation requires that total focus.

17:38 MARK: I think extreme sports is a hack and I think there’s so many people getting into it because they experience it. And I don’t consider surfing or rock climbing extreme sports, but I do consider BASE jumping or wingsuit flying. Or doing, like, 3 flips on your snowmobile upside down in the X games, or some of the crazy stuff they’re doing. They’re just pushing the envelope and they say, “We’re pushing the envelope to human performance.”


But one of the reasons that people are drawn to those is because they get to experience momentarily that flow state or that sense of being alive. Or being really, really present. Because of the risk. And because of that risk they have to be laser-focused or else they’re dead.

18:20 AUSTIN: A guy that comes to mind for me is Travis Pastrana who had Nitro circus. And then he’s done… He started out with just motocross, right? And then he got into flipping his motorcycle. And then he was jumping waterways in a rally car. And now he’s a rally car racer.

You can tell the passion for the extreme sport is what makes him feel alive. And then he shares that joy with everyone and he’s become so popular because of the happiness he exudes from his passion. And that’s a wonderful thing.

18:49 MARK: It’s all good except there is high degree of risk. And so just know that you could… just be willing to accept that risk.

19:00 AUSTIN: I think more so it’s not necessarily becoming the person that’s doing that, but enjoying in feeling and understanding what their passion is. And being like, “If I find my passion, I can experience a level of happiness in itself too.” or be pointed in the right direction of feeling life.

19:16 MARK: Yeah, that’s the inspiration. So that stuff can be very inspirational. And so maybe your passion is a little less risky.

But what I’m saying is you can experience this same level of joy, spontaneous happiness, through meditation. Through an integrated practice of day-to-day work where you don’t have to go put yourself or your family at risk because you need to find your next high or your next… you need to feel alive by jumping out of an airplane and flying 18 miles in a wingsuit, you know? And I got my friend Andy Stumpf just did a podcast. He had the wingsuit record, and he’s like, “You know what? I don’t expect to live as long as you.”

I was like, “Well, you know, that’s kind of sad. I want you around, buddy, so be careful out there.”

20:04 JOHN: He’s awesome. I actually just listened to him and just his outlook on everything is… I wanna go to New Zealand and jump off that cliff. I wish I had that mentality…

20:15 MARK: He’s a total badass too. Great guy. And I guess my point is you can find meaning in many different ways. If more people were to be disciplined enough to get into a meditative practice, they’ll find that the benefits that accrue are not just physical/mental, but also moral. And this is really important because you can be a… you can go out and be an extreme sport guy and find flow state and everything and still be a total asshole.

You can even meditate for 20 years and still be a total asshole. You’re just going to be a more focused asshole in 20 years.

But if you do the training in the way that it was intended, I think, in the ancient days. And the way we teach it through Unbeatable Mind. You do the emotional work lock, stock and barrel or in a parallel process with the meditative work. So the emotional work is where you translate and try to evolve your moral consciousness. Your sense of self to take more and more care and concern for larger and larger swathes of humanity.

And most people are in an egoic state and they might extend their care and concern just to their immediate family or immediate tribe. And then as you evolve you become more expansive and so now you might have care for your whole country. You’re like a Navy SEAL, “America’s great. I’m going to go protect our way of life.” And that’s great.

And then as you evolve even further, it become more of a world-centric care and concern for all of humanity. And still great respect for the differences that each culture and each individual provides, but a world-centric individual isn’t going to demonize or actively try to harm someone. Doesn’t mean they’re going let themselves be harmed. Right, that’s different.

So you start to get the experience of what you would expect to see in like a great spiritual leader, or world leader like Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi or someone like that. And my premise is that that’s our birthright and that you… essentially, you can train yourself there.

Now those individuals happened… well I would say Mandela trained himself there. He had a lot of time to meditate in the prison that he was at. And part of his practice… the emotional part that related to what I was saying was he had a deep practice of personal forgiveness. And non-attachment toward the people who put him in prison and all the reasons he was there. While at the same time embracing meditation and silence and envisioning his future. So he was doing the transformative work of meditation while he was doing the translative work of basically personal therapy. Depth psychology on himself.

And those 2 together work like a hand in a glove. So if I had been doing… I didn’t do that later part until I was about 30. And so I still had all the focusing skills of a Navy SEAL. Kick ass, take names. Blah-blah-blah.

And when I applied them to my first business what tripped me up was the emotional part. And I don’t mean lack of emotional control–I mean lack of emotional awareness, and the patterns that were going to repeat themselves that got me into a relationship with my partners which just didn’t go very well. And they were family and so my first business–Coronado Brewing Company–very pleased with that business. And now, with retrospect, the whole experience was awesome. But it was a little messy, because I hadn’t been doing the emotional work. The translative work.

23:42 JOE: You had never attached it to that same practice?

23:44 MARK: No, no, no. so that became an important lesson for me. Hey, you’ve gotta do both. You’ve gotta clear up your past in order to move into the future boldly without repeating the same patterns over and over and over and over.

23:59 AUSTIN: Is that something that… especially, it sounds almost like you’re talking about reconciling or being at ease with your past. Understanding that it was formative in getting you to where you are. Why do you feel that…? Maybe this is unique to a lot of people that I know… but why in general… why do you think people have issues holding onto the past? Like, why are they still hard on themselves about what had happened before? Why does that mental block exist?

24:21 MARK: It’s just part of the human experience. It runs so deep–the patterns are hidden from view. They’re obscured to us. These patterns were formed in early, early childhood. Some of the patterns come through our parents epigenetically. Multiple generations of patterns…

Take alcohol for instance. You could not touch a drop of alcohol, but if there was alcoholism in either of your parent’s lineages, you could end up with that pattern. And it’s going to show up not as drinking–cause maybe you’re a teetotaler or you’re just not interested… it’s going to show up in other ways.

Same thing with shame, same thing with abuse… I mean, guess what? Life is messy. The human experience is messy. These patterns come epigenetically, they come through our early childhood experiences. They come from anything that happened before your cognitive brain before you started therapy is ripe. And this is when I said the stories that we tell ourselves. The belief systems that we hold onto. They tend to show up as patterns. There’s long-waves and there’s short waves. Just like when you’re out on the surfboard.

The meditative practice can identify those, but then you gotta go deep with some sort of somatic process or Jungian therapy or something like that.

I was fortunate to marry a therapist. She helped me. But then I’ve taken a deep dive on this and I think one of the things that is unique about Unbeatable Mind is that we put as much emphasis on the emotional development as we do on the physical and the mental and the intuitive.

Cause they’re all important. And we call that integrative training. And so that we integrate physical, mental, emotional, intuitional and what we call “Kokoro”–which is heart/mind or whole mind or union… That integrative experience. With the notion of evolving us vertically. so that we can essentially take perspectives and have perspectives that are radically unique and precious and have caring concern for all of humanity while still being able to kick ass and take names at a local level for your performance or your business or however you want to serve. That make sense?

26:30 JOHN: And you believe that they’re not interchangeable…

26:33 MARK: Well, they’re not mutually exclusive. You can have that and that. You can perform like a Navy SEAL and have the consciousness of Gandhi. And I call that… I actually have a term for that, I call it, “5th Plateau.” Leadership, 5th plateau kind of awareness. And we’re starting to see that in a lot of client who’ve been studying Unbeatable Mind for a number of years. I would assess that with daily disciplined practice and a real commitment to your own development in this way… while you’re also performing and making a living and going about your life. But it’s the daily commitment to development. Integration. Physical, mental, emotional, intuitional and Kokoro heart/mind that you could evolve yourself to the highest levels of potentiality within 7 to 10 years.

Cause there’s an accelerating effect, right? There’s a spiraling kind of holotropic where you transcend and include. And the more perspectives and insight you gain and the more you clear up that path, the less energy is holding you back.

And then of course the more you can see the future, the more that’s going to propel you there. And so the journey becomes like a J-curve, where it’s slow at first, and all of a sudden you start to head up that curve. And then it begins to accelerate.

27:54 AUSTIN: That’s awesome. Just digesting all that. It’s pretty incredible, and I think it’s very applicable which is the best part.

So we’re coming up on the New Year. And big 2018. And people are gonna want to make some changes and I think that’s one a lot of our minds. And that’s a type of thing… what would you say is a great place to start when looking to make a change or the resolution aspect of the turn of the New Year? A lot of people are always wondering the best way to do that so they don’t fail. So do you have any tips or something that’s worked for you in the past? That’s applicable?

28:27 MARK: Yeah, probably a couple things, is to be very careful with what you choose. And to choose something that is, you know, gonna change who you are and not just what you look like. Or what you are physically.  And so that’s why… people will like fitness and diet. People think those are the biggies. “I’m going to focus on my fitness program and I’m going to achieve certain goals. Or I’m going to try to lose certain number of pounds.” Or something like that.

And my sense is those are extrinsic things. Those are things that are being judged by other people. And generally they don’t really work very well.

But if you were to think, “Well you know what? My objective next year is to begin to unlock my raw, pure potential. The true essence inside of me. And I’m really deeply committed to that.

And then when I do that, guess what, that’s going to lead me to a deeper awareness about my fueling patterns, so I’m going to fuel better. And that’s going to lead me to a deeper awareness about my movement patterns. And I’m going to move better. And I’m going to get in better physical, functional shape.

It’s going to lead me to deeper awareness about my recovery and sleep, and I’m going to take that more seriously.

And I’m going to get clearer about my goals and objectives and where I’m going with my life. And so all this starts to become really motivating. So all those will trail the most important thing I do. And the most important thing I do now, is just spend 20 minutes a day in silence every morning and just breathe. So the practice that I offer is box breathing. Just start with that.

And the breath is the bridge between the physical and the mental and the spiritual. And it’s experienced physically first, and then mentally as a clarification of the mind. And calming effect. And then you’ll have that connection to a deeper sense of soul or spirit.

And that’s when you’ll tap into the perceiving mind. You’ll have your intuitive ideas. And then also, everything starts to come into balance. Physiological, psychological balance. That’s when you start to feel better about yourself. And you start to eat better and sleep better and move better. You start that upward spiral I talked about. Where throughout the course of the year–if you just committed to 20 minutes of breath training every single morning–by the end of the year you would look better.

You’d have lost weight. I’m not going to tell you how much. It depends on where you start.

You’ll have lost weight. You’ll be physically more fit. You’ll be more clear about your goals. All the things that you would normally look as an extrinsic motivator is going to happen. Naturally. As part of you evolving your consciousness and getting more clear and aware. So that 20 minutes a day, just do it every day…

31:08 AUSTIN: I find it almost ironic because without breathing, you don’t live, right? You have to do it. So

31:16 MARK: Isn’t that weird? The simplest… the most important thing is actually the most important thing.

31:23 AUSTIN: (laughing) What do you know?

31:25 PAT: Funny how it works like that.

31:25 MARK: Isn’t it?

31:26 AUSTIN: I love it. You know…

31:28 MARK: Everyone blows it off. They take it for granted or they ignore their breathing patterns and their breathing patterns are keeping them out of balance and stressed. So we take control of that, we rewire that… That rewires our neurological patterns. It rewires our emotional patterns. Everything…

When I talk about coming into balance the breath itself brings you into balance. And you know what? 70% of your toxins are eliminated through your breath. So when you slow your breath down… when I say breath control I mean slowing it down and breathing in nice, controlled, cyclical patterns. So the box breathing practice I recommend is just 5 by 5 by 5 by 5. Inhale through the nostrils. The nostrils are the breath tool. Not your mouth. Through the nostrils, so that slows it down. And also it brings the breath deep into our where we have to use our diaphragms. And a lot of people have to learn how to breathe through the diaphragm.

The diaphragm stimulates the Vagus nerve. The Vagus nerve is what triggers the parasympathetic nervous system which calms us down. So just by slowing the breath down and breathing in a pattern of inhale 5, hold 5, exhale 5, hold 5. Doing that for 20 minutes. Enormous benefits to your physiological balance, stress management. Everything starts to come back into balance physiologically and I said earlier the brain is part of your physiology. So that also comes into balance, which is experienced subjectively as more clarity and calmness. So you’ll be more psychologically balance. And you’ll make better decisions about everything.

32:54 PAT: And then we spoke…

32:57 MARK: That was a long answer to a simple question about how do we set goals. I’m saying don’t set goals that you’re not going to follow through on. Just commit to a daily practice of this simple thing that you have to do anyways. And everything else will come into line.

33:11 AUSTIN: And the explanation was so important. And then when you put it like that, you know, it is just that simple, right? And I think it’s all about slowing down the mind especially for people listening to this podcast are in the business world. They’re probably going really fast all the time. And you forget how important it is to take this extra 20 minutes. And in the beginning of your day to just be there and be present.

33:33 MARK: Right. People say, “I don’t have 20minutes.”  You don’t not have 20 minutes. Course you do. You’re doing something during that 20 minutes. Most people are checking their email or doing something that’s not very effective use of their time. When you spend that time it frees you up from all sorts of things because like I said, you’re making better decisions.

You can learn to say no in service to a bigger yes.

33:55 AUSTIN: Right, because you understand a little bit more. I have kind of a question too. I read a statistic somewhere, I think it’s like 90% of people will abandon their New Year’s resolutions within the first 3 months of the New Year, or something like that. At least one of their resolutions.

And going back to what you were saying before, it that because it’s based on extrinsic factors? Or do you think that it’s because there’s a mental block that people need to overcome? Or is it both of them together?

34:22 MARK: I mean there’s certainly mental blocks. Some people aren’t real serious about it. If you’re deciding on a resolution on New Year’s Eve with a bottle of champagne sitting around, you’re not serious about it.

I’ve been thinking about a commitment that I’m making for next year. And I’ve been practicing it now for about 30 days. And right now, to time stamp, this is December 15th. So because this is a big commitment that I’m making. So one of my passions is to help vets who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress. We started a foundation last year called the Courage Foundation. And we’re beginning… it’s all organized. 501c3. And we’ve done one year of fund-raising and one event which was pretty cool.

We took some vets on… And next year I wanna up my game. And so I have to lead by example and so I’m committing to raise a quarter million dollars. And I’m gonna do 100,000 burpees.

35:28 AUSTIN: (laughing) Oh my Gosh!

35:30 PAT: that’s crazy.

35:31 MARK: I’m gonna do 100,000 burpees and I’m going to invite people to join me. To pledge… either pledge me–like a penny per burpee–or to join me and to raise some money alongside me.

Now… but to commit either you do 100,000… If you’re going to commit to 100,000 you commit to it, but if you don’t want to commit to 100,000 don’t. But find a number that you’re willing to commit to. Maybe it’s 50,000. Maybe it’s 25. Commit to it. Break it down into “what is that every day?”

Now a 100,000 burpees is 274 burpees a day. That’s easy day for me.

36:02 AUSTIN: (laughing) Yeah, for you. Massive asterisk next to that. 274 burpees is still more than I think most of us have done cumulatively in our whole lifetimes.

36:12 MARK: Easy day. Easy day. But so now here’s the deal. That’s something that’s very big. Very inspiring. And it’s tied to a purpose. It’s not about me showing how tough I am. I’m not. I just know that I can 274 burpees a day if I put my mind to it. But I want to raise money and raise awareness for vets who are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress. Cause 22 a day on average are committing suicide. That is unsat(isfactory) that our veterans who are out there fighting for our country are suffering like this. And there’s no way that the system–anything about this “system” can help them. And so they need training like breath-work. They need training like yoga. They need therapy. They need to overcome their moral injustices… they need a new story. They need a new destiny. And they need help with that. So I think we can raise awareness and it’s not just about supporting my organization, but we want to partner and support any organization that’s doing good work.

37:14 AUSTIN: And I think that that’s a great resolution in itself. Which you bring up. And if you’re listening to this podcast end of the year. Attracting a cause and being part of a cause and not making it about you.

37:24 MARK: Make it bigger. If you want to lose weight, great. Figure out… donate 100 dollars per pound to an organization and then commit to that. And then go do it

That’s one way to look at it. Again, I think weight loss should come as a result of just healthy living. Cause we’ll all end up at our optimal weights when we train daily and take responsibility for our own evolution.

37:49 AUSTIN: Yup. And that connected all the way back to when you were in SEAL training and talking about just being about something. And not making it about you is what one of your strongest suits in getting through at the top of your class.

So I love that aspect of it. The most successful individual in this room is also the most selfless. And did something bigger beyond yourself to make that personal gain.  So it’s pretty incredible.

38:17 PAT: And I feel like it’s a theme that we’re seeing a lot more nowadays. There’s a lot more philanthropy associated with successful people…

38:23 MARK: Social component…

38:25 PAT: Exactly. And I think that it ties back to what you were saying. It’s about tying it to that bigger purpose and understanding the “why” behind what you’re doing. And I know especially as young professionals, we struggle with it all the time. What’s our why? Why are we doing what we’re doing?

And we’re constantly trying to figure that out. Especially through these formative years in our career. And it’s nice to hear that once you’ve figured it out, you understand the why and it’s based on principles and morals as well as your goals and aspirations for yourself, that things will just kind of fall into line.

38:55 MARK: Yeah, and you still gotta do the work. And it’s a constant evolution. Your “Why” will evolve as you evolve. The younger you can figure it out… I consider myself really blessed that at 24 I was able to figure that out. But it’s there for everybody. You just gotta slow down and look within.

And also I think your point about social philanthropy is amazing. There’s a lot that is going on in that avenue. I think a lot of people are evolving really quickly toward this world-centric, caring concern. Especially with all the environmental degradation we’re seeing.  And we just had devastating wildfires here.

39:32 AUSTIN: Still going on…

39:34 MARK: I know. Crazy. So sad to see the horses burned. It’s insane. And stuff going on all over the world, and still a lot of people are denying it, blah-blah-blah-blah. Whatever the reason for it… I heard the other day the Inuit don’t believe that global warming is man-made… they say it’s because the poles are shifting and it’s changing the tilt toward the sun. Now that makes a lot of sense, because I’ve been hearing for a while that the poles were due for a polar shift.

Isn’t that interesting? And you think the Inuit they’re not sitting there on their iPhones and trolling social media, right? They’re really close to the earth. They probably might know something because they’re watching these things over long periods of time.

But I think it’s a very good time to be alive. A very good time to be exposed to the things we’re talking about here today. Because everybody can make a difference. In fact, what’s going to solve all these problems we have in the world is by everybody stepping up their game. Not outsourcing it to some governmental agency or the United Nations. Those organizations have failed, big time.

40:50 AUSTIN: And being an American–so thankful and grateful that we offer everything. What the servicemen have done for us, and the society that we have, we’re set up for success to achieve that next level. It really is…

41:02 MARK: And technology is allowing us to do it, but it’s also brought great threats, obviously.

41:05 AUSTIN: Sure. Sure. And I think it’s up to us to decide what we’re going to do with it. Down to the very individual. And it really is… ball is in our court, and I think that that’s what we wanted to get out of this. And what we’ve learned from you is “what are you going to do about it?” You’re going to have to do some work, but, hey, it’s bigger than you. And the work that you do will be fulfilling as well. So I’d love to hear that side of it.

41:25 MARK: it all comes back to energize you. You know, if you work for… to serve humanity then your life will have a lot more meaning. And you’ll have a lot more success. And it’ll be the right kind of success. and so to get out of your limited sense of self and  step up to a more world-centric care and concern and do something important. Stop chasing money and fame and power.

41:51 PAT: Very, very well said.

41:53 AUSTIN: so Mark does have his own podcast. It’s called the Unbeatable Mind podcast. Same thing as your program that you run. So if you’re interested in learning more about him and everything he has to say… how often do you put out your podcast?

42:04 MARK: One a week. One episode a week.

42:05 AUSTIN: Great, yeah. Just like us. Cool. Well, yeah so that’s on his website, and then iTunes I believe as well. So very accessible. If you want to go ahead and hop on that.

Mark Divine, thank you so much for coming on the show. We’ve learned so much from you and a lot that’s going to be applicable in 2018.

42:20 MARK: Awesome. Thank you guys. Been a lot of fun.

42:22 PAT: Thank you. I’m gonna need to go take a walk.

42:24 JOHN: (laughing) Yeah. I think we have some work to do.

42:29 AUSTIN: That concludes our interview with Mark Divine. We hope you enjoyed every minute of it. And caught both parts. I know I have a lot of takeaways from that. And when I’m setting my goals for 2018, I’m definitely going to keep in mind the breathing exercises and then also how to visualize success. I thought that that part was very applicable.

42:46 JOHN: yeah, he sets the bar pretty high. Moving into the year.

42:48 AUSTIN: (laughing) I’m not sure if I can do all those burpees, but…

42:51 JOHN: Yeah. That was just ridiculous…

42:52 JOE: I think I’m going to stick to the breathing exercises. I think I could dedicate 20 minutes a day.

42:55 AUSTIN: Yeah, I think that that’s definitely a bit more applicable. But, yes, we really appreciate all of you that tuned in. If this is your first time or if you’re a returning listener, we really do appreciate it.

You can catch us… we’re on all the social handles now. You know we’re on Instagram. We’re on Twitter @flipswitchcast. That’s our handle for both ones. We’re also on Facebook. Follow us. You can join our forum or like our page. We’d greatly appreciate it.

Thanks again and we hope you all have a very good New Year.


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